Portrait of an Artist: L.J. Throstle
Mixed media and graffiti artist L.J. (Lucy) Throstle captures attention with her whole-hearted magnetism, just as her art captures the movement of birds she has photographed at local parks and beaches.
“I love pigeons—I really believe they are a common link to all cities around the world,” says the up-and-coming artist. “When I was a child in England visiting Trafalgar Square, we would go and buy seed to feed the pigeons. I remember standing with my sister in our crazy '80 colours, with the awful haircuts our Mum gave us, with hundreds of pigeons flying all over us—I’ve always loved pigeons because of that.”
Spray paint and textures
Working from photographs, Throstle moves through her artistic process quickly. She drives the momentum forward from an afternoon stroll straight to a layering process in Photoshop, ultimately pulling it all together on the canvas.
“Spray paint dries really quickly, doesn’t allow colours to fade, sticks really well, and holds darks over lights no problem—the canvas doesn’t ever freeze or fail on me.”
By using spray paint, Throstle gets to play with a range of high and low pressure points. The cap of the can gives the piece an original feel, which she favours for the styling of her works. However, she is currently experimenting with needle caps, which spray messy streaks of paint and produce the “dribbled effect.”
Throstle finishes most of her pieces with mixed media, water, or oil-based graffiti markers. Sometimes, her finishing touch includes old bits of clothes or small artifacts.
“A place just off of Main Street that sells old cut-offs is the mecca for mixed media artists. It is a great spot for experimenting and often pulls me out of my comfort zone.”
Driving her vision
Throstle’s Mount Pleasant studio is filled with captivating works of Vancouver’s creatures. She's continuing to drive this vision forward with her next series on Canadian birds, animals, and hands.
She says her works are rather autobiographical of her daily life. Currently, she is attending Theological College with the Anglican Church of Canada, where she recently completed a series of hands. She also worked alongside a church in the West End, which requested a body of work highlighting five different postures of prayer. \
She credits the contrast between traditional institutions, architectural design, and her graffiti-style for pulling her purpose for artistic expression together.
While Throstle finds the importance of social media networking important to her success as an artist, she hopes to see change in Vancouver’s online art community. The discrimination of spray paint as an accepted medium is long-gone and she hopes to collaborate with other well-established fine artists in the city as she further establishes her career.