The passions of the arts run deep, as they have with San Luis Obispo artists Sara LeGrady and Bobby Lane who began their relationship in anger — “I hated him,” laughs LeGrady — and who are now engaged to be married.
“We met through work and were basically enemies at the beginning,” she said. “I saw him as a threat considering he was an artist too.
“Eventually, we couldn’t ignore how much we had in common and began to hang out together; shortly after that, we began to create together. We started with a blank canvas or board that we constructed and we just started to paint at the same time. No con versation, no planning — just painting, kind of molding two thoughts into one without saying anything.”
It’s an artistic romance fit for their show at The ARTery in Atascadero, which will open for the downtown district’s Sweetheart Stroll Feb. 7.
What’s interesting is the fact that though the pair of painters each has a unique artistic style, they now collaborate on pieces that have emerged with a look unlike what either painter does on his or her own.
“We are two very different artists in technique,” Lane said. “Sara leans toward graphic design and has a stylized approach to her work whereas my work leans more towards expressionism. However, we both enjoy spontaneity in our creative process and are willing to explore new mediums, techniques, methods and so forth.”
Their process begins erratically, he said, but through that experience, an image is created. When the two are through painting, Lane scrapes the canvas, turning it into something new.
Working together came as something of a surprise.
“I would paint something, Sara would paint something. The next moment, we would be attacking the canvas at the same time,” he said. “Our brushes would even hit each other’s sometimes. I would oftentimes just scrape off an hour’s worth of work what would often start off as chaos would eventually morph into an image that ends up being the painting. We are exploring new methods with each painting — sometimes starting with a photo or just a simple concept in mind. Nevertheless, it is always full of surprises, twists and turns.”
There will be 10 to 15 mixed-media pieces hanging in The ARTery. Sizes vary but they’re at least several feet across.
“We are using acrylic and mixed media (aka there is aruler stuck to one piece we will be showing),” LeGrady said. “And for my solo show at Tigerlily, it’s acrylic and then some pen and colored pencil/mixed media.”