Laurie Lipton was born in New York and began drawing at the age of four. She has lived in Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, London and most recently – Los Angeles, California. She creates wonderfully detailed and super tight renderings of haunted Victorian scenarios, working mostly in black and white (pencil, charcoal and etchings).
Laurie’s surreal worlds contain narratives of ghostlands – staid skeletons, vintage housewives and Big Brother – all hold court in a tapestry of gothic science fiction. Modern postcards anointed with mischievous glee, political stabs, fancy lace perfection and Steampunk environs. The mistress of all pencil pushers – Laurie gives M.C. Escher a run for his rendering money. She creates a layered universe of detail – on one single sheet of paper, labored tableaus of extraordinary thought, dark beauty, humor and skill.
My favorite art memory from my childhood is …
Lying on the floor of my parents bedroom… drawing. I drew bloody scenes of cowboys & Indians killing each other.
My interest in art/painting started ….
at the age of three. My father used to take us to museums on Sundays to give my mother a break. I used to pick one picture & stand in front of it for at least an hour. It was very odd seeing a small child standing so still for so long, and I used to attract a crowd around me. I remember trying to burn the images into my eyeballs so that I would remember them always… and it worked!
I am often inspired and motivated by….
the thoughts in my head.
If I could spend the day with any artist (dead or alive) it would be…
Jan Van Eyck
And we would … paint.
The tip or art technique (a specific tidbit of craft, advice or mechanical expertise) that has helped me the most is …
working my butt off to the neglect of everything else. There are a lot of brands & materials out there. The best way to find the perfect one is to constantly experiment.
If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be …
“The Lamb of God” (aka “The Ghent Altarpiece”) by Jan Van Eyck.
My favorite piece of my own art is… the next one
because… it is full of potential.
My ultimate project or fantasy is …
to create a walk-in drawing for a solo show at MOMA in NYC.
The last song I choose to listen to was …
Scarlatti’s “Caldo Sangue” sung by Cecilia Bartoli.
The last book I couldn’t put down was …
“The Tao of Physics” by Fritjof Capra
My favorite word is … “possible”…
You did a gorgeous color series titled “Splendor Solis” (below) . Can you tell us a little about it?
“ Splendor Solis” was one of the illuminated manuscripts I was commissioned to re-interpret by a privately owned alchemical library in Amsterdam. The original drawings are now in a vault along with a collection of Rembrandt etchings and in centuries to come, someone will say, “Who is this artist in the vault with Laurie Lipton??” Or not…
I can’t live without … my drawings.
It’s not hip, but I really love … opera
My favorite motto (or quote) is….
“Be regular & orderly in your life so that you may be violent & original in your work”
You work usually in black and white – beautiful graphites and lately some etchings. Can you tell us how & why you chose this medium?
I tried to teach myself how to paint like the early Renaissance Masters but couldn’t figure out the complicated egg-tempera technique. While I was a poor student traveling around Europe, I couldn’t afford paint so I began to use pencils more & more. They were cheap & convenient. I developed my own peculiar way of drawing using thousands of tiny lines to build-up tone, mimicking egg tempera painting technique. I was also inspired by the frozen, disturbing photos of Diane Arbus
. I realized that black & white had an atmosphere all its own and that it was perfect for the imagery I was exploring.
Click here to buy Laurie’s incredible book…
And scroll down that same page to check out her stylin’ custom tees.
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