Tell me a little about your background. When did you know you wanted to do what you are doing now?
Since I was a young girl, I knew I wanted to be an artist. I would spend all day drawing or creating something. My mother would encourage me to go out to play. Sometimes I took her advice, but often I would stand at the end of the driveway waiting for what seemed a reasonable amount of time to go back to making art. I majored in art in college and minored in graphic design. I always felt there was nothing else for me to be but an artist. The first seven or eight years after college I was a graphic designer, feeling it was a more practical choice. I continued to paint for myself. After my second child was born (I have three children, two boys and a girl), I decided to try being a full-time artist. I woke up at 5:00 am. Monday thru Friday to enable three to four hours of uninterrupted painting. I squeaked out another few hours in between naps and trying to keep the children entertained with toys at my feet while painting. I entered my first juried show and won best in show, which gave me the courage to keep going. I was fortunate to receive some awards, attention, exhibits, and sales, in those first few years which made me feel I was on the right path. Through the nineties and early two-thousands I was lucky to maintain a steady presence in the art scene. A series of difficult life events, including divorce and the death of my sweet mother, along with a horrible economy forced me to reevaluate how to go about being an artist. With the new challenge of being a single mum to three adventurous adolescents, I began teaching oil painting and became an expressive arts consultant/facilitator while continuing to paint. I ended up loving both of these other hats in the art world and for a while they were a bit more in the driver’s seat. After a few years of managing this balancing act, the reduced attention to my painting just wasn’t feeling right anymore. Now, I have blissfully returned painting to the driver’s seat while still incorporating teaching and expressive arts.
Who are your biggest influences?
There are so many artists. Off the top of my head the more well-known influences would be Edward Hopper, Pierre Bonnard, Jamie Wyeth, David Hockney, William Merritt Chase, Henri Matisse, and Edgar Dega. I’m constantly inspired by the artists I meet and exhibit with locally and in this region. I feel like I’m part of a community. I need to mention my mum too for her sense of fun, whimsy, creativity, perseverance, ambition, caring and love..among many more attributes.
Where do you find inspiration?
The light always informs and drives my work. The subtleties of light. Painting the stream of light falling into a room while the nuances of the landscape/seascape light play through the window vista grabs me on a core level. I tend to like cozy, quiet, scenic spaces.
What do you like to do for fun?
Anything involving my sweetie and my family! I also like hiking, yoga, bike riding, going to hear live music, hanging out with friends, and reading. A favorite activity is on Sundays. grabbing the Boston Globe, breakfast sandwiches, ice lattes, a little jazz music, and heading to the beach for a couple hours in the morning with my husband.
What are you reading right now?
I usually have a few going at the same time. Right now it’s Mary Oliver’s A Thousand Mornings, Anya Yurchyshyn’s My dead parents : A Memoir, Julie Andrews A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, and I always have some psychological and art books in the mix.
What is your favorite medium?
Oil painting on linen or panel.
Can you describe your process?
I’ve lived in coastal and scenic areas for a good part of my life. The connection to nature and beauty surrounding me is part of the energy I need to paint. The passion to create usually comes from a deeply felt place or concept. For instance, my rumpled sheets or “bedscape” series came from a very transitional period in my life. I tend to go through different phases of how I work on a painting. The one I’m currently using is first to tone a canvas and then sketch on top of the toning. I paint at least 2 -3 layers. My “wow” factor is at the very beginning of the painting. This is where all of the possibilities are in front of me!
How or where can people see your work?
I’m preparing for a solo exhibit at the Woodman Shimko Gallery in Provincetown, MA from July 24-August 6, 2020, which I’ve been assured WILL happen. My work is currently in a traveling group exhibit titled “Mel Leipzig and Friends” which began at the Art Complex Museum in 2017 and was exhibited at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA in 2019 and will proceed to the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in 2022 (date TBA, check back on my website for dates). I’m represented by Copley Society of Art in Boston, MA, Elizabeth Moss Gallery in Falmouth, ME, Woodman Shimko Gallery in Provincetown, MA and Sunne Savage, in Winchester, MA. My work can also be seen on Instagram under Laura_Tryon_Jennings, my website at www.LTryonJennings.com, and in my Marshfield, MA studio by appointment.
Click below for a virtual visit to Laura’s home studio.