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Drawing Out Philosophy

Local artist Lauren Scavo-Fulk talks about how she wove together art and philosophy.
Drawing Out Philosophy

Lauren Scavo-Fulk’s exceedingly realistic landscape drawings were displayed at the Abington Art Center from September 13 to October 23, 2023.


Her paintings were small monochromatic landscape photographs in the center of a thick white border. 


I appreciated the simplicity of the images. 


As I crept closer to the images and peered into the depths of the forests, the crevices between the stones and pebbles, I realized that what I perceived as simple photographs were, in reality, incredibly life-like drawings. They were intricate graphite and charcoal drawings that only appeared to be photographed from a far distance. 


I continued to observe the work and noticed more of the details in the images such as the fine lines, the texture, and the way, in many of the images, the landscape grew out of the clean-cut edges and into the border. 


I had the opportunity to speak with Scavo-Fulk about her realistic drawings.


Scavo-Fulk has loved drawing for as long as she can remember. In college, she majored in drawing/painting and English, two subjects she greatly enjoyed. 


However, Scavo-Fulk struggled to find a career that brought both of her interests together, until one of her professors introduced her to phenomenology, a branch of philosophy that studies individual experience. With this idea in mind, Scavo-Fulk was able to focus on the impact her work would have on the viewer.


The artist takes a unique approach to how she hopes the viewer interacts with her art. 


Scavo-Fulk said, “Art is, in a lot of ways, a conversation between the artist and the viewer.”


Rather than pushing an idea onto the viewer, she encourages them to bring their own experiences to her depiction of the landscape.   Scavo-Fulk weaves the objective state of nature into viewers’ personal experiences to convey how human interpretation will make even the most concrete subjects personal because of the unique perspectives everyone possesses.


Still, Scavo-Fulk manages to add her own twist while maintaining the objectivity of the landscape, both through the dimensionality of her subjects and through the intentional marks and intentional negative space. 


Scavo-Fulk spoke about deciding which details from the reference photograph she is working from to mark on her paper and which to leave off. 


She said, There’s a very fine line between finished and unfinished, and it’s really hard to hit that sometimes.


Scavo-Fulk advises young artists to work through those times of frustration or lack of inspiration. 


She shared a piece of guidance she was given as a student that pushed her to keep going in tough times:  “It’s important to do the work whether you’re inspired or not and the inspiration will come.”


Scavo-Fulk said, “Some days, I just couldn’t draw well.”


I think every artist would agree with Scavo-Fulk that there are times when the best thing you can do is walk away, clear your mind, and come back with fresh eyes. When Scavo-Fulk felt as though she couldn’t draw, she would take a break, do something else, and come back. The most important step in getting through an art block is coming back. 


Currently, Scavo-Fulk has a piece displayed in the show “The Art of the State” in Harrisburg, PA, a show that focuses on artists in Pennsylvania. She is working on a series of four-by-six-inch oil paintings. 


You can check out her work online at

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