Lauren Mary Barnett’s paintings provide beautifully observed glimpses of the outside/inside of urban life. The lights of neighborhood buildings and glances into and out of windows capture a powerful slanting mood. Intimate images, like gorgeously painted butter or dishes in a sink, preserve and elevate quiet important moments. The observation is equal parts tender and witty, and the movement from observing to capturing seems immediate and perfect, just the right strokes, the necessary color and movement of paint and light.
“I love the quiet beauty of landscapes and still life paintings and drawings, and I’m always fascinated by the moments throughout a regular day where something strikes me as beautiful or worthy of remembering. Even if it’s just the way the light is hitting a glass or a strange assortment of items on a table or power lines swooped in front of a house. And really these moments of beauty can be fleeting so it feels nice to capture them somehow. Making comics feels much louder in a way, so I like to retreat into these quieter drawings and paintings. My book “ruining your cat’s life” came out last year from Kilgore books and captures my comics during the early days of the pandemic plus includes some of my still life and landscape paintings. It was the first time I had collected comics and paintings into one book before. I have gone through many phases in making things, from drawing to paper mache to painting and back again, and I really like the freedom to use whatever material feels right in the moment.”
Lauren Barnett is a cartoonist and painter. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, the Washington Post’s The Lily, and Harper’s Bazaar Korea, among other publications. You can find daily comics and paintings on Instagram @laurenmarybarnett. Barnett is chief operating officer at Art21 and lives in Lambertville, NJ with her wife and a cat named Louise. Her work can be seen at melikesyou.com