Who's this? Well, that's Laura McCarty! We can't take it any longer, and we are bursting at the seems to share, Laura is the latest uber-talented artist to join the ranks at Well + Wonder. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Laura please allow us to make the introduction. A native of Georgia and a graduate of Auburn University (with a degree in Graphic Design), Laura now finds herself painting and creating in beautiful Inlet Beach, Florida. From a young age Laura developed a deep love for all things creative and this passion for the arts has been a constant source of inspiration and guidance throughout her life. She draws on aspects of design, nature (Laura loves a floral just as much as we do), and most importantly memories to inform her work. Laura’s abstract style is inspired by unique color combinations, gestural marks and texture. No matter the subject, she hopes that her work will be a tangible representation of a special time in her life. We've been oogling Laura's work for a while now here at Well + Wonder HQ and are thrilled that her abstract paintings have found a new home on our gallery walls. We are positive that y'all will oogle Laura's work just as we do! So, without further ado, help us to welcome Laura McCarty and celebrate her fabulous debut collection! Cheers to you Laura!

What is currently on your nightstand? 

A glass of water, one of my favorite landscape paintings, a big stack of BECASA bracelets and my forever must have — sound machine!

Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why? 

Our two girls, Miller and Stockton. Our oldest, Miller, is constantly in the studio with me ready to paint. I am forever in awe of the things she creates. It is so inspiring to see the world, color and texture though the eyes of a child.  

A few of my favorite visual artists are Helen Frankenthaler, Rothko, and Monet. 

Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person? 

My childhood was filled with exploring outside and creating things with my hands. From a young age, I always had a love for nature, bugs and creating. I remember buying a book and teaching myself how to make lots of string friendship bracelets. I was always making something. 

If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why? 

A charcoal pencil. There is something so freeing and natural about mark making to me. It allows me to create the structure and flow for any piece.

What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it. 

Definitely the living room. Our living room is cozy and flows right into our kitchen. We have this amazing rug that makes me happy every time I see it and our oversized leather couch is worn and inviting. One of my favorite things are our two oversized black basket pendants in the kitchen, they really bring the space together. 

What is your biggest score online? 

Probably the rug I mentioned before. A friend in Georgia sells them on her instagram page and I’ve started hoarding them. I think I’ve bought seven or eight of them. It’s gotten a bit extreme! ha!

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?

I’m all about a one stop shop. Investing in art can be overwhelming sometimes, but a collective takes out all the leg work for you. You know that you are selecting from a well tailored group of work. 

If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why? 

The Orangerie Museum in Parish. It is absolutely incredible to see Monet’s pieces in real life. They are breathtaking. 

What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special? 

This is a tough one. One of my favorite spots is the Emeline in Charleston. We visited them earlier this year and they made our trip so special. Plus, the robes that come in your room are DIVINE. I bought one as my souvenir and it’s one of the softest, coziest robes ever. 

If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why? 

Of gosh, there isn’t an “almost nude” option? I’ve always been one to wear a natural lip color. I like to keep it simple. The thought of wearing red lipstick immediately makes me nervous.

I can never get on a plane without….

A good book…and by good book, I mean audible download. I’m addicted to listening to books. I wish I had more time to read them. I need to make more time for that.

How did you get into the world of art? 

I’ve been a creative for as long as I can remember. I’ve painted off and on my whole life, but never gave it too much time until recent years. I really started painting after we lost our first child, Sullivan. It brought me joy and relief during such a hard time. It took me a long time to share what I was painting with anyone. Nearly 5 years later and I’m so thankful I started to give this hobby some much needed time and dedication. I’m still learning and honing in on my style. I love to see how my strokes are changing and evolving…it’s exciting to watch. I still can’t believe people enjoy the things I create. It’s humbling thats for sure. 

What do you do to relax? 

If I need some time to relax, I enjoy taking a walk down to the beach. Feeling the sun on my face and the sand under my toes immediately makes me feel better. A good gin and tonic doesn’t hurt either. 

When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration? 

I definitely create in spurts. Some days I’m in the zone, and others I can’t seem to get anything done that I’m excited about.

Often times, when the kids are asleep, and I know my time is limited, I can really crank some things out. It’s like the time clock helps me get to work. 

Prediction for the Color of 2022? 

I’m hoping for some shade of green. 

What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?

My husband and I love to eat. A night out at our favorite restaurant, dessert (always dessert!) and then a good movie is what we like best. 

Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created. 

A large green, mauve and neutral abstract for my daughter’s room. Its a mix of unexpected colors that work SO well together. I just let my mind wander while I painted. I knew I needed to paint something just for her and I love how it turned out. It’s better than anything I could have planned out. 

One piece of advice for buying original art? 

I’ve heard this before and I couldn’t agree me, “Buy what you like. Embrace YOUR taste.” Go back and buy that painting that you just can’t stop thinking about. It’s not always about picking a piece for that certain spot, but it’s about buying the piece you love walking past wherever it ends up in your home. Let the room revolve around that piece, not the other way around. If it’s your taste, it will work.