Call me Lena, that’s how I sign all my paintings anyway. I am a 2010 Graduate of College of the Ozarks with a BA in Studio Art, Painting. I was raised in the mountains and plains of Colorado on small hobby farms, near agricultural towns. I have always loved art and animals.
When I was young I loved playing with our puppies, kittens, goats, frogs, craw-dad’s, or even ant farms. I spent a lot of time taking care of baby animals that needed mommies. When I wasn’t feeding or playing with the critters I was getting down on all fours and barking, meowing and romping like one of them. For the smaller critters, I loved to create miniature habitats for frogs, snakes and lizards which I caught. I wanted to create a little worlds which I could watch. I always wondered what it would be like to be an animal.
Coupled with my love for animals was my love for art. I used my experience and love for animals to study and draw their every whisker. As a youngster I only worked in pencil, copying photographs as accurately as I could. Then colored pencil and pastel and the challenges that came with colors. At the age of twelve I began experimenting with painting, especially acrylic, which I still prefer. I have been entering shows and doing commissions ever since.
In 2005, my sister, mother and I left Colorado and moved to Missouri, where I now draw inspiration from the Ozark culture.
When it came time to decide whether to go to college, art was the deciding factor. I don’t think I would have gone to college at all if I couldn’t have majored in art. It was the only thing I knew I could do. And I am glad I did. In the art department at College of the Ozarks I was challenged to think outside of my box. I learned to ask myself challenging questions like, ‘why do I paint what I do?’ Through the practice of self-analysis I learned that I am influenced by my life-styles. I like to paint things that I know. I am attracted to subjects which have irony and sometimes that irony is multi layered. I like to dramatize insignificant aspects of nature like a frog’s eye or life from a turtle’s view. I like to put the viewer in the subject’s world, like a playful version of Bernini from the 17th Century.
Perhaps art is my new way to get into those other worlds that I once wanted so much to be a part of. Now all I have to do is imagine it and paint it, and everyone can go there with me! It’s all in the Perspective!