Langley Fox Hemingway | ‘I PAINT NOW’ at Melet LAX Hangar
![](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d819192b95754b7dfed1_IMG-7252.jpeg) Artist Langley Fox Hemingway will debut her first collection of paintings _I PAINT NOW_ on October 7th at the Melet LAX Hangar, where her pieces will live in Bob Melet’s iconic warehouse of timeless vintage, creating a history of her own and adding to those before her. Known for her photorealistic illustrations through the means of graphite and ink, Langley has now ventured into a new realm. Like many of us during this cultural shift, Langley was able to devote time and carve out space to explore painting after the encouragement of her late father. Approaching the canvas for Langley is an intrinsic experience as she transposes and transforms her demons into something beautifully tangible and productive. Each heartfelt self-portrait dives into a different facet of herself that at times might be too extraneous to face in her every day. She shares, “It's kind of like all these parts of my personality that I feel need healing in a sense.” With each brushstroke, Langley explains how art can be a soothing salve for a world on fire. _Flaunt_ had the opportunity to sit down with Langley Fox Hemingway to speak about her artistic aspirations, her upcoming show _I PAINT NOW_, and the importance of keeping in touch with our mental health. Photographed by Emily Knecht ![Photographed by Emily Knecht](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d819192b95754b7dfec5_-j2a8626-2.jpeg) Photographed by [Emily Knecht](https://www.instagram.com/emilyknecht/?hl=en) **Let’s start at the beginning, how did you find your affinity for illustration and creating?** I guess I've always wanted to be an artist since I found out that you could basically play for a living. I was like, ‘Oh, why do people do anything else when you could just sit around and distract yourself all day?’ I've always drawn, and I went to school for fashion design because I think at the time I didn't really know what illustration was. I didn't think you should spend like $40,000 a year to do fine arts when I could do that on my own. So I did fashion design only to realize that it was just surrounded by too many people. I'm quite a hermit. So then, I began drawing all the time. I just started painting when the pandemic hit. I was quite scared of painting before because I didn't want to fail. I made myself do it every day because I didn't want to be bad at it. So now I have a collection of paintings.  **How did you navigate illustrating to painting?** I have such a passion for drawing and I just feel like I've really mastered the skill of it. One of the things I wanted my career to take was a more fine arts path rather than an illustrator’s. No artist really wants to do somebody else's art or what they want you to do. My dad always wanted me to paint and so he bought me an easel and all these things when he was sick with cancer and he died right before the pandemic hit.  I tried to do it when he was sick, and I couldn't figure it out. I forced myself to do it with the intention that I was also doing it for him in a sense. And for some reason, something really clicked. And I like to say that I think somehow he was helping me.  gw3a2737.JPG ![gw3a2737.JPG](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d819192b95754b7dfecd_gw3a2737.jpeg) Photographed by [Emily Knecht](https://www.instagram.com/emilyknecht/?hl=en) **That's so beautiful. I think that's just a lovely connection to discover. I want to also ask you what in the everyday inspires creativity for you?**  I'm a very disciplined human, so I say that in order for me to feel sane and self-accomplished, especially as somebody that likes to make their own schedule, I need to do work during the day. I think like most of us in the world today, I suffer from a lot of anxiety and I feel like painting has really taken so much out of it that the thought of like you _do_ get lost in time and space or whatever. It elapses. And it's kind of like, I don't know, it feels like you're doing something really good for yourself. And as time goes by, it feels good for my mental health. I guess I get inspired by knowing that I have to do it too.  And then different elements of like, if I'm starting something new, I like to take walks and listen to scores of music and see what emotional problems come up. Then I can kind of put that into something.  **That sounds like creating is a very intrinsic experience for you. Your show _I PAINT NOW_ must hold the same weight. What was your inspiration for this collection?**  With drawing, I have always taken images that I like from the seventies or the sixties that are photorealism or photojournalism from the streets of New York or Chicago and kind of making it my own by recreating it.   With this, I've never used color before, so it's big. They're each 30 by 40 inches and each one is a self-portrait of me obviously. I painted myself in the forest with my heart bleeding to mourn my dad in a sense where I wanted to put my feelings of breathing somewhere. My intent was to heal myself because I think at first I went very numb. I was like, ‘Oh, I'm fine.’ And throughout time, I was like, ‘Oh, I'm not fine.’ I think I just buried that somewhere so I didn't have to initially feel it. And it was so successful in the intent of grieving. I didn't cry once while I was doing it. And I felt like it helped my mental health so much that I created this project of I'd say my demons.  It's kind of like all these parts of my personality that I feel need healing in a sense. Each one Is a characterization or a symbolic representation of different parts of, I guess, things that hinder me from day to day and how to bring them into light and see them and worked through them in a way where I'm addressing them and I'm not scared by them anymore. And putting them there and making something beautiful out of something. ![](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d819192b95754b7dfec9_IMG-4753.jpeg) **I think it must be so validating to see it in person, especially since our feelings can sometimes like feeling like they are at the edge of our fingertips and beyond touch because they aren’t tangible things.** Yes, I think all people struggle with mental health, to be honest. You know, we like to hide it, or whisper about it, or not address it. And I think the importance of bringing it out and saying that—not to say I'm fucked up—but say like, ‘It's okay to be not perfect and not all of these things,’ and try to heal them in whichever way you can. And for me, it feels like at this point in my life that painting them in this sense has been quite phenomenally good for me. **That’s so amazing to hear. It must be so cathartic to be able to express in that way. With _I PAINT NOW,_ what do you hope people will take home with them?**  Bob Melet who's putting it on at his space at Melet Mercantile, which is this big warehouse near LAX where he sells the most amazing vintage ever. He gave me this opportunity, and he is kind of collaborating and making an immersive space for me along with some of his vintage clothes too. I wanted it within his stuff because his stuff is so cool.  But he also asked what we wanted people to come away with. And I was like, ‘You know when you go through a haunted house—minus the really scary part—but I want you to feel something. Or like a funhouse. You should see my house; it is like a rainbow. I painted this whole wall green. The ceiling is green too. I've got a red wall up there too with checkers. It’s been a long year. I fully support coloring your walls because it makes everything.  -j2a1614.jpg ![-j2a1614.jpg](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d819192b95754b7dfec1_-j2a1614.jpeg) Photographed by [Emily Knecht](https://www.instagram.com/emilyknecht/?hl=en) **Your house is beautiful. You mentioned earlier that this collection is going to be the first time you're using color and with such a colorful house and love of color, what inspired you to now also bring color into your art?**  Well, I've always been attracted to color externally. When you're doing drawings, I think that drawings are very strong and timeless when they're in black and white or just pencil, but with painting, I think there's such a vast amount of space to move. I think that my drawings are more focused on a subject, and there's usually no background. And now, \[painting\] has taken me to a whole different realm of what I like to think is creating a world because I'm doing background. You can create color palettes and moods just within that. You can come up with some color stories. I think we know through all different avenues of when you're decorating your house or outfits, color stories are so important. And it's been so fun and mixing colors on a palette. I like being able to match the color you want and then you can start putting different highlights in different places.  **I am glad you are having such fun with it! My last question for you is what have you learned personally and artistically about yourself creating this show?**  I think that having this time to learn something new that I was scared of and deal with so much pain, I've grown so much in the past year and a half \[because of\] everything that has happened and having to be locked up with no choice. I don't think I would have been given the opportunity to start something so new. And it feels like my life has gone in a direction that I really wanted for myself and I'm so grateful for that—not saying I'm grateful for the pandemic clearly, it would be an awful thing—but I'm grateful to be able to have this time to sit and master something new and hopefully take this and apply it to the rest of my life. My dear friend Meredith Kahn, who is coproducing the art show and whom I’ve worked with throughout my adult life, introduced me to Bob with the wise insight of seeing something great come about before anyone else. They both have truly taken me under their wing and given me this opportunity. With bob, it’s a new relationship. I didn't know him before and we've become very close in the professional, but also in a friendship way. When he offered to put on the show, I cried the whole way home. Inside you're like, ‘Oh, I've been seen.’ I know I do work really hard and I know people appreciate it, but when somebody gives you something that you want so bad and says that you're good enough to do it, it just means so much.