Meet the artist - Laurie Mansur

Poppies by Laurie Mansur - pastel

This month we are featuring interviews with the artists who are in our upcoming art show - sight/unseen - at The Artist's Den in Concord, May 21-26, 2016.

This is Laurie Mansur - what do you like most about living in Concord?

I love living in Concord because it provides the best of many worlds. It's a small town in the midst of a major metropolitan area, so we get to have the quiet, slower pace, open space and access to nature, but also we have many influences of the cities of Oakland and San Francisco, like a rich cultural and economic diversity.

What medium(s) do you plan to use in your piece for this show?
This piece will be something new for me, and it has been both exciting and terrifying. I typically paint in oils or pastels, but this project is going to be a bit more mixed media. So I'm exploring both internally and with the media. I am totally out of my comfort zone, which is a really good thing. I'm not sure where it's going to end up to be honest, but I like where it's going so far.
Any new techniques or materials you've learned about recently?
When I started using pastels about a year ago, it was very freeing. I was looking for ways to keep my strokes loose, so I learned to paint with pastels without smudging or blending them, just layering. In this way, every stroke is important and choosing the correct color is also important with each stroke. I have to really analyze what I see and get it right the first time, otherwise it's easy to make a muddy mess.

Hollyhocks by Laurie Mansur - pastel

How long have you been making art?
I have been making art since I was little. Drawing, crafting, painting...those were all favorite pastimes growing up. I studied art history in college, and so I learned about world history, politics and religion through its art. 
What has been the best advice you've received as an artist?
I really started growing as an artist when I met Patsy Taylor. She is a local Concord artist and also a wonderful teacher. The most important thing she taught me was to keep trying - that art is like other activities, in that there are basics you must learn in order to be successful, and that anyone who wants to make art CAN learn to do it. We so often associate art with talent and assume that artists are born being able to draw or paint or sculpt, but the truth is we have just spent probably more time learning and practicing than the average person.
What is your best advice for a new artist?
I would say two things - first is to learn about the business side of art when you are starting out. Realize that if you are an artist, you will likely also be an entrepreneur, so what does that mean in terms of making a living? What will your options be? It's important to remember that in order to do what you love you have to be able to support yourself (unless you are lucky!). And the second thing is don't give up. If you want to be an artist, do it and don't let people talk you in to a more "practical" career. There are so many options, but you really have to be an advocate for yourself and your future.

1 comment:

  1. So true about being an artist and having to be an entrepreneur as well. I think this comes as a surprise to some people.


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