Laurel Holloman: "I think Tina and Bette are still happily married; I'm a romantic!"
The actor-turned-artist on painting, passion and The L Word.
Laurel Holloman captured our hearts as Tina in The L Word and Randy in The Incredibly True Adventures Of Two Girls In Love, but did you know she’s also a brilliant artist? With an upcoming exhibition at London’s Bankside Gallery, it's the perfect time for us to catch up with Laurel, find out about her latest projects and, of course, reminisce over The L Word.
DIVA: You create such beautiful art. Where do you find your inspiration?
LAUREL HOLLOMAN: I find my inspiration from nature and the photographs I take on my Nikon. For the large scale abstracts, I work in a very different way. They start off more unplanned and they are often more improvised. The earlier pieces have their own language and symbolism. They were mostly inspired by other painters like Paul Klee. The Necessity of Affection is a good example of that. My later work is mostly inspired by the garden in front of my house in Venice Beach.
Sounds heavenly. Who are some of your favourite artists?
My all time favorite artist is Gustav Klimt ... to me he has captured magic and emotion and I never stop loving the work. For more modern painters, I love Mark Bradford and Julie Mehretu. I also love Georgia O Keefe.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love my job because it is challenging and I learn something new every exhibition. I also love the quiet of working alone each day, although sometimes it can be long and lonely days. I paint 40 to 50 hours a week. I work Sundays when I don't have my kids. I still prefer it (painting) to being on a set. I have discovered I am more introverted with age, but people that know me well say I have always been an introvert.
The Incredibly True Adventures Of Two Girls In Love is very close to my lesbian heart. What’s your favourite 90s flick?
My favourite 90s film is High Art and Bodies, Rest and Motion.
Talking of all-time faves, what's your favourite episode of The L Word?
The first Pilot. I just felt something magical was happening and it was the first time I felt proud and challenged in a while. And simply just excited to go to work everyday! Also the episode John Curran directed where he shot me nude pregnant on the bed. My daughters foot is in the shot and she was born the next day. That was surreal.
I bet! Let’s play a game of Snog, Marry, Avoid. Who would Tina snog/marry/avoid out of Helena, Alice and Shane?
She would snog Helena - which she did! - avoid telling Alice too much because she is a gossip and she would drink with Shane!
What do you think Tina and Bette would be doing now?
I think Tina and Bette are happily married! I'm a romantic.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Follow your heart, do not try to be everyone's cup of tea. To be a true artist you have to stop worrying about being liked. I rarely look for the result or approval. I am looking to grow on the journey and express it in paint, and take risks ... like not painting the same thing over and over. Gerhard Richter changed styles quite a bit and said "style" itself is violent and he is not a violent person. I feel comfort in that quote, and find inspiration in it and I relate to it.
Laurel's Fertile Ground exhibition is at London's Bankside Gallery 4 - 16 July. For more information visit banksidegallery.com/exhibitions/157.
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