Painter L.C. Armstrong: Bright Colors and Dark Subjects

Four years ago today was the opening of Blumenbomben, an exhibition in Germany featuring the bright and ethereal paintings of the one and only L.C. Armstrong!

L.C. Armstrong is an American painter and sculptor known for her mystical landscapes, vivid colors, and dazzling florals. Though born in Tennessee, L.C. ‘s family moved to Venice, California when she was just nine years old. It was there that L.C. began to develop as an artist. At a young age, L.C. trained at her father’s neon sign business. From there, she spent her time painting signs and airbrushing custom cars, vans, and even airplanes. She used the money she earned to pay for tuition to Art Center College of Design, where she graduated with a B.A. in Illustration in 1981. Looking at L.C.’s paintings, it’s clear that the saturated, psychedelic aesthetic found in Venice, along with the colors she encountered through her dad’s neon signs, influenced her work greatly.

In her work, L.C. tends towards scenes of nature, from paintings filled with blooming flowers in bright pinks, yellows, greens and oranges, to winter scenes in more muted purples and grays. No matter the setting, L.C.’s distinct style comes through. 

Not only does she embrace explosions of color, but she also embraces whimsy: in one painting from her 2022 calendar, a peacock strolls past a snow-covered bridge in a city. In another, entitled Fungi Over Fall Guys, an Eve-like figure wears a mushroom cap as a hat while an Adam-like figure is sucked up into another mushroom cap as though it’s a UFO. Though her paintings are often playful and cheery-looking, L.C. also delves into darker subject matter; one of her paintings shows several people, some celebrities, some of L.C. ‘s own friends and family, waist-deep in water, holding the one item L.C. imagines they would want to save in the event of a climate change-induced flood. 

In an interview with FF2 Contributor Amelie Lasker, L.C. discussed the ways in which her life has influenced the mood of art: “[having a child] really did change my work. Color came into my life and joy! The work always reflects where I am psychologically. The first paintings I made after my sister’s and mother’s deaths in 1994 were very dark, like Goya’s Black Paintings.” 

L.C.’s circumstances have also influenced her subject matter: “five years later, I think, ‘Oh, duh, I was pregnant and started painting flowers.’ My art mirrors the trajectory of my life: I don’t even know why I’m doing something until later. And, when I look back it’s so clear. I made a sculpture that was a bed of nails, which were actually silver pencils. At the time, I thought it was about communication or lack thereof, but it was made during my divorce, so…”

It is clear that L.C. is a vastly imaginative as well as sensitive soul, whose work is filled with passion and feeling. All of this absolutely comes through when you look at her work. Whether her art is brightening your day or making you contemplate the darker parts of life, it is bound to have both a strong visual and a strong emotional impact. 

© Julia Lasker (6/14/2023) FF2 Media


Read Amelie Lasker’s interview with L.C. Armstrong here.

Explore L.C.’s work and career further here.


Featured photo: Image from Pomegranate’s 2022 L.C. Armstrong’s calendar have been provided by Pomegranate and are used here by FF2 Media with their permission. All Rights Reserved by Pomegranate.

Tags: airbrushing, female painter, Fungi Over Fall Guys, L.C. Armstrong, neon sign, painter, sign painting

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As an associate for FF2 Media, Julia writes reviews and features for films made by women. She is currently a senior at Barnard College studying Psychology. Outside of FF2, her interests include acting, creative writing, thrift shopping, crafting, and making and eating baked goods. Julia has been at FF2 for almost 4 years, and loves the company and its mission dearly.
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