Seeing the Unseen in Your Art – Lauren Mantecón – Ep 63
January 4, 2023
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
Happy New Year everyone! I thought I would start 2023 by speaking with Santa Fe-based artist Lauren Mantecón. Her paintings are beautifully ethereal visual portals of mystery and spirit. Join us today for this illuminating conversation about the shifting revelatory process of art-making as fresh snow starts to fall outside Lauren’s studio window.
Listen if you are interested in…
- The mystery of art-making and how Lauren approaches her work [1:22]
- Defining the ethereal quality of Lauren’s art [8:57]
- Diving into Lauren’s background, her experience during the COVID pandemic, and the materials she uses in her studio [17:24]
- How Lauren fights to stay in a state of flow and the logistics of her art practice [31:14]
- Trusting your instincts and how Lauren mentors other artists [40:00]
- Lauren’s advice for artists to increase their sensitivity and passion [47:32]
Giving in to the mystery
Making art is like the making of a life. It’s an ebb and flow. This is especially true for Lauren Mantecón, who aims to create poetry with her work. It’s not so much about a trajectory but an inquiry into the state between life and death. For most of Lauren’s life, she has been acutely aware of the metaphysical world, and she detailed numerous experiences with loved ones visiting her before they pass on this episode. It’s this unexplainable ability to straddle the dimensional planes that inspires the art she brings to life. Over the years, Lauren has realized that she can’t force her mind into this empathic space. She views herself as a feminine receptor who is allowed moments of grace amidst hours of struggling with the construction of her paintings.
Prioritize your inner voice
As a teacher and mentor of artists, Lauren finds that many of her students struggle with finding their inner voice. She attributes this challenge to the amount of time spent on social media. Artists are not trusting their own instincts because they are bombarded by content they endlessly compare and contrast themselves with. The focus then becomes how to get likes instead of how to be true to their individual artistic expression. You should never base the direction of your art practice on social media engagement. You may even be good at the work you produce with this strategy, but you run the risk of losing your sensitivity and the whole reason you make art in the first place. We have to learn to trust our instincts because playing the comparison game on our phones is a dead end.
Staying connected to the work
Starting seems to be the universal struggle all artists face at some point. Usually more than once. Getting and staying in motion can feel impossible if it’s been a while since we’ve entered the flow state. One thing Lauren has found helpful is living with the work. Even if your studio isn’t a part of your home like hers, you can still take your unfinished paintings home. Losing momentum on a piece is hard when you see it every day on the way to the laundry room. Beyond physical proximity, Lauren’s recommendation for staying connected to our work goes a little deeper. She notes that every artist is passionate about something besides painting. Maybe it’s gardening or cooking? Perhaps you enjoy collecting or settling in with a beautiful old book of poetry. Whatever it is that lights you up inside, find a way to integrate that into a relationship with your art and watch the passion and sensitivity grow.
Resources & People Mentioned
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- William Turner
- Rudolf Steiner
- Joel-Peter Witkin
- Cindy Sherman
- Pat Steir
- Brian Rutenberg website and books
Connect with Lauren Mantecón
- Visit Lauren’s website
- Follow Lauren on Instagram
- Follow Lauren on Facebook
- Upcoming Workshops:
- Hear more from Lauren on Episode 8 of Knowing in The Bones with Tara Ocon
Connect with Nicholas Wilton and Art2Life
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- Follow Nicholas Wilton’s Art on Instagram
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the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.