Artist Spotlight: Lauren Bolshakov

Artist Spotlight: Lauren Bolshakov

We first encountered Lauren’s breath-taking work at The Art Salon Charlotte. Mara purchased two of her pieces on the occasion, and we’ve been obsessed ever since. Lauren describes her work as a process of discovery, each layer responding to the last to create calm and expressive art. She’s inspired by movement, in nature and dance. Her art is known for its beautiful balance, soft colors, and refined linework. Though she started as a watercolorist, she now often mixes media in her compositions. We love the wispy, airy color and texture evident in all of her beautiful work. Ever since we first showed Lauren’s art in our shop, her creations have been a go-to for interior designers and art lovers alike (whether they shop our boutique in person or online).

We recently had a virtual chat with Lauren and asked her some questions about life here in Charlotte, NC, as well as her art, her passions and a few of her favorite places. Here’s a look inside this artist’s mind and what matters most to her…

Q: What surprises you about Charlotte?

A: It has the most small-town-vibes for a biggish city that I’ve ever come across! 

Q: What’s really important to you right now?

A: Well, this is an interesting time to be answering a question like this! Right now, being at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, my family, my home, and running are so important! We’ve been spending a lot of time cooking together, being outdoors, and making the most of this unusual and scary time. Thank goodness for running, that’s always been my go-to stress reliever!

Q: Go-to hostess gift?

A: Nest Candles and Match Cloches from Isabella’s. Also, you can never go wrong with fresh flowers or wine!

Q: What can you not stop thinking about?

A: Washing my hands, being able to see my friends again, washing my hands, what I’m going to make for dinner, remodeling the cottage, how much I’m grateful to the people on the frontlines right now and how good a pedicure and facial are going to feel when we finally get to the “after”!

Q: Fool proof dinner party tip:

A: I love eating out as much as the next gal, but there is something SO good about a dinner party! I think you can’t go wrong with dressing up, having some games ready, coming up with a signature cocktail and then having a “mix-off” where everyone creates their own rendition of the drink. I also love when everyone cooks together instead of going at it solo or catering. But my one fool proof tip? Charcuterie Boards!! Lots of veggies and fruits, meats and cheeses, fun flowers, pickles, honey, olives, lots of fun shapes and sizes, and voila. (Or, call Queen Brie CLT, her work is pure art. So pretty you won’t want to eat it, but then you will and you’ll be so happy you did).

Q: Favorite song right now?

A: I’m the most random music listener. I’m a huge fan of a lot of genres, from classical to dance to 90s rap (Tribe Called Quest is my fave). If I had to listen to a song on repeat in the studio right now it would be Yo Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me,” or maybe Phantogram’s Fall in Love Until the Ribbon Breaks. If I had to listen to a song on repeat while I’m running it would be Wild Wild Son by Armin van Buuren and Sam Martin. See? Totally random! 

Q: Indispensable design element:

A: ART!! Original, beautiful work that speaks to you regardless of where you think you have a space to hang it. Also, balance in materials, colors and warmth. I love mixing materials – lots of warm woods balanced out by marble and glass, modern pieces mixed with vintage finds, and lots of different fabric weights. I love seeing people’s personalities shine through in their homes.

Q: Two things you love about your job?

A: Playing with paint and playing with paint.

Q: Go-to scent?

A: Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt.

Q: What do you do first thing after you wake up?

A: Well, I am the luckiest girl in the world! My extra handsome husband makes me a cup of coffee every morning and I drink it while I’m still in bed going over my to do list and schedule for the day, reading my emails and the news, and basically getting ready for the day.

Q: Favorite weekend spot:

A: For travel? New York every time. We spend a lot of time there. When we’re in town? I love Bar Marcel, Freedom Park, the greenway, Aria, Stagionis, Not Just Coffee and Soco Gallery… I could really go on, there is a LOT to love in Charlotte and we are so lucky to have so many fun options! When we’re at the lake I’m never going to miss the Famous Toastery after a long run and then a pop in to the Davidson Book Store. Right now, since we are quarantining at the lake, our favorite spot has been the fire pit on Friday nights. 

Q: Favorite things in your closet right now:

A: I just found two new brands out of New York that I love for dresses – Tucker and La Ligne. I also love my Mark Cross bag, and for lounge wear (and let’s be real, I’ve been in joggers for five weeks now) I love Eberyjay and Marine Layer.

Q: Radio station that always puts you in a good mood?

A: Pandora’s Hipster Cocktail Party or The Beatles station.

Q: Perfect drink?

A: Water.

Q: Necessary extravagance/simple indulgence?

A: I would have to say that my necessary extravagance is getting massages regularly. I’m a very active person and I think a large part of maintaining that lifestyle is recovery!  If I’m going to indulge simply, I think that would have to be with a glass of wine and a good book. Maybe some mochi ice cream on the side for good measure.

Q: Impromptu talent show, how do you win?

A: Grab my husband and improvise an Argentine Tango performance.

Q: What do you bring with you everywhere you go?

A: My doggy, Mishka.

Q: Favorite cocktail?

A: I’m pretty straightforward on this one! I’m a vodka soda girl, but I like to jazz it up with a lime AND an orange slice! But usually I’m skipping the cocktail and going for the Alta Via pinot grigio.

Q: Book you’re reading right now:

A: Currently I’m reading The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, by Dominic Smith. I’m a big reader, I can’t keep up with any of the cool stuff I’m supposed to be watching on Netflix but I can talk about books all day long 🙂

Q: Style icon:

A: Carolyn and John Jr, one hundred percent!! They could do no wrong and their look is so timeless and elegant.

We so enjoyed getting to know Lauren and hearing some of her favorites. We can’t wait to mix up a vodka soda with orange + lime with her soon. We hope you’re surviving the crazy and hope to see you soon. We are now open, Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11 am to 3 pm. We also have shipping and pick-up options available and virtual shopping and design. Wishing you a beautiful Memorial Day weekend!