Lauren Lester's Watercolor Paintings


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Featured Artist for the month of June

Instead of Open Studios this year I will be at:

reception Friday, June 2, 2017 6-9 PM I will be there! Come and say hi!

Strawberry Rock Gallery

342 Main Street, near Murphy's Market, Trinidad




Rock, Paper, Glitter 

Lauren Lester at Plaza Grill and Seana Burden at Bang! Bang! Vintage



August is a disunited month in a college town. Summer's heat may have reached its peak, but minds are already shifting back to school. Many galleries take an August break to prepare for the fall season's September kickoff. However, this month two local businesses feature one-woman shows worth your while.

Cool off with dynamic visions of the Trinity Alps by watercolor specialist Lauren Lester at the Plaza Grill. Or ratchet up the heat by taking in Seana Burden's tiny, glittery paintings, which are squeezed salon-style into the narrow confines of Bang! Bang! Vintage in a claustrophobic but highly effective display. Why not do both? It's less than a five-minute walk, and the shows could not be less alike.

Lester's skillfully executed watercolors depict places in the Northern California wilderness. Titles indicate that most are places the artist has personally visited and sketched. Some depict points in the Trinity Alps or even more proximate peaks. There is one small, beautiful view of nearby Horse Mountain on a snowy morning. Quite a few works show scenic passages of the John Muir Trail, a route that winds some 200 miles through the wild heart of the Sierra Nevada. These are places far from any road, accessible only by several days' journey on foot. In other words, the views are genuinely rare.

These are emphatic watercolors. Lester uses a wide range of contrast, and she wields an active, energetic line. Brushstrokes that look like expressionistic passages of pigment at close range snap into focus and acquire a startling reality when seen from greater distance. Mountains seem dynamic, and their granite forms convey a coiled energy. They make you think about the potential force in the hearts of rocks. David Rains Wallace wrote that rocks in the Klamath Mountains are "athletic rocks, at times prankish," and you could say the same of the ones in these pictures.

Lester's compositions emphasize the weird, fleeting moments when our view of nature organizes itself into symmetry — a symmetry that always impresses us, deus ex machina, as though following some mysteriously ordained plan. She shows us peaks whose pyramidal forms are doubled in the glassy surface of the lakes beneath them and chevron-shaped cloud formations that replicate the shape of a river's two banks with uncanny precision. Her subjects reveal an affinity for sights that blur boundaries between the terms "nature" and "culture."


Read the full article here: Rock, Paper, Glitter

About the Artist

I grew up in remote mountains far from distractions of neighbors and electricity. I found peace and meaning in nature. My childhood experiences formed me. Being in nature slows life down for me, whether I’m alone or with family and friends. There I find a sense of belonging and place.


Painting landscapes connects me to our natural world. It is my gift back to my favorite places. I have three daughters and a loving husband with whom I’ve shared many joyful times in these landscapes. Once home, I paint from my own photographs. Through these paintings I revisit both the memories and landscapes themselves.

*Some paintings are for sale. If you are interested in purchasing a painting, or cards  please contact me regarding sale availability and price. Thanks!