By Henry Long
“I’m as much a work in progress as anything I may be working on,” said artist Laura Letchinger, “experimentation is not only how I learned to paint, but also how I came to be the person I am.” Letchinger is a self-taught artist who returned to her childhood passion while raising her own kids in Los Angeles.
Letchinger started making art again in 2012. “It transported me to a space of renewal, which I really needed. I had no expectations except to authentically connect with the energy that was fueling that creative expression.” A friend suggested she should try to sell her paintings online. Starting first with Etsy, Letchinger then began selling directly from her website. Her work is now exhibited in private collections and commercial properties across the US and abroad.
For Letchinger, the key to creating is dialed-down thinking. “For me, the painting process is successful when my analytical mind is pretty much absent and I’m in partnership with that larger creative source that informs all sorts of human activity . . . my particular activity happens to be painting.” Often starting early in the day, she primarily devotes her time to making art. “Much of that time can be spent looking at a work in progress and waiting for the next move to become apparent, but then again, sometimes it all just pours out in a big wave. For me there’s a lot of value in not being in control of everything.”
Letchinger lived in Chicago during much of the 1990’s and explained how her daily interaction with graffiti during that time influences her art today. “It was a big part of the city landscape. Layers of new vibrant colors over old fading compositions on top of even older brick buildings created a really fantastic visual; the energy of it, the unknown stories behind it, resonated with me.” Her late-night winter bike rides home from a restaurant job included passing by a working foundry. She described how the glowing heat of red hot metal escaped into the dark, cold street through an open loading dock. “Opposites playing off each other really inspired me,” said Letchinger. “I found it all extremely beautiful and energizing. That imagery fueled the poetry I wrote at the time and I can definitely see its influence in many of the paintings I make now.”
Letchinger has invited Piece by Piece, a mosaic arts nonprofit in Los Angeles, to exhibit alongside of her. Included in the exhibition will be a 5’ by 5’ mosaic interpretation of one of Letchinger’s paintings. The artist will be donating 10% of her sales throughout the run of the exhibition (October 4 – October 7, 2018) to the Skid Row based nonprofit.
The artist reception for “CONNECTION” will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2018, from 6- 9 p.m. Meet the artist Laura Letchinger and find out more about Piece by Piece at Castelli Art Space, located at 5428 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016; (310) 204-6830; https://www.castelliartspace.com,