The Process Begins

Laura Spencer Illustrates
2019 Emerging Artist Grantee
Post 06 – The Process Begins 

TLDR: FINALLY, the real work begins. I’m digging into creating the pieces for my grant exhibit, and in a bold move of vulnerability, I’ve decided to share my process with you.

I am out of the woods on a few freelance projects (although there’s always a few small jobs floating around), and FINALLY ready to dive into my grant work. The concept is formulated, and I’ve even made a rudimentary wall mock-up for the exhibit.

I’ve never really shared my process publicly – always feeling the need to keep such matters hidden and private. Perhaps it is out of fear of my ideas being “stolen”. More than that, it is the fear of being judged over fragile, imperfect works-in-progress. But, like I said in my inaugural blog post, I wanted this blogging experience to push me well outside of my comfort zone, so here goes nothing!

We Never Die, We Simply Change Form:

The title of my exhibit will be “We Never Die, We Simply Change Form”. This name was lifted from a work of art purchased by my sister on our trip to Los Angeles [ca. 2009]. Found in a cozy little thrift shop on Venice Beach, we stumbled upon The Art of Chase and quickly fell in love with his graphic style and all-seeing-eye motifs. In a bizarre turn of events, we got to meet him while driving around Venice as he was painting a large mural. We parked, ran over, and got him to autograph these new acquisitions.

In an even MORE bizarre example of universal synchronicity, it turns out that Chase is Belgian. He hails from the town of Antwerpen, Belgium where I just happened to attend a foreign exchange program in college – just one year after this L.A. adventure. We once again got to pose in front of his murals, and the world became just a teeny bit smaller that day. Anyways, enough with the tangents…

The following pieces are all inspired by 3 very important women who have come to pass – my 3 grandmothers: Mary Sanchez, Ellen Harkonen, and Marjorie Long. Within each piece, the animal and element is representative of their wisdom, strength, and personality. The rendering of these pieces will be vibrant and psychedelic in nature – evoking an ethereal “vision” and transformation of their spirits into eternal, ephemeral effigies.

“We Never Die, We Simply Change Form: Harkonen” Preliminary Sketch for my Grant Exhibit – 32.0″ x 28.0″ [Bees and Pineapple Blossoms]
“We Never Die, We Simply Change Form: Long”. Preliminary Sketch for my Grant Exhibit – 24.0″ x 31.5″ [Easten Screech Owl with Fairy Ink Cap Mushrooms]
“We Never Die, We Simply Change Form: Gaa”. Preliminary Sketch for my Grant Exhibit – 47.5″ x 47.5″ [Bengal Tiger and Sapphire Crystals]
A few weeks ago, the Emerging Artist Grantees had a meet and greet. We got a some one-on-one time with the curator and digital content manager for our grant experience. In that meeting, we discussed the allocation of wall space within the large gallery at Creative Pinellas. The following is a rudimentary mock-up of the gallery wall. The space allocation will likely vary once exhibition install begins, but at least it provides a jumping off point in order to determine sizes.

A mock-up of a gallery wall at Creative Pinellas. Each artist is given approx. 30′ of exhibit space (but don’t quote me on that). The Blue Dots represent additional smaller pieces I am hoping to crank out – time permitting. The Blue Rectangle represents space allocated for an Artist Statement.

The Past Influences the Present:

As I mentioned above, the rendering for these pieces will be vibrant and psychedelic. The two works below are representative of the direction I want to take this body of work in – surreal, other-worldly, mysterious, and mystic.

WORK SAMPLE: “Cosmic Pollination”. Laura Spencer – 2019.
This piece was commissioned by Bank OZK for the corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL. Digital watercolor.
WORK SAMPLE: “Moon Cat” – Laura Spencer, 2017
This piece was created for the OUTSIDE IN – Shine Mural Festival Closing Exhibit. Digital.

I have always been influenced by psychedelia and visionary art [think:
Android Jones and Alex Grey]. To me, the psychedelic art movement (if you can call it such a thing) is about expanding the mind, tapping into the imaginative power of our own psyches. This does not necessarily need to be induced by external hallucinogens, but rather can be accessed through an open mind and expansive heart.

Through meditation, prayer, and other religious practices we are able to glimpse the world just beyond our common conception of reality. I hope to offer my viewer the same awe-inspiring feelings as one may have walking into a Mosque or Cathedral, or witnessing fractal growth in nature. This is how we live forever. 

More updates soon to come, thanks for tuning in…

On my mind:

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