Welcoming Lauren Elise to the warehouse

Lauren Elise is a practicing artist, doting wife and mother of two girls Lottie and Sage. She's also the newest studio to join the Stackwood fold, carving out a space for herself amongst the indoor plants and vibrant artistic community. 

Lauren's work reveals a lot about the way she sees the world through her chosen mediums of painting, life drawing and mixed media. Lauren has an abstract, bold and colourful style, her pieces are filled with a sense of movement, innate joyousness and a curiosity about life and people that we love! 

We caught up with Lauren to chat about her life as an artist and when it comes down to it, what really makes her want to get to the easel and paint. 

Tell me about your practice, how did you start?

Growing up I always dabbled in art, so when the time came I decided to study Contemporary Arts, majoring in visual art and fashion. My career in art started quite organically after that. I painted an aerial of the Cocos Islands for a friend which snowballed on to many more aerial commissions. My style has changed quite a bit since then as I started to explore portraiture and people.

Why paint? 

I have always had an obsession with the process of mark-making, whether it be textiles dye, printing or paint. I feel that there is a real beauty in the energy that can transpire through pushing paint around on a surface.

You seem to alternate between people and the natural world, which do you find the most exciting to work with? 

I find them both so fulfilling; however, I think people are so complex and interesting especially when painting from life as you can really capture someone’s energy when you share a room. It's fascinating the way you can distill personality or a particular emotion on paper.

There's a recent wedding portrait I did with ink on paper which I adore. The couple are kissing and the woman’s nose is squished against her husband’s - something small but so human!

What collaborations have you been working on lately? 

I painted live in the city last month for ‘Aspire 2020’, whereby eight Perth artists were asked to work in real-time in city window fronts. My subject was a woman holding her child which was inspired by Mother Theresa’s quote; ‘If you want to change the world, go home and love your children.’ It was nerve-wracking but also thrilling! The work is currently up for auction with all proceeds going to Raine Medical Research Foundation. 

I've also just been commissioned to paint Australian Flora for a gorgeous lady who lives in Turramurra NSW (the recent bush fires just missed their house!) This one is pretty close to my heart and feels very collaborative for a commission. 

What is your favourite part about doing what you do?

Gosh I feel so blessed that my hobby has turned into work. To me, creativity is like a drug and I just need to be making art of some sort regularly otherwise I get withdrawals. And I just love the solitude, I have two girls 2 and 3 years old and as much as I adore them, I also enjoy the switch off that my work allows so I can recharge as a mother.


What WA artists are on your crush list? 

Laurie Smoker and his life drawings are so incredible, with so little detail he can capture so much personality. 

Jane Tangney and her landscapes that she sometimes mixes with beeswax; I love the subtle textures and interesting colour combinations.

Mel Foster is my dear friend that studied art with me at high school and she is working in the Pilbara at the moment doing gorgeous works with layered mark-making and line. 

How did your journey start with Stackwood?

I was looking at moving studios. A shared space came up and I loved it so much when a solo studio opened up I couldn't say no. The girls here are like a little family, they couldn’t have been more welcoming. Walking through the jungle of plants and past the scents from the Clean Slate in the mornings never gets old.

What's on your studio playlist?

Music is just as much of a tool as my palette knives and brushes are. When I am fluffing around, I listen to a lot of The Tesky Brothers and Fleetwood Mac. When I am doing abstract painting, I listen to classical music like Mozart and then more rhythmic music when I need to concentrate on continuous line drawings. 


Lauren's studio is open at Stackwood by appointment, you can get in touch with her or check out her work at her instagram

Images by Rae Fallon
Interview and introduction by Jasmyn Woodford. 

February 05, 2020 — Jasmyn Woodford