Lindsey Lavender paints empty, atmospheric spaces. She is drawn to examining the relationship between made made and natural structures, how they contrast and how they echo one another. The spaces are familiar yet not, rendered with a painterly touch in cool earthy hues that imbue her subjects will a surprisingly contemplative stillness. As she awaits the outcome of being recently shortlisted for both the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize, we asked her questions about her life as a painter.
Lisa: Congratulations for being shortlisted for this year’s Ashurst Emerging Arts Prize! What does this mean to you?
Lindsey: Thanks! Being shortlisted was a huge surprise and a real affirmation of all my hard work. My confidence is easily dented so it’s great to have a big boost like this.
Lisa: How would you describe the subject matter you are drawn to?
Lindsey: I’m drawn to the interplay of light and structure; how sunlight falls on everyday things and makes them glow, transforming the ordinary.
Lisa:You have a background in architecture. How has this informed your artwork?
Lindsey: My study and practice of architecture spanned about fifteen years and has undoubtedly shaped the artist that I have become. I love architecture, structure, space, light, colour and how these interact. I find buildings relatively easy to draw and I’m sure this is, in some part, due to my understanding of how they are constructed.
Lisa: Do you have any favourite art materials? Any favourite brands?
Lisa: You have a very sensitive understanding of colour, often using a cool earthy palette. How do you select your colours?
Lindsey: I tend to restrict my palette, limiting my choices makes me really focus on the shade I’m trying to mix.
Lisa: What do you like best about working in acrylics?
Lindsey: I like that acrylics dry fast but sometimes this can be a hindrance too! It’s great to be able to layer and build colour using glaze mediums.
I like working in oils too but these behave very differently so I have to get into a different mindset for oil work.
Lisa: Do you have any favourite painters?
Lindsey: Currently my favourites are Marlene Dumas, Peter Doig, Joan Eardley, Luc Tuymans to name a few.
My all time art hero is Louise Bourgeois.
Lisa: How do you get into the right frame of mind for painting?
Lindsey: I tend to just get on with something and if the mood is right the piece works! There’s plenty to do in my job which doesn’t involve putting paint to canvas – paperwork, preparation of surfaces, admin, mounting, framing, labelling etc so I can be usefully busy when I’m not in a painting mood. Sketching is a great warm up before painting too.
Lisa: Where online or in the flesh can we see more of your work?
Lindsey: My work is available to see online on my website lindseylavender.co.uk and is fairly regularly exhibited especially in and around Edinburgh:
- EDS Gallery will be showing my work as ‘featured artist’ in their May exhibition (www.edsgallery.com)
- Gallery Heinzel, Aberdeen will be showing my work in October (www.galleryheinzel.com)
- I have had two paintings shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition so you never know I may have work at the RA this summer too!