A tangle of blooms, a snippet of blue sky, a shard of strong sunlight or the brief relationship between a favourite mug and a collection of fresh garden pickings.
Moving to a larger studio space has encouraged a freer and more expressive painting style. I have been experimenting with bigger surfaces, with wax and other grounds, working on many pieces at one time. This has allowed themes and processes to bubble and evolve, leading to a deeper exploration of thoughts and ideas.
I work from sketches and photographs mainly made in gardens. Back in my studio I use inks, oils, wax and drawing media to build layers of texture, mark and colour. Sometimes I remove entire sections of work to reveal the ghost of those marks, only to then work into them again.
My studio in an old mews workshop, making it beautifully cool in the summer months but ice cold in winter, so I paint the memories and experiences of the previous warmer months. It's as if I'm trying to conjour summer sunshine with paint.
Exploring the tick-tock of existence is my starting point when painting. I am inspired by our natural surroundings, seasonal changes and how this cycle both generates and recalls sensations and memories.
Time has lately been spent in gardens and beside lakes and exploring rock pools, drinking in the reflections and refractions and generating momentum for a new body of work. These evolving pieces are about shards of sunlight and snippets of blue skies between the tangle of growth; the above and the underneath; reflected and shaded; the crystal clear and the murkier, more confusing sides of things.
Attempting to capture this sense of something to do with humanity using coloured substances applied to a surface is compulsive and the flirt with that elusive creative magic is addictive.
Growing up in Brighton and the surrounding sea-side towns I was usually outside as a child - hanging upside down somewhere in the garden or mucking about down at the boat yard my Grandma ran. I loved the colours and the sounds there; the clatter of the riggings and the reflections on the water.
My family are a mix of eccentric creatives and ground-breaking engineers which meant anything was thought possible. Their conversations and actions instilled in me the idea of endless opportunities and no doubt made it relatively easy for me to follow my own path.
I studied art and arts management at Hastings Art College, Oxford Brookes and Sussex Universities and after graduation lived in Cyprus where I taught art at school level. Returning to Brighton in the late 1990's I founded FOUR-WALLS gallery which represents a select collection of talented artist friends and colleagues.
I returned to my own practice of painting in 2007 and regularly exhibit across the UK at art fairs and galleries. Having done a stint in London for a few years I returned to the South Coast in 2013 and now live in a house full of boys in Hove.
A new venture 'Lara Bowen Contemporary: Painters +' launched in the spring of 2019.