Laurie Lee Brom grew up in the historical town of Charleston, SC, the local ghost stories and folk tales of the swampy Low Country and rich gullah culture stirring her imagination. She studied illustration at Parsons School of Design in NYC. After a long sabbatical spent raising two boys she returned to the inspiration that first stirred her imagination and paints a spooky brand of imaginative realism. She regularly shows at Roq la Rue gallery in her current home of Seattle, WA.
Q. What subject matter most piques your interest these days? And, does that translate into your artwork?
A. I seem to always be stuck in the past! History really piques my interest. It’s not that I kid myself into thinking times were better then, but I tend to spend a good bit of time surrounding myself with things that have had past lives with previous owners. Often when I paint I look at things in my studio and come up with a story about it, and often incorporate stuff I’ve found into my work. That and nature are my two biggest inspirations. We recently moved to what feels like the country (but really isn’t), abutting a forested wilderness. The flora and fauna, the changing of seasons, my soul really feeds on it.
Q. Mine, too. Switching gears, how did you hear about the ‘Baby Tattooville Event’ and will you be attending this year? When and where is it held?
A. Bob Self (owner of Baby Tattoo publishing) runs the event with his wife, Rani, and they invite a bunch of artists as guests and sell just 50 tickets to people who spend the long weekend together as an immersive experience. http://www.babytattooville.com/home.html We’re really excited about participating in it!
Q. Awesome! Please tell readers about ‘Boxes of Death’ (traveling art show). Will you be contributing to the show?
A. Boxes of Death is something I was chomping at the bit to do because it was pretty far out of my comfort zone. Each artist is given a little coffin to paint. The show tours like a pop up event, I think, down the West Coast with stops in Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco and LA. At first I thought I’d do something over the top and flowery, but then I settled on the idea of the duality of the cat. Lover and killer, adored and feared. The cat in mine has been lovingly arranged by his owner and the little critters are dancing on his grave on the sides of the box. It’s an issue close to home for me! http://www.boxesofdeath.com/
Q. With 7 cats as anipals, I love that you settled on that! Is Brom contributing to the ‘Boxes of Death’ show?
A. Nope. No Brom in this show, though it does seem right up his alley! He’s busy writing.
Q. Now for a fun question: What’s your fondest memory of the Lowcountry?
A. Oh man is that a tough question! I could never choose just one, especially having grown up there and returned many times as an adult. One would be a moonlight swim with my cousins on Isle of Palms. The water was filled with marine phosphorescence. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. But I loved living somewhere so full of history and SO many ghost stories! All of which seem perfectly believable in the context of Charleston. I miss the smell of pluffmud, the dripping Spanish moss, the cemeteries and churches, gaslamps, that stuff gets into your soul and doesn’t let go no matter how long you live away from it.
Q. This Charlestonian couldn’t agree more! So, what else is in the pipeline heading into 2015?
A. Well, I have several group shows lined up including the annual Women Painting Women held at the Principle Gallery in Charleston. Super excited to have a piece heading there! I also have one going to the Copro Gallery in LA next month, Babytatooville in October and then I’m taking some time and coming up with a new body of work.
Q. Where can readers go to connect with you and your darkly delightful work?
A. I’m finally on Instagram and am just getting that going http://instagram.com/laurieleebrom, on facebook https://www.facebook.com/lauriebrom and I have prints for sale on my website http://www.laurieleebrom.com/