Lauren grew up in the Philadelphia area, but both of her parents were originally from upstate NY. She went to college in Syracuse and has lived in Canandaigua since 2014. Lauren is a professional landscape designer with a degree from SUNY ESF in Landscape Architecture. She loves the connection to the outdoors and plants that this career allows her to have every day. She hand draws all of her landscape plans and feels it gives the plans a more personal touch.
Lauren says, "I suppose that is part of the reason that the colored pencil drawings came somewhat naturally to me."
When did you decide you wanted to pursue drawing/fine art?
I am relatively new to it. I always try to do something new each winter, during my off-season at work. In January 2018, I decided to take a colored pencil drawing class with Lesley Shakespeare-Brogan of 'Hope in Art' on Main Street in Canandaigua. I kind of had a goal of wanting to be able to use it as a way to stay connected to the botanical world during the winter. It forces you to slow down and look at objects differently and in more detail than you typically would. You are essentially drawing every feather of a bird, every vein of a leaf, etc. I chose colored pencils, specifically, because I was drawn to the hyper-realism aspect of it. When done masterfully, it looks as if you can reach out and grab whatever it is that you've drawn on the paper.
I drew a Black Capped Chickadee in the class, and I started the Loon and then finished it after the class had ended. Lesley urged me to submit both of these drawings to an animal-themed exhibit that was being held to raise funds for the City of Canandaigua Dog Park. I never imagined creating art that would be in any kind of exhibit, so it was exciting when the pieces were accepted into the exhibit and then purchased by someone. After that, I started to check out exhibits put on by OCAC, where I met Denise VanDeroef (then Vice President), who urged me to join. Being a member of OCAC is definitely what has helped to keep me motivated to create new art.
Do you exhibit your artwork anywhere else?
Anywhere I've exhibited has been through OCAC in the North gallery at the Ontario County Historical Society Museum, the lobby of the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, and the yearly OCAC exhibit at Wood Library. I also exhibited at the Bristol Library in October 2018.
Was there someone who inspired you?
Lesley and Denise definitely helped. There are a couple of botanical colored pencil artists that I follow, Wendy Hollender and Ann Swan, who are absolute masters in the botanical art world, both using primarily colored pencils.
In what media are you most comfortable?
Colored Pencil. In general everything I draw is of the natural world. I have enjoyed drawing birds, but I am most passionate about plants. I have drawn some plants, especially natives, and I would like to continue to pursue this subject.
Lauren is employed by Wayside Garden Center in Macedon. Examples of Lauren‘s landscape designs can be viewed at: https://www.waysidegardencenter.com/Landscaping/Lauren/