Every once a while an artist takes you by surprise. Not so much because of what they do, but how they do it. Lauren Gray's work is ethereal, soft spoken, gentle and timeless. I cannot take my eyes from it. Everytime I enter her Etsy shop, GrayArt, I am enthralled by the beauty of her images.
There is a vintage feel to her work, as if it has existed for ages. When I first saw her work, I thought she was a charcoal artist using various shades of brown. I love the soft, slightly fuzzy look of charcoal sketches, so I was immediately charmed by her work. Especially as the brown colors she used was reminiscent of sepia toned prints, which I adore. You cannot imagine my surprise when I discovered that she does all of her drawing on wood with a wood burning tool. I have never seen such delicate work done with this technique.
Lauren describes her work as follows:
"I am a small format figurative artist (all pieces 5" x 7" or smaller). All of my original artwork is pyrography (woodburning) and oils mixed media. All of my artwork is original and hand drawn onto wood (italian poplar, or baltic birch) using a burning unit and burning pens. I like subtle color and the texture of the paint, so in most pieces I apply oil paint as well.
Aside from my visual art pieces, I also like to create one of a kind jewelry pieces, bookmarks and other items, all of which feature original art and make for great gifts.
All of my prints are from a top of the line archival epson. It prints what it see's. The originals were created on wood, wood has natural variances in its surface (darker spots, divets. etc.) all of which lend to the beauty of the artwork. These natural blemishes DO show up in the prints. They are not defects in the print themselves, but are a natural part of the original artwork"
I asked Lauren for a little information about herself as an artist and she provided me with a brief bio from the Create, Collect, Trade 2008 book that she is featured in:
"My name is Lauren Gray and I am a 28 year old self-taught artist living in Pennsylvania. Like many artists, I discovered a love for the arts at a very young age. I grew like many artists who have had no formal art training, through trial and error. I have experimented with all mediums and styles and slowly evolved to where I am now...continually changing, learning and most importantly, practicing every day. The main constant in my work, one that will never change, is my love for the figurative arts. I love energy, expression and attempting to bring the figure to life.
In 2005 I discovered Pyrography. Pyrography is the art of drawing an image onto wood using a hot tool. It is more commonly referred to as woodburning, or “writing with fire” as it was described in the past. It is one of the more challenging and time consuming mediums I have worked in, but I feel the end result offers a classic beauty that truly is unique to the medium.
I have been selling my art privately and online since 2002. You can learn more about me and my art at LGrayArt.com."
I think you will agree that she has succeeded in bringing the figure to life in her artwork. Lauren offers originals as well as ACEOs and limited editions of her work in her Etsy store. She also has bookmarks (which sell out fast, so if you see one in her shop, grab it!) and Tagua Nut pendants and is soon to offer wooden bangle bracelets.
Lauren has written quite an informative explanation of the process involved in doing Pyrography on Tagua Nut here in the description of her pendant. I highly recommend visiting her Etsy store and discovering for yourself the incredible talent this young lady has.