Name: Laurie Tennent
Hometown: Birmingham, MI
Currently Living: Birmingham, MI
Nature captured in such sophisticated simplicity, Laurie creates an ever-lasting image that stands the force of the elements. A feat that allows viewers to see their favorite botanicals in every season, all year round!
Her artist statement, “Complexity of character, masculine and feminine, intimate yet bold, sensual yet strong: My photographs are an exploration of these dualities. By exaggerating the inner architecture of plant life, I offer the viewer a chance to become confronted by and immersed in nature.” Read on to learn more about Laurie Tennent, her life, and art!
When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?
I started in College I went to Center for Creative Studies in Detroit and majored in photography.
Describe your aesthetic in three words:
Dancing with plants.
Describe your artistic process and preparation?
I am drawn to every detail in nature and collect specimens wherever I go. Some I need to photograph immediately and other dry out and become more interesting. So I have a vast collection of plants drying .
Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?
That’s hard to say I fall in love over and over again. This week it’s “Dahlia Explosion”.
Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?
My mother was an amazing artist and gardener… she left us too soon with early onset dementia, I feel I’m carrying on her spirit.
What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?
Copyright infringement… with everything online people can use your images without permission.
How do you approach/overcome them?
It’s just part of the game now. The benefits of Instagram and websites outweigh the negative aspects.
Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)?
Personally, overcoming breast cancer and professionally doing what I love with passion everyday!!!
Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?
Any garden anywhere…. I work at night either at my studio or at home, with music playing. When I’m on location at a garden, I set up a mobile studio in any dark room I can find.
A random fact about you:
I was a polo player.
Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?
I love to travel, I adore Paris and think I must have lived there in a past life. I dream of going to Morocco and Shanghai.
What are you currently reading?
Botany in a Day … patterns and methods of plant identification Thomas J. Elpel.
What are you currently listening to?
I love all Spanish guitar, piano jazz, rap, anything I can dance around the studio to. I also like podcasts of Krista Tippit “On Being”.
What would you be doing if you were not an artist?
I’d be a biologist. I wanted to be a marine biologist, I just met and worked with a marine botanist that would be incredible.
One thing you couldn’t live without?
If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?
Edith Piaf, so I could sing in french!!!!!
Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?
Damian Hirst, Ai Wei Wei, and Alexander McQueen.
Travel the world to botanical gardens for a year culminating with the publishing of a book of the work.
What makes your work unique?
I follow the rich tradition of the Dutch masters in my lighting technique, I would like to think that the work is created in in the spirit of Botanical Illustration with a contemporary approach.
Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years:
Have a show in the Majorelle Garden in Morocco and Shanghai Botanical Garden.
To view all available works by Laurie Tennent at ANFA Gallery, please visit here!
Visit her personal website here, for products and events!
—Written by, Sophie Lane at ANFA Gallery