It seems that in this moment in time, everyone has a blog, everyone has a talent they want to share, a following they want to cultivate, a business (or two) they want to get off the ground… It can be difficult to separate the wheat from the shaft in this bottomless pit of internet, but painter Laura Krudener and her blog Among The Colors definitely needs to be known. Personally, Laura is my Goop– my go-to resource for recipes for food and living. Painting is her first love, and, as she discusses below, the one thing that informs all others-
How would you describe your art? Contemporary abstraction. My paintings are layered expressions of poured paint, drawn and painted line work, and a reverence for the space holding these moments together.
Who or what influences you/your work? Where do you draw your inspiration? My work in an art historical sense is influenced by the surrealist work of Max Ernst, the color field work of Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis, and the poured techniques of Jackson Pollock. From a contemporary perspective, my work is inspired by many things, from quantum physics to gardening, from the fashion and design industries to topographic photography of the earth. That’s what makes it contemporary, its vulnerability to a multitude of influences, inspirations and contemplation.
Describe the process of creating your art? How do you begin? How long does it typically take to complete a piece? How do you know when something is done? My paintings are each informed through a series of created movements from the paint itself. Each layer of movement informs the next, be it poured paint or drawn line. I like to work on 5 or so paintings at once, bouncing back and forth between them. I work horizontally and on the floor. Each layer of acrylic paint takes any where from one day to several days to dry, so it is good to have many in process paintings going at once. Often what happens in one painting will inspire a reaction in a different painting in the series. It is great fun to see how the paintings converse with each other.
Which of your pieces are you exceptionally happy with/proud of? Why? Each painting I finish I am happy with for different reasons. Each painting is a mystery unto it’s own. If I am not happy with a painting, it doesn’t resolve itself into a complete painting. If a painting is really rubbing me the wrong way, I try to find a way to look at it differently and figure out what it wants next. Sometimes this is simply not possible, and then the painting and I part ways. The painting gets destroyed and the stretcher bars reused. Destruction is part of the creative process. If I am not going to be happy with a painting, that painting gets destroyed. This may sound a little harsh, but it is also very liberating. Who am I to think every painting I embark upon is going to be good? And at the same time, if I am I not going to be happy with a painting, then why put it out into the world? I only want to share work with others that strikes me in a certain way, makes me feel something, be it happiness, wonder or in the best of cases, freedom.
What are your goals for this year? The next 5 years? This next year I am taking some time to experiment with new processes within my methods of painting. I am really intrigued by natural dyes and pigments and bringing these items into my painting vocabulary. It’s a cool opportunity for me to bring my love of gardening into the painting process. I am giving myself permission to learn something new and see how that will apply to a process I have been seriously invested in for about 9 years. It’s time to enter this process from a new entry point. I want to take this next year and discover these new spaces and how to bring them to the work.
As for 5 years, my goals in 5 years from now are for the work to be in a place that I can not yet imagine. My goal is for the work to guide me, surprise me, and whisper the way. Some of best advice I received in graduate school was from a favorite mentor of mine, Linda Bessemer. She urged for me to focus on the work, not the career. The career will come if the main focus is on the work itself. That isn’t to say that I don’t stay up on my website, networking, social media, etc. etc. But my commitment in all of this is to the painting. Painting is what I am dedicating my life to, not a career in art. A career in art is a necessary part of me doing what I love, but it isn’t the goal… It’s the agreement.
What is your favorite part of being an artist? Least favorite? Being covered in paint, staring deep into the mystery of a painting, and not having a clue what to do next. Listening and waiting for creative inspiration to strike. Being at the humble mercy of the paintings themselves. This is my favorite part of being an artist. Least favorite? The negativity people put on the “burden” of being an artist. I feel it’s out dated and it’s a sad trap artists fall into. Art doesn’t owe us anything. The creative process doesn’t owe us anything. The art world doesn’t owe us anything. If you want to make art, then make art. But don’t feel like it is the art’s job to totally support you financially or that the art world owes you something. That is putting too much negativity and pressure on the work itself, and limits the freedom of the creative process.
Fill in the blank: I wouldn’t be caught dead ___. I wouldn’t be caught dead putting nothing on my walls. I don’t think it matters what you put on your walls, as long as it is something that reflects your personality, spirit, history, or evokes a memory. Walls are spaces yearning to tell a story; use them to tell yours.
Which contemporary artists do you admire? So many, but specifically as painters: Julie Mehretu, Mark Bradford, Chris Offili, and Marilyn Minter. Most recently I was introduced to the work of Dustin Yellin. Mind blown.
What are some of your other interests/hobbies? Dancing. I have been a dancer my entire life, technically before I was a painter. Now I take modern dance classes once or twice a week. It makes my soul sing, and that is important. Writing, cooking, gardening, traveling, and skiing. And design. I have been a designer for the past 15 years alongside my art. I have worked in the textile industry, fashion industry and furniture industry. I have a lot of inspirational points and interests. I am very ADHD. That is one of the things that led me to start my blog, Among the Colors. I needed an outlet to express all these other creative passions that were pulling at my heart strings, and also figure out how they relate to my painting.