Renowned for her impressionistic nature paintings of the California landscape, meet Lauren Forcella of Lauren Forcella Fine Art, in today's designer interview as she tells us more about she started a carer in being a fine artist and more about the painting technique “premiere coup.”

How did your brand begin?

I was practically dragged into art and nobody was more surprised than I that a wealth of talent was waiting for me to pick up a brush. At that time, I was focused on my writing career and a writer friend kept bugging me to attend a creative process group at a local art studio. She finally suggested I might be able to paint the illustrations for the children’s book I had just written. I thought, hmm, maybe I could do some cool first-grader art.

What a surprise when I picked up a brush! I was transformed after the first session. I had a latent talent I had no idea about and knew my life would change right then. I showed another friend the paintings and she promptly rented me an art studio and surprised me with the keys two days later. From there, the rest is history. Twenty-seven years later, I continue to be self-taught and just as surprised.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

Nature saved my childhood. I don’t know how I would have survived without the safe havens I found in the woods where I experienced a calm loving super-reality. At age 14, I heard about the Gaia Hypothesis and dedicated myself from there on out to working for Gaia. My first career was in Geology. I was a hydrogeologist. When that proved rotten with politics, I focused on writing.

When I discovered I could paint, there it was! Painting Gaia became my work. I am endlessly inspired by and grateful to nature. It is my great honour to paint the wild places on our beautiful planet as I see them, emotionally alive, loving, vibrant, and healing.

How are your products made?

My distinctive impressionistic style uses classic oils in a wet-on-wet technique that combines contemporary impressionism with occasional hints of expressionism and Plein-air. My paintings are drenched in bold colours and alive with movement and impasto (thick) brushwork.

Wet on wet is also referred to as “direct painting” or “au premier coup” meaning that each section of the painting is completed on the first pass. Drying and reworking are how most artists paint. I do not let things dry and rework. For me, this is the best way to impart the emotional vibrancy of our beautiful, deeply intelligent planet.

How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?

I strive to bring the emotionality of wild nature onto the canvas. I sincerely hope that when people experience my paintings and feel that emotionality, and that they find themselves more deeply connected to earth and nature. And from this connection, they commit to greater love and care for the planet.

Have you been featured in any exhibitions?

Yes, far too many to list here. From the very beginning of my painting career, I have been requested for several solo exhibits. At least half of each year, I participate in continuous exhibits, some of which overlap with each other!

Who is your favourite artist?

When I was seven years old, I saw a Van Gogh exhibit in the United States. Even at that young age, it profoundly affected me. Van Gogh is definitely a favourite. Another is Emily Carr.

What music inspires you to create new designs?

I don’t listen to recorded music in the studio. Instead, I carry on a running dialogue between myself and the painting I am working on, which includes bursting into song throughout the day. My life in the studio is a bit of a musical!

What drew you to JewelStreet?

I was drawn by the range and originality of the other artists represented. I thought I’d like to be part of that!

What is your favourite quote?

The famous biologist E O Wilson said, “The experience offered by nature is richer even than the human imagination.” I strive to translate that rich emotional experience onto the canvas, making the power of nature available to calm, heal, inspire, and bring joy.

Thank you for talking with us Lauren!

Discover more of Lauren's fine art creations on JewelStreet today.