Saturday, March 18, 2017

Interview for a Graduate Program

Questions for Interview Assignment
Wilmington University
  1. Tell me what influenced you to choose your profession.

I’ve always loved drawing and painting. I was one of those kids that just never stopped making art.  After working as a secretary for a lawyer, I knew that wasn’t the career for me. Deciding to go to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was the perfect decision.  Some of my favorite artist’s have studied at the Academy, so it was the obvious choice.

"Spirit Bird with Dragonflies" 22"x30" Mixed Media on Arches - Lauren Litwa

  1. Has it been what you expected so far? If not, explain.

On the one hand being a full time artist has been harder than I ever thought it would be and on the other hand it’s been an amazing joy filled life. You have to hang in there with the lows and keep on working and evolving your skills and vision.  I didn’t realize early on just how much work is involved with creating the paintings, promoting yourself through social media, framing the working, delivering the work and actually selling the work would be.  It can be a rollercoaster of highs and lows. I’ve received many awards that have led to travel throughout Europe and visiting some of the worlds best museums, from the Prado in Madrid to the Louvre in Paris. I’ve also attended residencies at the Margo Kelb Dune Shack in Provincetown, MA and at Villa Arrigo in Florence Italy.

  1. Where do you think your profession is heading? Do you view yourself as influencing your profession?

I see myself exhibiting and getting into better museums and galleries in the future.  Yes I do realize that some people in the art world have been watching my evolution as an artist.  I feel more committed and confident in my work and am really excited about my new paintings.  I’ve pushed my vision onto the next level and have gotten some great feed back from my peers.

"Earth Energy with Box Turtle" Oil on Canvas 44"x47" Lauren Litwa

  1. Is there a philosophy, theory, or framework which guides your practice? Please describe it for me and explain how you use it to guide practice.

Spending consistent time in the studio and working has to be the priority.  And when I’m not in my studio, I’m always thinking of solving drawing or color problems in my head.  Even in my sleep I come up with new imagery for the next painting.  The painting I’m currently working on “Earth Energy with Brook Trout” was directly influenced by a dream.  So it’s very interesting to be working through design/layout problems in your head before you even pick up a brush or pencil.  

  1. Tell me about any conflicts between your personal philosophy and the philosophy you use at work.

I have no conflicts between what I’m painting and my personal philosophy.  My work is very heart based and personal and reflects my interest in the health of our environment and my love for the outdoors.

  1. In what ways do you use research in your position? Are you comfortable reading research articles?

My research is looking at the world’s greatest artists and also new younger artists.  I never get tired of looking at new artists work or getting inches away from the surface of a Carravaggio or a Wyeth painting to see how they layered on brushstrokes. My research is reading biographies of great artists like Jackson Pollack and Michelangelo. Reading of the struggles and hardships that other artists have experienced helps to put things in perspective.  In the end the paintings take on a life of their own.  The work should speak for itself.

"Water Poem I" oil on birch panel 20"x20" Lauren Litwa
  1. Tell me about someone who has been (or currently is) a role model for you. How did you find this person? How does this individual help/guide you? Is this person aware that you view him/her as a role model?

My role models were two of my professors at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.   Will Barnet and Louis Sloan.  

Louis Sloan was a wonderful landscape painter and colorist.  His paintings of the mountains and skies are truly beautiful.  He always shared excellent advice on compositions and color and was truly a great person. He loved going out in nature with his easel and paints and working “pleinair”.  He devoted his life to his art and his students. I will always treasure the painting he gave me when he was teaching outdoors at Saunders Woods Preserve in Gladwyne, PA. 

Will Barnet spent his entire life painting, he worked every day and lived to be 101. His paintings are elegant and sublime. President Barack Obama awarded him the National Medal of the Arts. He once said “The old masters are still alive after 400 years, and that's what I want to be”. He encouraged me to paint what I see.  I admired his work, his kindness and his humility as an exceptional painter and professor.  

This is a quote from Will about my paintings. “There is a quality of lyricism in the paintings of Lauren Litwa.  She approaches the landscape with a poetic expression and captures a fine sense of light and a dreamlike feel.  She uses the sky as a format for her paintings and a sense of spirituality comes through in her new work.”

"Many New Moons" Oil on Canvas 42"x44" Lauren Litwa

  1. How do you use information technology in your work? How has this changed since you entered your profession?

I use the internet to research some of my subject matter.  If I want to paint a brook trout and I need to get tiny details of that fish, I can find tons of information to help me out.  Early on I didn’t have that option.  So in many ways it’s become easier to research.  I use creative imagination, dreams, reality and reference materials to create my paintings. 

Social media has been a huge asset to getting my work out to a larger audience.  It’s great to get feed back on your latest painting.  One of the hardest parts of being an artist is that it can be very isolating. 

  1. When you first entered your profession, did you feel welcomed and supported as a novice in the field? How do you view your role with novices currently?

I had some great experiences with people supporting me and my work.  I had a fellowship at the Center for Creative Artists in Philadelphia with a wonderful woman named Bebe Benoliel.  She supported and promoted young artists and exposed us to collectors who purchased our work. At the time Jamie Wyeth, Will Barnet and Louis Sloan where all on the board of artistic advisors. It led to sales of my work and exhibitions throughout the region. Some of those same collectors have gone on to buy my work throughout my career.

I have had young artists visit my studio, which has led to some great experiences. I love hearing comments from kids at art openings.  They really connect to some of my work. I hope I can be a role model for younger artists by consistently painting and exhibiting my own personal point of view. I would advise young people to follow your passion.  Be prepared to put the time and energy into your vision.  When you’re following your passion you’re truly living.  It can take you places you never thought possible.

  1. Do safety, security, quality, and confidentiality play any role(s) in your current position? Explain.

Using quality materials is important to creating a painting that holds up to the test of time. Pure pigment paints, arches watercolor paper, linen and canvas are used in my work.  I want my collectors to know that the best materials were used in creating their painting and hopefully it will last throughout the generations.

"Shadrach Sky" oil on panel 9"x12" Lauren Litwa

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Painting Sales - Thank you Art Collectors!

"Night Watch at Anderson & Main"

Meads Barn I 800
"Meads Barn I"

Nice to share some new art sales with you.  
When someone invests in my work, well it means quite a lot.... 
Thank you.

From one dinosaur to another.... 
Whatever you're passionate about, keep on keeping on! 

This world needs more musician, poets, writers, and yes, artists.
You are appreciated!


grapefruit moon copy
"Grapefruit Moon"
Standing on Frack Free Ground 800
"Standing on Frack Free Ground"

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Art of the State 2015 - State Museum of Pennsylvania

Congratulations to all of the accepted artists and prize winners to Art of the State at the State Museum in Harrisburg PA.  I am honored to have "Tekla's Ladder" chosen as third place for painting and the State Museum Purchase Award.  My painting was named for my grandmother Tekla, who came to the states in the early 1900's from Poland. I can't help but think she would be quite tickled with this news.

HARRISBURG, Pa.June 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The State Museum of Pennsylvania today announced the winners of "Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2015," an annual juried exhibition showcasing the talent, creativity and diversity of the state's established and emerging artists.
Awards were given in painting, photography, sculpture, craft and work on paper.
The William D. Davis Memorial Award for Drawing and The State Museum of Pennsylvania Purchase Award were also selected.  The winners were chosen from 126 works selected from more than 1,600 submissions.
This year's first-prize winners are from AdamsAlleghenyBlairChester and Lebanon counties. Special awards went to artists from Bucks and Delaware counties.
The 48th annual exhibit runs through Sept. 13, and includes 126 works by 122 artists from 27 counties.  
The exhibit is co-sponsored by The State Museum and Jump Street. Together the organizations present more than $6,500 in cash awards to winners.
Jump Street is a Harrisburg-based non-profit organization dedicated to developing educational and economic opportunities with the arts for all age groups.
The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 25 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History®. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania's fascinating heritage.
With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary era, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth's vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania's story is America's story.
Visit The State Museum online at
Media Contact: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639
The following prizes were awarded at the 2015 "Art of the State" Artists' Reception on Sunday, June 28. Cash awards for each category are first prize, $500; second prize, $300; third, $200, and honorable mention, $100. A full gallery of Art of the State images is available at
CraftFirst Prize: Mike KorsakPittsburgh: "Untitled"
Second Prize: Philip SollmanBellefonte: "Lunar Butterfly Table"
Third Prize: Tom HubertFairview: "Black Shape Teapot"
Honorable Mention: Ellen SilberlichtHonesdale: "The Planted Seed"
PaintingFirst Prize: Allen CapriottiAltoona: "Risky Business"
Second Prize: Ellen CarverMerion Station: "A New Beginning"
Third Prize: Lauren Litwa Holden, Media: "Tekla's Ladder"
Honorable Mention: Daniel BurnsLancaster: "Redemption"
PhotographyFirst Prize: James Evangelista, Oxford: "Santa Rosa de Lima, Abiquiu"
Second Prize: Bryson LeidichHarrisburg: "Blacksburg Sheep"
Third Prize: Marvin IsraelBoiling Springs: "Pipe and Glasses"
Honorable Mention: Peter Kornweiss, Hummelstown: "Palazzo Ducale"
Honorable Mention: Theodore ScarpinoBiglerville: "He's Arrived"
SculptureFirst Prize: Sharon Pierce McCulloughBiglerville: "A Horse of Course"
Second Prize: Lorraine GlessnerRockledge: "The Triangle Circle"
Third Prize: Bob HakunPottstown: "Hope"
Work on PaperFirst Prize: Michael AllenPalmyra: "Crossings"
Second Prize: Jo MargolisWellsville: "Cloud of Unknowing"
Third Prize: Brenton GoodCamp Hill: "Line to Plane"
Honorable Mention: Robert StickloonPottsville: "Window Latch"
The William D. Davis Memorial Award for DrawingCsilla SadlochYardley: "Curled Bark"
The State Museum Purchase AwardLauren Litwa Holden, Media: "Tekla's Ladder"

Tekla's Ladder - 46"x50" - oil on linen Lauren Litwa 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gull Pond Dragonflies and Painting in the Rain

Gull Pond is located in Wellfleet on Beautiful Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
This painting was started outside on location, or plein air painted.

My daughter Carley and I were dropped off by my husband Thom and son Jordan.  We had our painting supplies and some water and that was about it.
The day was a little cloudy but perfect for painting.

We had the location to our selves, which is always nice.  No interference... But then it started raining.  And not just a little shower, I'm talking about a down pour.

We tried to protect our paintings as best we could by shoving them into our back packs.  We didn't have any rain gear, so we just gave into getting wet.  And it was actually really fun.

We were eventually picked up, hours later, wet but fine.

It's one of those times that will always stay with me.
So every time I look at this painting I remember feeling like a drenched rat having a good time.

Gull Pond Wellfleet is available as a print for 50. Original is still available, contact me for more info.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Selling Prints of Original Paintings

 I paint a lot.  I also try to make a living doing it.  I hold open studios in my studio, where I place signs out on the corner of my street letting people know that my studio is open.  While I don't have a ton of people rushing up my stairs to see my art, I do have a good percentage of people who do visit the studio buying my art.  I am always pleased to have someone new come up and look at my work, but when someone actually buys the work, well that's really something.  And when they come back year after year to buy something new for there collection, that's the highest compliment to the artist.  But for people who are not in the original painting market, I like to offer prints which are reasonably priced.  Here's a selection of prints that are currently for sale in my studio and online at and my website  There priced at 40. to 100.  

Red Roof

Hunting Dragonflies


Little Owl Firefly

Gypsy Fish

Meads Barn I

Peace Lotus

Seawall Acadia

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wildlife &Wild Lands of Pennsylvania - How will Fracking affect our Beautiful State?

"Fairy Rocks - oil on panel - 24"x24"Lauren Litwa
Plein Air Painting
English Center, PA

Studio is Open June 27, 28, 29 - 11am to 6pm - free shipping is offered on all prints!

Standing on Fragile Ground - oil on linen- 31"x31" Lauren Litwa

Just how safe is fracking?
Will it hurt our rivers and streams?
What about our drinking water?
How will fracking affect future generations of wildlife?
If fracking is creating earth quakes in Oklahoma, what's it going to do to Pennsylvania
in the long run?

These paintings are created and influenced by what is happening right now in the Allegheny 
Mountains in Pennsylvania.
 English Center has been my second home since I was a little kid. I love the mountains, skies, fresh air and wildlife.
My art is subtly being influenced by fracking in Pennsylvania.
Is money more valuable than a healthy environment?
Can you buy new water, animals, people, land.
It can not be replaced.
When will we learn that the health of our fragile planet equals the health all?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Open Studio - April 11, 12, 13

Yes, Open Studios once again!  Collectors, Art Lovers, Curious People  Come one! Come All!

Free Shipping available also.  New Watercolors, Oil Paintings & Prints Available.

Inspiration for my paintings comes from nature, dreams and meditation. Spending time outdoors in the woods, fields and shores inspires my work. My buildings, whether factories or barns, are more of a made up composition then actual reality. Whatever the subject matter is, it becomes my fanciful, lyrical and mysterious world.  There is something magical that happens when painting, the process enriches my connection to the earth. Painting layer after layer of watercolors and oils ends up being a meditative experience.  The goal is to create a piece of art that can be a retreat from our hectic stressful world.

I am a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where I received a 4 Year Certificate in Painting. Some of my favorite instructors at PAFA where Will Barnet, Dan Miller, Louis Sloan and Joe Amoratico. I’ve exhibited in numerous galleries and museums and have received many awards for painting including the William Emlen Cresson Traveling Scholarship and was awarded a fellowship with the Center for Emerging Visual Artists and attended  residencies at Villa Arrigo in Florence Italy and the Margo-Kelb Dune Shack in Provincetown, MA.A partial list of exhibitions include the Philadelphia Artists Alliance, Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Nexus Gallery, Noyes Museum, PA State Museum, Stedman Gallery, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Prince Street Gallery, Widener University, Keystone Art & Culture Center and Stuart Levy Gallery. My studio was funded through a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. I’ve been featured in the Hunt Magazine, Signature Brandywine Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, Art Matters, Philadelphia Business Journal and Studio Visit Magazine. I regularly holds open studio’s where collectors view and purchase my work.  
“Red Roof Retreat” oil on canvas 24″x24″
Red Roof Retreat