Meet Lana Köhn: Intro to Oil Painting on 4/10-11

We are excited to have Lana Köhn come to the LPP Workshop to teach an intro to oil painting class. The two day workshop will be from 4/10 to 4/11. We have a few more spots! Go to our online shop to sign up!

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A half Norwegian and half Mexican American born and raised in San Diego, CA, Lana grew up among paints and pencils. Once she realized this was her passion, she obtained a bachelors degree in the Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting and printmaking from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA.

Having always been fascinated by the human form, she is constantly exploring the figure in her work. Primarily using in oil paints, she often works in black and white to emphasize light and shadow within the human body. In her series, “Muse”, she simplifies the body to line work while still capturing the gesture of the form.  

Her latest series delves into a much more conceptual and experimental style as it consists of work on found bones. ”The Bone Series” began as an exploration of anatomical drawings which then evolved into actual bones being used as the primary medium. Each piece combines elements of geometric shapes, forms and color palettes found in nature in order to illustrate concepts of life and death simultaneously. The series aims to serve as a reminder of the density of life we are constantly surrounded by as well as its cyclical nature on both macro and micro levels. By reconstructing the bones within a frame, Lana asks the viewer to explore the figure’s relationship to bones that create it and the universe it which it resides. 

While working in many facets of the creative world, she continues to explore within her own artwork through painting, printmaking, photography, modeling and creative design.

LPP’s Dylan Johnson asked Lana a few questions about her inspiration and process within her paintings!

 

What was your first inspiration to start using bones as a medium?

I was sorting through old work from when I was still in school and came across all my old anatomy studies. I remembered how much I enjoyed drawing bones and skeletons so I started experimenting with incorporating them into my current work. One day my mom gave me a sacrum bone she had found while hiking in Half Moon Bay and I just thought it was so beautiful. It had been perfectly cleaned and bleach from the sun. Suddenly I had the idea of creating artwork on bones directly and the series took off from there.

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Most of you earlier work uses a very limited color palette of black and white. Did your Bone series start of black and white or did you know you wanted to use color with this series?

I still find myself very inclined towards black and white in my artwork. I feel it captures light and form in a way that would otherwise be distracting if portrayed in color. However, with the Bone Series, I knew I wanted to contrast the bare, raw and minimal characteristics of the bones with imagery that felt dense, organic and full life. As such, bright color palettes seemed inherent to the concept.

 

You seem to reference space/galaxies throughout your series. Is astrology something you’re interested in or is it just a happy accident?

What drew me to the idea of incorporating galaxies and space to my work, was not so much its relation to astrology but rather the idea of portraying something both literally and conceptually so large on something so small and intrinsic to life itself. Bones are the infrastructure and when it comes down to it, the bare essentials of what makes up our bodies so contrasting that against cosmic imagery presents this idea of “life” in micro and macro forms.

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What is your process when starting a new series of work?

Starting new work is always the biggest challenge for me. I think I spend the most time brainstorming and staring at blank canvases than the actual painting itself! I like to collect imagery and other sources of inspiration until I find an idea or medium that speaks to me.

Your Jellyfish series is beautiful. What drew you to the jellyfish and to juxtapose it to the female figure?

Thank you! The Jellyfish Series has been an ongoing body of work that started when I was in school. I’ve always been drawn to the fluidity and organic nature of jellyfish. There is something so captivating about their movement that also reminds me of the human form, specifically the female. To me they echo one another in the shapes they create so it only made sense to put them together in my artwork. Whenever I feel stuck or am in between other works, I return to this series as it remains a constant source of inspiration.

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