Artwork of the month Consumptive, Veronica McLaren Mention gold artist of the Month Feb 2024

Veronica McLaren is an independent artist based in Rhode Island, and operates under the entity “Starina’s Art.”

Veronica McLaren studied at UMass Boston and received her bachelor’s degree in Art. I initially started in charcoal and soft pastels, but have since expanded to photography, acrylic paint, and digital art. Her work is inspired by dark surrealism and abstract expressionism; she tries to find beauty, simplicity, and peace where others may not. She tries to capture life’s fleeting moments wherever possible.

Art House Online Gallery had a chance to have an interview with her to get know more about her.

-When it comes to your art, explain what you do?
– I am an interdisciplinary artist working in multiple mediums, primarily photography, digital art, and acrylic paint. I create abstract and dark surrealist works of altered realities, while attempting to capture emotion, simplicity, and peace in these environments. While I may have my own vision of the work itself, I encourage viewers to interpret themes and meanings for themselves.
-What project are you working on now?
– I actually just completed two series entitled Strigoi (an interdisciplinary series focused on death and vampirism) and I/Eye (an abstract digital series exploring the artist’s ocular issues). I do not have any in progress projects at the moment, but will begin work on two abstract series soon – one will be a digital series, and another will be in acrylic paint.
-Which place in the world do you find to be the most inspiring?
– I find burial places to be the most inspiring. There is beautiful architecture and greenery in these places, and the environments (in the right circumstances) are very serene. These places can create beautiful art if you let it. I self-published a virtual photograph exhibition in December 2023 entitled “Graveyards don’t fascinate most people…” which examines the beauty and peacefulness of these environments. From my perspective, most associate death with burial places, but my photographs attempt to capture the opposite. It’s all about perception and perspective, and challenging those perceptions and perspectives. The link for the exhibition is here:
-What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
– I would pass on the valuable advice that was given to me by an experienced artist acquaintance – create as much as you can. Look at your influence as reference points, as they can help strengthen your skills as you recreate their style(s). As you do this, you can build your portfolio. Once you build your strengths and portfolio, then the real work begins. Try to emit the emotion you are feeling as you work so your audience can experience it.
 -Do you make a living off of your art?
– I do not make a living off of my art. My professional career is in the financial and insurance sector. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Art, and I, unfortunately, never pursued an MFA or a career in Art. My current practice in art has evolved from a hobby to a part-time unpaid venture. My purpose in pursuing art is to share my vision with others.

-How has your practice changed over time?

– My practice as evolved dramatically. Prior to and during my undergraduate studies, the mediums I utilized were strictly charcoal and chalk pastels. Toward the end of my schooling, I enrolled in a digital photography course, which introduced me to Adobe Photoshop, expanding my artistic skills. My freelance art venture from 2008-2013 utilized these digital skills immensely, as I did some digital projects for the independent music scene (flyers, promotional pieces, social media logos). I continued to strengthen my skills in these mediums as time, career, and life allowed. Between 12/2016 – 06/2018, I attended weekly classes at a local art studio, where I learned acrylic painting and that skill was added to my repertoire. In 11/2023, I decided to restart my art venture on a very part-time bases by opening two e-commerce artist shops where I could sell select works in various products, which gave me a chance to create new works as well. This quickly evolved from strictly e-commerce to showcasing my work in online publications and exhibitions, which I have never done before.

Artwork NameConsumptive

Artwork Medium & Dimension: Acrylic paint on canvas panel (9×12)

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