Four Barrel Coffee Featured Artist Lauren Cline is so into nostalgia, it’s scary.

Bay Area artist Lauren Cline made the paintings that adorn the labels of the newest of newly released Four Barrel coffees. She was kind enough to also speak with us about nostalgia, the color pink, and the drawbacks of daylight.

 “What I’ve always loved about memory as a subject is the capacity it has to make everything more beautiful (I think this is what we mean when we talk about nostalgia), and to focus your attention on a few details while letting others slip away.”

 That doesn’t sound like something one would be taught in art school, or is it?

 “I went to a technical school that teaches photorealism, and at the beginning when I was painting from photographs I felt frustrated because what appealed to me when I took a photo for reference wasn’t anything in the photo itself, but a feeling around the moment it was taken.”

Sounds like that frustration spurred an evolution of your working style. 

“The feeling I was chasing here was already past, already a memory, so it evolved this way, to where I didn’t need a photo at all but could summon or collect some memory to work with as I needed it.”

What are your ideal working circumstances for summoning memories on demand?

“I prefer to work on my paintings late at night, when I can create the mood I need. I sort of hate the daylight -- the night is so much more forgiving.”

You must not work as a barista…

“Bartending allows me to maintain my nighttime hours consistently, and to have four days off in a row each week for painting. It also forces me to interact with other people while I'm at work, which is good, because I can get lost in my head if I’m just painting all the time and it's scary in there.”

That scariness doesn’t exactly show up in your paintings, unless maybe you consider pink a scary color?

“Personal nostalgia is related to the color pink for me, so for a long time everything came out in this color. Now, the colors are shifting towards primaries and the work towards abstraction. I am going a little deeper, towards more visceral memories that are not completely connected to the surface narrative of my life.”

What’s it like seeing your paintings, which are typically several feet in width and/or height, appear on a 2.5 inch coffee bag label?

Like looking at my work on Instagram :)”

Lauren Cline’s artwork can be seen in real life at Hang Art Gallery in Union Square SF. As one of their represented artists her work is showcased in the gallery regularly, and she’ll be presenting a solo exhibition there in January 2020.


You can view Lauren’s work in real life but at Instagram scale, reproduced on the bags of several Four Barrel coffees for the next several months.