Local Art

Published on April 22nd, 2015 | by Nature Humphries


Local Artist Lowdown: Lauren Grace West

Name: Lauren Grace West

Age & Astrological Sign: 25 years old, Scorpio

Favorite Quotation: “Considering how dangerous everything is, nothing is really very frightening.” -Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein was awesome.

Hometown: Oxford, Mississippi

How long have you lived in Oxford? I’m home grown! I was born in Oxford but have lived a few years in a couple different places.

Artistic Style: I don’t know when it happened but somewhere in my art career I became LWest-Double deckera figure painter. In my recent paintings, needlelike lines and marks plague the figure which imitates the ability of an individual to sustain throughout hardship. The style that is created in the process contains an almost shattered glass effect.

Favorite Medium: Oil Paint. Hands down. I love that it won’t dry for days so the artist has plenty of time to push and pull with the paint.

Favorite Artistic Tool or Implement: Working with a palette knife or anything that can create an interesting texture is a great experience. Touching a texturized painting after it is dry is oddly satisfying. When or if you ever have the opportunity, I recommend running your hands along all paintings you come across.

Art Education: My sister, Chasidy Idiot West, taught me to love drawing when I was younger as she was very talented and I wanted to do everything that she did. After many years of practice, it became the thing that I wanted to do all of the time. I eventually went on to receive my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Painting at the University of Mississippi.

Where do you get your ideas & inspiration: People. Friends, family, strangers, etc. Mankind is pretty weird and I love exploring through the craziness.

Favorite project you’ve completed: It’s hard to say because it depends on the day.LWest-Jolynn Sometimes I will finish a piece and think, “Ohhhkay Lauren, you’ve done it. You’re the greatest painter in the world.” And then I’ll wake up the next morning and realize what a pretentious fool I was for even trying to pick up a paintbrush. However, it seems that my pieces that I like the most are those where I didn’t have a tremendous amount of pressure to make it “great.” For example, mindless doodles can lead to some of my favorite work as opposed to commissioned pieces where I feel pressured to create some unachievable grand masterpiece for the buyer.

Can we see any of your art on display: Other than my website and private collectors, no. At least not until the summer.

Favorite Artists: Ann Gale, Gustav Klimt, Alex Kanevsky, Edward Hopper, Lucian Freud, and much more.

Favorite Bands: Neil Young, Neutral Milk Hotel, Local Natives, Sam Cooke, The Pogues

Favorite Books/Authors: James Baldwin, Virginia Woolf, Faulkner, Herman Hesse, Christopher Moore

What do you love about Oxford, and what do you wish you could change? Things that I love? The sense of community here is tremendous. People will band to start an art crawl, a baseball team, or a community musical. I love calling Oxford my hometown.

Things that I hate? Wednesday siren test time. Every week. I don’t understand, Oxford. I don’t understand. The Local Voice Ligature


LWest-Double decker


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About the Author

Nature Humphries is Editor-in-Chief of The Local Voice. Nature is originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, but moved to Oxford in 2004 after spending time in the United States Navy. She has also worked in the restaurant industry for many years as a server and a bartender. Nature graduated from Ole Miss in 2007 with a degree in English and Modern Languages.

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