Hello Lucky Things. Well, one of the best things about having a blog is getting to approach talented people and asking them about what inspires them. So on my blog wish list for 2016, I wanted to feature the artist Anna Laurini. You may have spotted her work on Lucky Things via Instagram. We were supposed to grab a coffee back in December but Anna was getting busy with end of year commissions from clients. What a great way for Anna to end 2015.
Then earlier this year I found out that her Faces exhibition was taking place in London for about 10 days at the start of March (ah the power of Instagram). One of my favourite months of the year, by one of my favourite streets in London and I get to see one of my favourite artist’s work all in one place.
So I turned up at the Percy Street W1 pop up gallery to have a good browse. A nice bright day so the sunshine bounced off Anna’s work in the front window. I dropped Anna a line that day to see if she’d be around the gallery to meet up. It was good timing as when I arrived I was told that Anna had just popped out and wouldn’t be long. So it was pretty cool getting to chat to Anna about her story against the backdrop of her live art and her favourite metallic blue paint drying…
“Let our children play”…One of the main reasons I wanted to feature something about Anna Laurini on Lucky Things is that she called a piece of her commissioned art “Let our children play”. I think this must have been one of first Anna Laurini drawings I came across in Old Street, spotted on the front of an Old Street building by Great Eastern Road towards the end of one of my street art buggy strolls.
The title of this painted image was inspired by the lyrics of a Doors song “Let your children play”. The owner of the building and Anna then talked about changing the drawing’s title to let OUR children play which I loved even more. On my mat leave travels about London Town over the past 12 months, I’d keep spotting more and more of Anna’s drawings on street corners, pavements and brightening up building sites. Even though there could be tired days with ups and downs, spotting Anna’s work always makes me smile.
Anna’s first and main focus of her art was canvas. Then about 3 years ago her striking painted faces started popping up on walls and streets around London. Her urban street art portfolio includes her simplistic brush stroke painted face but also beautifully decorated paper clippings of her sketches. Not a spray can in sight as Anna still uses a small pot of paint and a paintbrush for her urban gallery.
I managed to take Baby Munch and Toddler Munch to see Anna’s Percy St exhibition on another day. Toddler Munch loved walking on the floor art by the window (kids were allowed to do this) and Baby Munch loved crawling towards the bold colours and black lines. Luckily Toddler Munch didn’t start helping herself to paint at Anna’s piece of live art studio. I think she was secretly impressed to see a real life grown up artist at work.
Colours are wonderful things…This weekend, my bright yellow pleated skirt was a cute conversation starter at my NCT pal Lady SW’s Farewell London party. We chatted about how important it is to wear bold colours. Chats covered yellows, to Lady R and Lady N’s stunning red vintage outfits and not forgetting the debate about whether Mr JW should wear a grey or mint green suit to a wedding (obviously my recommendation was to go for the mint green).
Ok back to Anna and how she chooses her colours for her paintings. Anna is really into blue (hence her Insta and Facebook names). So much so that the metallic blue she uses can only be found in Italy. She’s been using this special blue for about 10 years now and loves anything that goes with it. She loves using contrast colours like yellow and metallic gold as she feels they work well with her imagery which is so simple. Colours are fundamental for Anna too. It can feel a bit limiting when clients ask her to do pieces in just black and white.
So what are Anna’s 3 lucky things?Painting, cycling and music, from jazz to The Doors. Her favourite song at that moment was “You are here” by Nathan Fake. It has classical elements, some piano and a mixture of house techno. She’s listened to this tune everyday for past couple of months. I know that feeling when you can never get bored of a song. Plus some Miles Davis as her top favourite of all time is his Kind of Blue album.
Letting our children play with art…I asked Anna for any top tips for parents and carers to encourage the artistic side of our little people. Anna told me art has to come from the kids themselves. If the child is really interested in something then it’s much easier to motivate them. It’s easy to make them to get into something a bit more if the enthusiasm is already coming from the child. So it’s not about pushing them into art or other things, otherwise you could risk making them hate doing something.
A little more about Anna’s love of London… She’s been living in London on and off for 15 years now and she’s very happy to be based here. She loves London as it has become her home after so long.
When things get tough what’s Anna’s lucky saying or motto? What saves her and distracts her from her mind when things get tough is painting. Anna tells me when you put your energy into something productive and invest your energy into something good it can make things so much better. I get where she’s coming from. I know with my own little creative avenues they can be pretty therapeutic.
Anna goes on to mention her favourite philosopher Seneca. Seneca’s words and quotes are about being strong and so she often uses his quotes with her art. Bloggers really love sharing quotes and nice sayings. Here are some of Seneca’s words for you “One of the most beautiful qualities of friendship to understand and be understood”. Another nice quote is “Life is long if you know how to use it”. Both quotes rang true for me at the weekend. It’s funny as when I said goodbye to my dear friend Mummy SW on Saturday night (who’s moving to San Fran) we talked about how you can make your life feel longer by filling it with adventures and being open to the changes life brings us.
If Anna wasn’t a painter what else would she love to be…Perhaps a writer like a story teller or a filmmaker. I like it how Anna’s paintings already tell little stories through the snappy quotes like “get closer” and “stay in love” (my all time favourite Anna Laurini piece).
I told Anna about when things were a kind of blue of me. I could see she was happy knowing her art made me smile. She loves it when others get pleasure from enjoying looking at her art and why wouldn’t she? So thanks Anna for sharing your beautiful friendly faces with us and the rest of London Town. Looking forward to spotting more of them as we enjoy lucky things around London…
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