Charleston Creatives: Abstract Artist Lauren Neville

February 6, 2020

One of my favorite parts of decorating my Charleston home was getting to use art from amazing local Charleston artists to fully finish the spaces. Y’all know I’m an advocate for supporting local businesses, and this is no exception when it comes to the Holy City art scene, which is flourishing!

From the vibrant colors of Rainbow Row to the gorgeous beach views, there’s plenty in Charleston to inspire any artist, and the ones I’m featuring in this artist series certainly show it.

Lauren Neville is an abstract artist living in Mount Pleasant with her husband and two daughters. A self-taught artist, Lauren creates gorgeous canvas pieces with brilliant washes of color that go perfectly together. Her brushstroke-heavy artworks are organic and peaceful, and I actually commissioned a piece for my home. She also does sonogram artwork from voice or heartbeat sonograms, which is such a sweet way to incorporate beautiful and meaningful art in your home. I got together with Lauren to ask her about her experience as a Charleston artist and for some of her favorite Charleston recommendations:

How would you describe your art style?

Bold and bright colors that flow differently on each piece, sometimes on purpose, and sometimes on accident!

What got you started in creating art?

I’ve always enjoyed doing a lot of different types of art. I would say I am somewhat of a “self-taught” artist, because I didn’t study art in school or take any formal classes. I really started painting a lot after my first daughter, Anna Clare, was born 7 years ago. While on maternity leave, I needed a hobby to do while she was napping all the time, so I decided to start experimenting with different mediums and styles to see which ones I liked the best.

Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?

For my abstract pieces, I love going to the beach and taking pictures of the beautiful scenery! For my sonogram art, I am inspired by all the incredible baby stories I get to hear about, and the heartbeats I get to paint.

Do you have a favorite piece of art you’ve done or a color you particularly love to use?

My heartbeat sonogram art is by far my favorite art that I get to paint! There isn’t anything more reassuring and calming than hearing your baby’s heartbeat when you are pregnant, and I love the fact that I can capture that moment and paint these unique pieces for people to cherish forever.

What is the art scene like in Charleston?

It’s very popular! There are so many different types of styles of art everywhere you go, and that’s what makes it so unique.

What’s one tip you would give to people looking to decorate with art in their living spaces?

Whenever people send me pictures of their space, I try to visualize how the art piece would flow with the rest of the space. If the space is very colorful, I suggest keeping the art piece simple. If the space is very muted, I suggest adding pops of color to the art.

What’s the most challenging aspect of being an artist?

Trying to always be creative with new ideas!

When did you decide to leave your job and do art full-time?

I always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to one day pursue art full-time, I just wasn’t ready to stop teaching first grade! It was around this time last year that I realized I needed to stop either painting or teaching because doing both practically full-time was taking a toll on not only myself, but on my family as well.

Local Love

Favorite restaurant in Charleston for date night with your husband? The Macintosh

Best place in Charleston to eat with your kids? Anywhere noisy and laid back! We love Kickin’ Chicken, Home Team BBQ, and Leon’s Oyster Shop

Favorite art gallery in Charleston? I currently have my art in The Art Mecca of Charleston on King Street, but there are so many great art spots downtown!

Best place in Charleston to get inspired? The beach

Best family-friendly activity in Charleston? We love the Children’s Museum of Charleston and the South Carolina Aquarium

Best fried chicken in Charleston? Probably Leon’s

Best shrimp and grits in Charleston? So many great places! Hominy Grill is excellent!

Charleston tourist activity that’s worth the hype? Depending on the time of year, walking down by the Battery and Rainbow Row never gets old! It’s so beautiful and I wish I did it more often!

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