Elizabeth Sage McLaurin and I have received the warmest feedback from readers about our exclusive landscape print series, that I’ve invited her to join me on the blog today for a quick Q& A before we kick off the 4th of July weekend! She was gracious enough to answer a few questions about herself and pull back the curtain to help Soph-isticated Style readers get a glimpse into the life of an artist and what inspires her the most.
Q: When did you know you wanted to pursue painting as a full time career?
A: It was certainly a process! I can’t pin down one point exactly where I made the choice. I began painting with oils when I was in high school, and quickly found a passion for it. When it came time to decide on a major for college, I was wildly impressed with the art program at Texas Christian University, and I was sold! I chose to be a Painting major and Business minor, not knowing where exactly it would take me. I began painting landscapes in my Junior year, and knew then that I wanted to chase a career in fine arts. I haven’t looked back since!
Q: How would you describe your “signature” style?
A: My style lands somewhere between realistic and Impressionistic. You can still tell what it is you’re looking at, but I paint with a flair that adds personality and my own expressive touch. My style is colorful and filled with a variety of brushstrokes and textures. The way I paint captures the vibrancy and variety of the natural scenes that I paint.
Q: What have been the greatest sources of inspiration in developing your aesthetic and decision to paint landscapes?
A: Without a doubt, my family’s farm in Southeast Texas is my #1 source of inspiration. Most of the scenes that I paint come from the same 80 acres of land. What I love about this place is that I can paint it over and over, but no two scenes are ever the same. The land is constantly changing with the seasons, weather, and time of day. The farm is an endless source of inspiration! Impressionistic painters such as Van Gogh and Monet are a major influence for me in terms of their use of color and painting aesthetic.
Q: Your landscapes are absolutely beautiful and instill an immediate sense of calm and whimsy. In your landscapes, you try to illustrate a wide range the elements of nature from the topography, weather and open spaces. Do you have a favorite type of landscape you naturally gravitate towards painting?
A: What and how I paint changes as the seasons do. When I’m painting a winter landscape, my painting style is usually smoother and less textured, reflecting the sense of quiet and dormancy of nature during the winter. Once Spring arrives, my style is textured, colorful, and lively. These types of paintings honor the colors and textures of fields of wildflowers, tall grasses, and a light-filled sky. No matter the season, though, I make sure to include both the land and the sky, and focus the relationship between the two.
Q: How do you decide which paintings to turn into prints?
A: I start from paintings that have already sold. Before I launch a collection, I take high quality photos of each piece just in case they become a print. If a collection sells out (which happens often!) I choose a small group of 4 or 5 prints that I believe reflect the collection as a whole. I make sure there is a range of colors and sizes reflected in my picks, and make sure my favorites make it in!
Q: What are the most important principles for homeowners to keep in mind when selecting what type of landscape to put in their home?
A: Size and color are two major players when selecting the best painting for a specific space. When you’re adding art to your home, you want the painting to reflect the scale of the wall it hangs on, so that it makes sense in the room. Also, making sure the colors in the artwork compliment other decorative choices can make the painting sing! The colors don’t necessarily have to coordinate with each color in the room, but even the smallest touch of a repeating color allows a painting to fit in with the rest of the room.
Q: What does the future hold for Elizabeth Sage McLaurin?
A: Paint, paint, paint! I’m expecting my first baby in September, so I’m planning to create as much as I can until he or she arrives! Until then, I’m booking commissions and planning collections so I can get in as much painting as possible. I plan on continuing to paint and grow my business once our baby comes, which will be an adjustment, but one I can’t wait to tackle.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: I just opened up my summer commissions! I only have a handful of spots available to complete commissions before the baby comes, so now is the perfect time to book! The commission process is so special and personal, and an experience that I recommend for anyone looking to start or grow their art collection!
I am lucky to be represented by some fantastic galleries in several states. You can find available work through Bee Street Gallery (https://beestreetgallery.com/artist/elizabeth-sage), Christenberry Collection (https://www.christenberrycollection.com/collections/elizabeth-mclaurin) and Liza Pruitt (https://www.lizapruitt.com/collections/elizabeth-sage-mclaurin). I will be releasing a collection of new work with Liza Pruitt in August, so keep an eye out!
P.S. A huge shoutout goes to LP Collective to introducing me to the work of Elizabeth Sage McLaurin and so many other incredible artists! If you are looking for new artists to follow, Liza Pruitt always has the inside scoop.