Landry McMeans is a full time artist based in Austin, TX with a passion for the Sonoran Desert. Purple mountains, neon sunsets, and saguaro cacti have been staple subjects in her work since she first picked up cardboard relief as her primary medium in 2005, while earning a degree in Communication Design from Texas State University. In addition to her visual art, McMeans is a songwriter and steel guitar player who has spent the last decade touring nationally and internationally with her personal band Palomino, Brooklyn, NY based band, Gangstagrass (Emmy nominees for the theme song to the FX TV series Justified), and her former group, The Lonesome Heroes (Austin, TX).
McMeans stumbled upon cardboard as an artistic medium while working on a school project in her 3D Design class in 2005. The assignment was simply to experiment with foam core, mat board, or cardboard, and to explore the possibilities of textures and shadows within a medium. Given the accessible, affordable, and abundant nature of cardboard, McMeans’ artistic inspiration escalated, and she executed all assignments for the semester from cardboard, including a cardboard chair, equipped to hold a 250 pound, 6 foot tall man (her professor). Now, McMeans largely uses archival corrugated board, an acid free, cotton based material similar to cardboard that is guaranteed to last a minimum of 300 years.
My work elicits a feeling of nostalgia and captures a voyeuristic glimpse into the rawness of nature, settling the viewer with a sense of a serene and uncomplicated time. I use archival corrugated board and subtle color gradations to create depth and distance within a multi-dimensional and textured experience.
I first found inspiration for my visual art from the Sonoran Desert while pursuing my career as a touring musician. However, over time I have recognized my sensitivity to my environment and my tendency to paint where I am, whether it be emotionally symbolic or geographically literal. I spent the past three and half years as an Arizona resident, and since my recent return back to my native Texan roots, I have been surprised by the iconic and nostalgic images of home that have recently emerged in my work.