Mixing Colors with Laurie Meyer

Not sure about you, but we could listen to Laurie Meyer talk about colors all day! She is our queen of color theory. Laurie has a knack for choosing just the right pop of color to add to her gorgeous works, so we thought we’d share some of her color genius with you.


“Here are two violets made with ultramarine blue. The first is with Cad Red Lt-a red with a bend toward orange. This mixes to a more neutral gray/violet. The second is mixed with a cool red, quinacridone red, and mixes to a purer, more spectral violet which can bend red/violet to blue/violet depending on the balances of red and blue.”


“Yes, blue and yellow make green, but it’s the modulating of this secondary color that provides an amazing array of natural greens. The first is modulated with violet and the second is with red. Add white to cool or yellow to warm.”


“Grays can be fun to mix! Complementary colors are a great way to get started. Here I chose a red and a green to get the neutral I used in a landscape.”


We asked a few of our artists to share some of their early works since ink & oil landed on a Thursday this month. It’s so fun being able to see how everyone has grown and changed their styles throughout the years.

Marissa Vogl
These early works by Marissa are just as beautiful and vibrant as her works today. She has always had a passion for color.

Anne Blair Brown
Anne painted this interior piece in the ’90s.

Nancy Hoerter
Nancy painted these pieces while she was a student at Auburn University.

Laurie Meyer
Laurie painted this first watercolor piece of Shannon and Jennifer Smith, from Anglin Smith Gallery, in 1994. The second work is of our director, Katie Geer, and her friend, Kelly, in 1990.

Thanks to our artists for taking us on a trip down memory lane!

We Fancy Nancy! And You Will, Too

In celebration of artist Nancy Hoerter’s solo exhibition, we talked to the artist about growing and arranging her own still-life subjects, Charleston’s community of artists, and her dog, Lily.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: The light in your paintings is stunning and delicate.  How do you capture it?

Nancy Hoerter: When I set up a still life, I study how the light falls upon the subject and look for a beautiful pattern that draws the eye through the painting.  For there to be light, there must also be some dark, which gives mystery and depth to the painting.

MVG: Tell us about your studio.

NH: My studio is actually rather small, but efficient.  I worked as a black-and-white photographer for years and even had a tiny darkroom in my house. During that time, I learned to work effectively in a small space; since then, I’ve remained comfortable in such surroundings.  Because of the small size, I use a wall easel and also have mounted boards where I keep inspiration for future paintings.

MVG: Do you create your own arrangements?  Are the flowers from your personal garden?

NH: Yes, I do create my own arrangements. For me, this is often when the concept for the painting begins. I grow hydrangeas and camellias and look forward to the seasons when these are in bloom. The process of choosing the greenery and flowers (with the help of my four-legged assistant, Lily) has become a very enjoyable and relaxing part of my work.

MVG: You’re known for your backgrounds, which are often abstracted and juxtaposed against a representational subject. How do you create the backgrounds?

NH: I create my background in several stages, frequently using cold wax mixed with the oil paint.  I apply my medium with a variety of tools, and after several layers have built up, I scrape certain areas to reveal the previous work underneath. This is a time-consuming process but is frequently one of the most enjoyable parts of my work.

MVG: You’ve lived in Charleston for many years.  How has life in Charleston
influenced your work?

NH: Charleston is a wonderful place to be an artist. I’ve always found it important to be a part of a larger community of artists, and Charleston certainly provides that to me. There are so many fine artists here, and an amazing generosity of spirit.  I am so fortunate to be a part of this community.

MVG: What does your perfect day in Charleston look like?

NH: A perfect day for me starts early in the morning with a cup of coffee in my studio.  After a few hours of painting, I head to Sullivan’s Island for lunch at High Thyme.  Spending the afternoon visiting my favorite galleries is definitely next on my list, and dinner practically anywhere downtown completes a perfect day.

MVG: Favorite places to travel to be inspired?

NH: I certainly have places I enjoy visiting, but for me living in Charleston provides a constant source of inspiration. That said, two particular trips come to mind: in San Miguel, Mexico, and Brittany, France, I discovered colors of light that are unique to those locations.  I believe travel is an important avenue of growth for everyone, and particularly so for artists.

Van Gogh’s Therapy: Art

written by gallery associate Sara Burd

I recently spent some time in the South of France and visited a beautiful city called Saint Rémy de Provence. It’s a picturesque town with century old trees lining farm roads leading to chateaus and fruit orchards. The summer sun heats the lavender and olive trees, making everything smell like you’ve just entered a L’Occitane shop.

While I was there in Saint Rémy, I visited Saint Paul de Mausole, a 1000+ year old monastery dedicated to helping those who had suffered mental illness. The monastery is at the foot of the Alps, next to an ancient Roman site called Glanum. An olive grove spans out across the fields in front of the building, while the lavender, poppies, irises, and almond trees decorate the back. The monastery is best known for treating Vincent Van Gogh.

Van Gogh spent a significant amount of time in Provence (this is reflected in his works). He lived in Arles for over a year, where he painted his famous Cafe Terrace at Night. This is also the city where he cut off his own ear. He was treated by Dr. Felix Rey, who had coincidentally treated another person whose ear had been cut off (this was not a common occurrence, so Van Gogh really lucked out with this doctor!). Dr. Rey became an influential figure in Van Gogh’s road to recovery. He also diagnosed Van Gogh with epilepsy, which he was treated for when at the monastery. The artist was very close with Dr. Rey and painted a portrait of the doctor as thanks for his compassion and care. After months of hospital treatment in Arles, Vincent Van Gogh checked himself into the Saint Paul de Mausole asylum on May 8, 1889 and stayed there until May 16, 1890.

Dr. Théophile Peyron looked after Van Gogh during his time in the monastery and encouraged his art. The doctor and nuns knew that art was a means of emotional expression and could see that it helped Van Gogh heal during his time at Saint Paul. Even though the term “art therapy” wasn’t coined until 1942 by British artist Adrian Hill, his medical team believed in the idea. The nuns gave him a room with a window that opened up to a view of the almond trees, lavender, and iris gardens at the foot of the Alps. This room and view inspired a large number of his works. They also gave him a separate room for his art supplies.

During his year at the monastery, he created 150 paintings and 100 drawings. And some of his most famous works were completed in Saint Rémy, including Irises, Starry Night (he painted 21 versions), Olive Grove, and Self Portrait.

What’s Happening at Meyer Vogl Gallery

Through August 31
LEAVE A MARK: Group Exhibition Featuring Susan Altman, Anne Darby Parker, Laura Deems, and Marissa Vogl

Four abstract artists — all women; all living in Charleston; all leaving their marks on Charleston’s art landscape. Although the artists featured in Meyer Vogl Gallery’s group show, LEAVE A MARK, span four different generations, they all speak through the marks they make on their canvas. They are Laura Deems, Marissa Vogl, Anne Darby Parker, and Susan Altman.


Thank you to the Post and Courier and Charleston City Paper for the excellent write-ups on Leave a Mark.

Laura Deems: We Love Her; You’ll Love Her

You heard it here: This young artist is one to watch. In celebration of her participation in the group exhibition, Leave a Mark, we talked to Deems about her textile design history, fun and funky tools, and how she titles her work.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: Your background is in fabric design. What triggered the switch from textiles to visual art?

Laura Deems: I’ve always been drawn to textiles and their dimensions. That originally led me to studying fabric design as an undergrad. But as I progressed in the program, I found that my marks weren’t structured enough. They were loose and tended to break out of the grid-like form that pattern-making calls for. My professors encouraged this kind of unconventional exploration, but I knew the idea of translating textile marks into paintings was more intriguing to me. It had more of a personality and a story.

MVG: Tell us about how your work today incorporates elements of textile design.

LD: I rarely use a traditional paint brush. I use a little bit of everything — a rag, a squeegee, kitchen tools. And I use things we would use in the dye lab or in screen printing. That is my language. If I was told to paint on a primed canvas with a filbert brush, it would take me a hot second to get my rhythm down.

MVG: What would you like for viewers to take away from your work?

LD: I think just to feel something. To be evoked in some way. I try to make it relatable by the titles; that is the viewers’ gateway in. They can take what they can from them and run with it. I love the idea of viewers making the work into something of their own.

MVG: love the titles of your work (for example: Snippity Snip Yoko Ono. So good!). Where-oh-where do they come from?

LD: I love them, too. I have way too much fun with them. I’ll normally be reading and come across some stuffy critique explaining a body of work in terms that half of the general public would be entirely flabbergasted by, and I’ll try to summarize it in a phrase. A quickie if you will. Light-hearted and to the point in a cultural-awareness sense.

MVG: You’re a Charleston newbie. What are your favorite spots?

LD: I am a huge fan of The Ordinary — the bar seating is prime. Hampden Clothing is an all-time favorite. All of the stylists are so helpful and have such a vision. Goat Sheep Cow, Vintage, Fig, Xiao Bao Biscuit, R Kitchen, and Luke’s for pizza on the beach are fab.

Read more about Deems in the Charleston City Paper’s recent article about Leave a Mark.

Director’s Picks

Favorites from the current exhibition, “Leave a Mark” 

Everything’s Connected by Anne Darby Parker
40 x 30 oil on panel 

“If I had to pick one word to describe Anne Darby Parker’s work in this show, it would be ‘fresh.’ The work feels raw and necessary; the color palette thirst-quenching. But what really makes this painting in particular for me are those overlapping shapes of green and peachy-pink.” — Katie Geer, gallery director 

Honorable Mentions:

Playful by Susan Altman
Snippity Snip Yoko Ono by Laura Deems
Garden of a Gypsy by Marissa Vogl

View all of the work in Leave a Mark

Director’s Picks

Favorites from the gallery this month: 

Afraid to Love, Afraid to Fail by Aimee Erickson
12 x 24 oil on panel 

“I was really excited about the idea of a collection of nocturne paintings when Aimee came up with the idea. But I didn’t know how blown away I would be by this work! Aimee has an incredible way of capturing the quiet magic of evening time.” — Katie Geer, gallery director 

Honorable Mentions:

A Ski Lift in Summer at Night by Aimee Erickson
The End of Something by Aimee Erickson
Eva’s Tree by Laurie Meyer
Perfect Timing by Marissa Vogl
Clear Sky With a Touch of Pink by Sandy Ostrau
Belle by Nancy Hoerter

Get to Know (and Adore) Aimee Erickson

In celebration of her solo show Nocturnes, we chatted with the Portland painter about studio upgrades, favorite artists, and summer plans.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: As an artist and a teacher, you have a particular interest in what enables or inhibits our progress as artists. Can you tell us a little about this?!

Aimee Erickson: Oh, yes. I am very interested in the sweet spot where learning is easy and natural. I think we can foster an awareness of ourselves — where we are relative to our comfort zone of known skills — that can change how we learn.

MVG: Tell us about your studio.

AE: I’ve used my garage as a studio since I moved to this house 20 years ago. Last year, I jumped off the deep end and built a new studio with a 13-foot ceiling and better everything. It’s close to being usable, but it will be a while before I’m really settled again.

12×12 oil on panel

MVG: Give us a glimpse into a day spent painting. Any studio or plein-air rituals? 

AE: I’m a sideways painter. I don’t mind waiting. I tend to circle a bit till I get clear on what I want to do. It helps to pretend I’m not going to paint. There’s a lot of rearranging of things.

MVG: Your perfect day off: 

AE: It would involve a pool, and catering.

MVG: Artist(s) you admire, living:

AE: There are so many people painting really well right now! I can’t get enough of Alex Kanevsky. And Ann Gale. There are a handful of lesser-known painters who are friends of mine whose work I really like.

MVG: Artist(s) you admire, not living: 

AE: As much as I’d like to name someone obscure, I have to put John Singer Sargent near the top of that list every time.

MVG: Beside Meyer Vogl Gallery, in what other galleries/spaces can we find your work?

AE: Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe, Nancy Dodds Gallery in Carmel, and Vanessa Rothe Fine Art in Laguna Beach.

MVG: Summer plans? Or anything else exciting on the horizon?

AE: I have seven or eight more trips planned, including Easton, Sonoma, Laguna, and China, and in between I’ll most likely be doing more finish carpentry and painting of walls.

Photograph courtesy of OutdoorPainter.com

Read more about Aimee in a recent article from Southwest Art magazine.

Say Hello to Generation Z Yellow

In the design world, colors go on and off trend all the time. As Millennial Pink gently fades away, a bright bold yellow is taking her place: Generation Z Yellow. This cheery hue demanded attention in 2016 when Beyoncé wore that iconic marigold Roberto Cavalli dress for her Lemonade video. After the video aired, yellow skirts, dresses, and tops could be found in stores and online. The color’s popularity in the fashion industry has grown and seems to have touched every area of pop culture, from sunglasses, dresses, and swimsuits to Instagram feeds.

Gen Z yellow is “somewhere between marigold and the shade of French’s mustard,” according to Vogue. But we’re seeing many shades of yellow popping up — lemon, banana, buttercream, daffodil, and more. The last time Pantone featured a shade of yellow as their Color of The Year was in 2009 with Mimosa.

One of the reasons this color is so eye-catching? Yellow is the most visible color on the spectrum to the human eye. Yellow was also one of the first colors used in art history. The Lascaux cave in France has a yellow ochre horse on the wall, painted over 17,000 years ago. The color represents joy, optimism, celebration, and pleasure.

We’re seeing it in the gallery, too. Here are a few new works that embrace yellow:



Written by gallery associate Sara Burd

Peek Into Laurie Meyer’s Studio


We’re in celebration mode at Meyer Vogl Gallery, kicking our heels up over Laurie Meyer’s solo exhibition, Second Course  a colorful tribute to the restaurant kitchen. In honor of the “Month of Meyer,” we chatted with Laurie about her sunny studio, painting restaurant kitchens, and the best burger she’s had all year.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: Why restaurant kitchens?

Laurie Meyer: I like what happens in them.  Energy, clatter, clutter, delicious smells.  I feel especially lucky if I find one with warm lights and colorful tiles.

MVG: Paint the scene for us with one of your paintings from Second Course.

LM: The Pastry Chef got its start during a painting workshop trip to Positano a few years ago.  I was mesmerized by the chef’s careful drizzle of cream on the puffs he baked, as well as the beautiful interior. The restaurant is called Bacco, and it is near the beach level. After I took a photograph, the chef winked at me and smiled.

Other paintings in the show were inspired by restaurant kitchens in Big Sur, Cabo, Manhattan, Pebble Beach, Ischia (Italy), and of course Charleston. I have recently traveled to all of these places and enjoyed the food as well as the scenery!

MVG: Any favorite real-life chefs?

LM: Ken Vendrinski has been a favorite since the opening of Lucca and now Code de Pesce on the Isle of Palms.  His grandmother is from Lucca, Italy, and he brings that authentic vibe to his restaurants. A few years ago, Shannon Smith Hughes and I visited Lucca, Italy, and we ate at a restaurant on Ken’s recommendation. I also learned, years after knowing him, that we went to the same Junior High School.

MVG: The best recent meal you had in Charleston …

LM: It had to be a pizza from Indaco.  Or the kale salad from The Daily.  Or the cheeseburger from Husk, or anything from Ken.

MVG: Tell us about your studio.

LM: My studio is a very sunny space, which was designed for my love of teaching.  I have a half circle of 10 easels set up for my fabulous students.  I take up a small corner of the room with my large easel, taboret, and table of junk.  I also have an old architect’s blueprint cabinet in the opposite corner.  The funny story is that the studio was built around the cabinet during our framing phase.  It never would have fit through the doors, so I think it is a permanent fixture.  Paint is everywhere — the light switches, the floor, the window sashes.  I have music and a tv and a bookshelf full of art books.

MVG: Any studio rituals before you get started for the day?

LM: I try to workout before I go to the studio and then drink plenty of coffee. The smell of the studio is all I need to set the tone for a good painting day.

MVG: Summer plans?

LM: This is the first summer in 12 years that I won’t be participating the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Festival. After a fabulous run there, I decided to take a break.  We just returned from a trip to Amsterdam, Brussels, and Portugal, so I am looking forward to staying home — except that I’m going to Florida on Sunday for a painting retreat with Marissa and Shannon (Smith Hughes) and Jennifer (Smith Rogers). We have a family reunion in July, and I hope to get to Maine in September to meet and hike with one of my best friends who will be completing the Appalachian Trail. I guess I have the wrong idea of a summer at home!

Photos by Charlotte Elizabeth

Meyer Vogl Roadtrip: Lake City, SC

Regarded as one of the Southeast’s most exceptional visual arts competitions, ArtFields takes place in Lake City, SC. For nine days, the small southern town is infused with music, tours, and visual art. More than 400 works of art are displayed throughout town — in renovated warehouses, local boutiques and restaurants, and art galleries. We made the two-hour drive a couple of weeks ago to check it out.

Here, some ArtFields favorites:




Read more about ArtFields — and how it’s revitalizing Lake City — in this ArtMag write-up.

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We Love Sandy Ostrau, and You Will, Too

On Thursday, April 19, Meyer Vogl Gallery will release several new works by Sandy Ostrau. In anticipation of the new paintings, we talked studio rituals, favorite artists, and perfect days off with the California artist.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: Tell us about your studio space!

Sandy Ostrau: My studio is in Mountain View, California. I share a space in a light industrial area with another artist. It’s about a 6.5 mile bike ride from my house, and I can take a bike route and path through my city of Palo Alto almost the entire way. It’s a lovely ride, and I try to ride as often as possible.

I work on several paintings at a time, which are in different stages of completion and rotated around the room, onto and off of my two large working easels. When they are not being worked on, they line the wall, hanging on nails so I can easily pull them down.  My son and husband made a nice palette cart that wheels around my studio conveniently. It’s big enough to keep big mounds of paint handy. I have a stock of brushes and palette knives to choose from. My favorites are the very worn out brushes that create great texture.

MVG: Any studio rituals? 

SO: I usually arrive at my studio mid-morning and start my day by mixing paint. It’s a great way to warm up and start thinking about the work ahead.  It’s a physical exercise as well, and it helps spur my creative thinking. I mix all of my colors; I don’t use paint straight from the tube. I always listen to music that has a good beat and energy.


MVG: Your perfect day off from painting: 

SO: A day spent at Sea Ranch on the Sonoma Coast or in Yosemite are pretty perfect! I enjoy hiking and running with my family and friends. I love the beach and have spent time on both the West and East Coasts. I also love a day spent visiting museums or galleries. I try to take a day each week for gallery or museum visits, usually in the San Francisco Bay area, but also on trips to New York or Washington, DC.  I also enjoy touring around Italy and try to visit every couple of years.

MVG: Fill us in on upcoming and recent exhibitions.

SO: I will be exhibiting all new work in Laguna Beach at Sue Greenwood Gallery this July. I’ll also be showing new work at Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco.

MVG: Beside Meyer Vogl Gallery, in what other galleries/spaces can we find your work?

SO: I am fortunate to show my work in several galleries around the country. I currently have work at Anne Neilson Fine Art in Charlotte, NC; Bryant Street Gallery in Palo Alto, CA; Peterson Roth Gallery in Bend, OR; Anne Loucks Gallery in Glencoe, Il; and Gallery North in Carmel, CA, to name a few.  I also have work in private collections in more than 12 different countries.

MVG: Have you recently discovered any artists whose work really excites you?

SO: Danny McCaw. I have seen his work over the years but have become reacquainted with it recently and really love how he abstracts the figure. The identity of the figure is unimportant and, to me, the energy is exciting.

MVG: Provide us with some background on one of your new paintings.

SO: I was particularly happy with Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink as it came together. The energy and dynamic relationship between the figures is highlighted very nicely, with the running fence along the edge of meadow; the serenity and calm of the sky creates a nice resting place for the eye as it moves away from the figures. I think the relationship between the figures is interesting too. Just enough ambiguity so the viewer can fill in the blanks and make it their own story. After several weeks of adding different layers of paint, the colors just suddenly came together.

Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink by Sandy Ostrau
40×40 oil on canvas

Save the date: An email with Sandy’s new paintings, including Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink, will be sent out on Thursday, April 19. To see a preview of the work, email katie@meyervogl.com.