Lauren Barksdale Hill small4

"A painter at heart,
Barksdale leads
a new generation
of artistic creators and innovators
in Baton Rouge."
- In Register 2009

Lauren Barksdale Hill


Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lauren Barksdale Hill has grown up with a passion for art. Whether painting, drawing, collecting other artists’ work, or visiting museums and galleries, art has been a significant part of Lauren’s life. As a small girl, she would spend hours in her grandmother’s studio painting and drawing. She majored in Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design and also Business at Louisiana State University. One year before graduation, at the age of twenty-one, she turned her illustrations into a stationery line and created her company, Elle Alexandra. Her business has proved to be worth all the hard work. Currently, Elle Alexandra cards are available through her website (www.ellealexandra.com) as well as shops all over the country. Throughout, she has continued to paint and explore her passion for fine arts. Using mixed media including aqua oils and acrylics, she creates a variety of works. She especially enjoys painting the figure and abstract compositions and she continues to explore new media and subject matter.


Statement


Growing up in my grandmother’s studio, I have always had an appreciation for art. I started experimenting with pastels, watercolor, and oil paints at a young age trying to imitate my grandmother’s technique. She enrolled me in adult art classes at the age of seven. I remember seeing things around me that I longed to draw. I’d study the objects and render their contour edges with my pencil. Over the years, my technique has evolved from tight realistic drawings to graphic illustrations and now, contemporary abstract paintings. For the artistically inclined, drawing what you see is very straightforward. You know where to begin and what it will become. Breaking from realism has been exhilarating. Abstract art incorporates so much of who I am. I put my experiences and feelings on the canvas and hope that people will look at my work and take away their own experience.


My goal with each painting is to organize and group the different parts to achieve a unified whole. Trained with a concentration in graphic design, I begin each composition using a grid. I layer mostly acrylic paint to create rich texture. The vibrant colors generate visual energy and by juxtaposing those colors and shapes, my pieces become less structured. The relation of lights and darks create a sense of depth. In addition, I often incorporate drawing into my paintings by layering crayon line drawings on top of the painted surface. I particularly like drawing the figure and natural objects. The contrasting organic lines atop rigid layers of color become enchanting. This technique combines my passion for drawing and my passion for painting. I finish my work off with a glossy varnish so that each piece is like a precious jewel.


I feel very fortunate to be doing what I love and it is really gratifying when someone finds pleasure in what I’ve created. Enjoy!