Lara Plecas

In my work, I explore the connection between human emotion and our environment. We have a deep personal connection with the places where we visit and live, as well as, the experiences that may have endured there.

21 December 2010

Phoenix Egotists article

Territorial Nature - Lara Plecas

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On November 19th, Lara Plecas opens her exhibition, “Territorial Nature,” at Eye Lounge, starting at 6 pm. According to Plecas, her encaustic works “explore the connection between people and their environment . . . The problems of the past continue to trickle down through time; often repeating themselves; whereas animals learn to adapt.” Take in some luscious artworks, and enjoy some special musical performances by Snow Songs, Project, and Monophonic Hillside. Music gets started at 9 pm.

Interview and artwork preview, after the jump.

What was your motivation behind your current exhibition?

History . . . I find it fascinating to rediscover the past, how man has struggled and shaped our future. I am really interested in the lives and struggles of the native peoples of the United States. We have a dynamic and often tragic history here in America. The native people had to fight and often surrender their land to new settlers that had immigrated to the United States. I have a very diverse background, and my ancestors' struggles are of great interest to me.

How does the medium you work with affect your subject matter?

The subject matter has a life of its own, it is an idea or feeling really . . . The medium is just one way to convey these ideas in a visual context.
Roots: Lara PlecasRoots: Lara Plecas
What do you feel makes you stand out?

I am one of the few artists around that has chosen to work in encaustic, which is a wax- and resin-based medium. It is applied while it is warm and in a fluid state, and presents more of a challenge when working in the desert climate. I am grateful that I haven't encountered any real issues with shipping or working during the summers here, but I admit it was intimidating when I was first starting out.
Northern MigrationNorthern Migration
I am a working artist, and I devote much of my free time to painting. I have a day job that I work at five days a week that is very flexible. I can usually be found at my studio working evenings after work and on my days off. I have often pondered working full time as an artist, but it isn't easy. I have been reluctant to give up the security of health insurance and 401k that my job offers. It may take me longer to accomplish my own goals with painting, but I am constantly growing as an artist and serious about my intentions.

How does the space in which you create influence your paintings?

I can see a huge influence that living in Arizona has on my work. The colors are soft and subtle, and I am continuously drawn back to the horizon.
The Artist's StudioThe Artist's Studio
Are you a Phoenix native?

I was born and raised in a small town in Kankakee, Illinois. I moved out here the summer of 1996 to go to college at A.S.U., and never left . . .

Who are your cultural influences?

I am influenced by so many things, people, places . . . I think I am always gathering inspiration throughout my life. I have to say that the places I have visited have left a strong impression: Espana, Australia, Costa Rica. I am a huge sucker for an open road in the countryside . . .
Artists that have strongly made an impact on me would be: Egon Schiele, Goya, Agnes Martin, Andy Goldsworthy, Vincent Van Gogh, Odd Nerdrom & Tony Scherman.

Ed. Note: Want to know how to create encaustic art? Workshop details to follow.

Images courtesy and copyright of Lara Plecas.

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