Artwork by Lauren Orscheln

Artist as barista as artist. That’s is Lauren Orscheln, who uses coffee as a medium in her work.  Her art played the walls of Spina during Coffee’s Night Out creating a conversation about the nature of expression and the willingness not to control everything.

GP: Seeing your art is like being on a journey. Can you tell me the place where you draw from?

Lauren: I start in charcoal and coffee – I sketch with those and I’ll always have a rag in one hand that I can wipe off so that I create a ground from that space. If it’s a still life, I’ll sketch so that it creates a base for the rest of the painting. Once I feel like I’ve had enough of that, I’ll paint in oil.

GP: Do you have certain environments that you like to create in?

Lauren: I go to the School of Visual Arts, so there’s a studio there. [Physically], I like to have a couple pieces beforehand around me. I like working with and around other people to draw inspiration. I think you can get too self involved sometimes. And, for me I want some perspective.

Artwork by Lauren Orscheln

Lauren: Because, I work in a coffee shop, it changes my needs for being in one. When I’m at home I make a pour-over. I like relaxing and reading in the morning and drinking a big cup of coffee. As far as coffee shops go, I like shops with a lot of natural light; I read a lot. I find on Sundays I’ll go over to Ovenly as the light is really important to me. Around school there’s a coffee shop right next door and I’ll grab coffee and go up to the library.

GP: Is there a wrong in the creative process?

Lauren: There’s always intention, but it usually doesn’t come out in the end. I like the back and forth, the wiping off of things – I don’t want any particular part of the painting to feel too precious. The piece that I had here at Spina during Coffee’s Night Out, started with my roommate in various positions. I was sketching for a few hours- it was intense. I walked away and came back and saw that the figures turned into two and into one another. That’s the result of it sitting there and becoming its own thing.

GP: Do you know the feeling when you want to stop?

Lauren: It’s never a feeling of wanting to stop, just a feeling of wanting to create and I do. Part of art is, knowing when you should stop.

GP: I see you have a few books in your bag. Who are you reading?

Lauren: I’m reading interviews with Francis Bacon; he’s kind of terrifying. He talks about how to create images, but to create you have to go around the back way to create something so unlike the thing that you are creating, that it becomes like it.

GP: So, are there subliminal messages in your art?

Artwork by Lauren Orscheln

Lauren: The unconscious makes up a huge part of the mind, its impossible for it not to come through.

GP: How do you rectify that as an artist?

Lauren: I could sketch something and try to make it happen but it’s not supposed to happen that way. Part of the reason why I like to create things is that I like to see what’s happening underneath. If you control everything you wouldn’t get art.

Artwork by Lauren Orscheln

Lauren:  I prefer to not be distracted by artwork, but, be able to look up and think about it when I want to. I hope that a space will lend itself to the art and vice versa so that the art can be talked about. If art is necessary to the coffee shop, I don’t know… The photos up now look phenomenal and it really makes sense.

GP: What artist is influencing you right now?

Lauren: I’ve been thinking about Matisse a lot lately. I want to paint something simple like apples and sheets and things because I just want to paint….

Join the Conversation


  1. Lauren’s art and her deep thoughts and feelings are very inspiring and makes a person take another look……and another. Very thought provoking and so talented. Let’s have more.

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