A Sentiment in Every Moment
Through a visionary eye, artist Lauren Jones captures the essence of a moment through her artwork. Carlie Wacker looks deep into the creations of our front cover artist.
Lauren Jones’ portrait and still life art could be described as an exploration of light and that fine line between figurative and abstract. I think of it almost as a voyeuristic sneak peek at what happens behind-the-scenes; I get the feeling I am viewing the reality behind the “perfect” life we like to share publicly. She captures real moments in bold brush strokes and gives a real sense of the moment in time.
Lauren grew up in Mapleton with a love and talent for art. “My mother was creative and had us doing all sorts of art projects at home,” she says.
Painting, drawing and writing came naturally to her, so she had no difficulty mapping out her tertiary path. In 2009 Lauren completed a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Literature) at the Sunshine Coast University, and in 2012 a Bachelor of Fine Art at Monash University.
The transition from the Sunshine Coast to Melbourne provided a vastly different lifestyle but also exposed her to a new art scene where she exhibited with other graduates and at artist-run spaces and galleries in Victoria.
She now works from her home studio in Noosa while raising her beautiful one-year-old daughter, Maple, who is showing signs of being creative.
“Although she will be a tidy artist,” says Lauren, “Maple doesn’t like getting her hands dirty; if we get paint on them, we have to wash them straight away.”
This year Lauren was awarded the Bentley’s ‘40 under 40’ art prize for her artwork Becoming Unfamiliar at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre for artists under the age of 40.
“That work was about falling out with a loved one or friend and that strange sense of knowing someone but also becoming strangers,” she explains.
“It was super exciting to win.”
Lauren had been toying with the concept for this series for some time.
She wanted to create artworks with reference and commentary on memory and connectedness and it comes from a very personal experience.
“My Grandma has Dementia,” she explains. “I wanted explore that weird feeling of knowing but not knowing.”
Last year Lauren also won the ‘Emerging Artist Award’ in the Woman of Art exhibition in Noosa.
“The win was so special, and it really allowed me more time in studio,” she said. Plus Fenton and Fenton shortlisted her this year as one to watch in their Rising Talent awards.
Lauren’s distinct use of oil on canvas creates a texture that is tactile and reveals a mood or a moment in such a captivating way. And it’s not only captured in the eyes and stance when she paints portraits but also in the still life works she shares with us.
Our cover is an oil on canvas called Citrus and Blue Stripes. When I view this piece, I am transported to the Greek islands, basking in the morning sunshine as I overlook the Mediterranean Sea; I smell coffee and I crave a fruit platter. That is precisely what art should do – stimulate the senses.
“My paintings feature an appreciation for the human form, narrative and the materiality of paint,” adds Lauren.
She uses the alla prima style with a wet-on-wet technique made famous by Impressionists such as Monet.
Living in Noosa, water is featured in many of Lauren’s paintings.
“The ocean can go through many moods in the blink of the eye,” she says. “It’s a consuming and atmospheric place that can make one feel a sense of belonging and yet also, at the same time, totally lost.”
Lauren refers to herself as an impatient painter and she says she really likes the alla prima technique of layering.
“It’s instantaneous and really shows movement and feeling,” she says. “This quick technique gives an instant feeling.”
Lauren’s drawings are also intense and moving. Her work titled Anguish is a charcoal drawing that literally had me clutch at my chest; the copper etching Man of Matter fills me with sadness and it is Lauren’s ability to capture the essence of a moment I find intriguing. From life changing moments to common occurrences – there is sentiment in her work and a feeling that will stay with you long after.
“I love the place I go to when I draw,” she said. “I’ve always loved life-drawing and have always done it. I love capturing the body on paper and I find it has helped with hand-eye coordination.
“Drawing has a great relationship to my painting. I mark out a painting with the brush much like I do a drawing. It is a fundamental process as to how I paint,” she says.
Lauren Jones lives and breathes art. When she’s not getting creative in her studio you’ll find her working a couple of days each week at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre. She also holds workshops sharing her expertise in the ‘impatient artists’ favourite painting technique – alla prima.
Her stunning art is available to view and purchase online