Q+A with Lorraine Pennington | Costa Mesa, CA

We fell in love with Lorraine’s Pennington‘s minimalist paintings first. It was years later that we met her, by chance, and it honestly felt like a dream-come-to-life. Since then we have supported each other from afar but recently our brief scout at her gorgeous atelier turned into hours long conversation that still lingers and evokes thought + laughter. All we can say is, if you don’t know Lorraine Pennington, you should! We are grateful to bring everyone along on our next lark through these Proust inspired dinner party questions:

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Echo Park with a musician father and mother who encouraged being artistic.

What is your favorite places to visit? 

I really love Italy, France and Spain.

When did you decide to become an artist?

I feel like I have always been drawn to creating…I enjoyed designing jewelry and tabletop accessories like a very large wall necklace I sold at A’MAREE’S and at Garde in Los Angeles. 

Art School yay or nay?

No. I didn’t go to art school.

We love your paintings and can easily describe it as peaceful, serene, organic…can you share any other cool or fun descriptions you’ve heard? 

I have heard the words Wabi-sabi and Calming. 

One of the best compliments was a client told me, who had one of my painting in their bedroom that they loved waking up and seeing my artwork, it put them in a good mood. I am a very positive person so my art has that energy.

We also love your jewelry which speaks so much to your aesthetic, you are no longer making but can you share any photos for us to swoon over?

I still design a few pieces of jewelry but I don’t do retail anymore. 

I love that people that bought my jewelry tell me they still wear it after buying it 8 years ago.

It is still the only jewelry I wear.

What is your idea of a great dining experience?

My idea of a great dining experience is having people you enjoy with great music and lighting and of course amazing food and drinks.

Are you the chef at home?

Yes I really enjoy cooking, I usually never use a recipe. 

What is you most coveted ingredient?

Fresh herbs and salt. My favorite food is sushi.

Any interesting stories of where your paintings have landed? 

My paintings have been in a few magazines…recently I was at my moms looking at her magazines and I opened a house beautiful and saw my artwork. I think almost every time my work has been published I found out by surprise opening up the magazine. I have sold art throughout United States. My favorite is when I get to see where the artwork is going in their home so local is always nice.

We would find it hard to “let go” of something so beautiful, how do reconcile with parting with your art?

Yes, I find it hard to let certain pieces of artwork go. I usually hide a few I am not ready to part with!  

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I find that perfect happiness comes when you are fully present, and not expecting anything from the moment.

Any current books, shows or music you are enjoying?

I love to read and read a lot. I have been reading /studying Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza very intriguing book. I also read a lot of fiction. 

I really enjoy going to the library since I was a little kid so books are a big part of my life. I still like to hold a book in my hand and use a handmade bookmark so no kindle for me.

I try not to watch a lot of TV but on the weekends I do watch some like we just finished Succession and I watched Yellowstone. 

Music is another big deal for me I like a lot of different artist. One that comes to mind that I have listened to lately is Khruanghin.  

Lark imagery by @missymphotograhy & all others compliments of Lorraine Pennington.

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Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Social Dining. Come on a lark with us!

Lark #73 x Lorraine Pennington x Chef Matthew Roberts

We were honored to set the communal table, April 10, 2024, with our favorite minimalist artist @lorrainepennington at her beautiful + inviting atelier in West Side Costa Mesa.

Here we enjoyed welcome drinks & mingling, delighted in the beauty of imperfection, shared a chef curated dining experience and—best of all—partook in the (rediscovered) art of conversation.

Q + A with The Sunlight House | Newport Beach, CA

With lark, it is always about the people you meet along the way! We are thrilled to introduce the enthusiastic, whole hearted and innovative Wendy Leithem owner of the film + video design haven known as The Sunlight House ☀️ where we will soon be setting our communal table to enjoy food, wine, design & partake in the (lost) art of conversation. Come along with us as we take a dive below the surface by way of these fun dinner party questions:

Where are you from and where do you live now? 

I grew up on a farm in Yuma Arizona, and now live in Newport Beach. Newport Beach is where I raised my 3 boys and has tons of great memories.

What is your earliest design-related experience?

In my younger years I would always laugh as I could not even draw a stick man.  I never even knew I had any creative ability until I bought my first beach house in my 40’s. I was always an athlete and had corporate jobs. 

Sports: In high school and below, I played everything I could get my hands on. Volleyball, basketball, softball, I even competed in horse Jr Rodeo competitions (my dad was a professional rodeo cowboy). I also played flag football. After college I attempted to play pro beach volleyball, but it did not work out.

We love how you created The Sunlight House to not only be a warm + inviting home but also a commercial shoot location—and now you are opening it to lark! You are always open and growing, what is your secret? 

The Sunlight House

Usually by dumb luck! I have been super fortunate to work with people that have really taught me about manifesting and creating my dream life. Some trial and error for sure. All my endeavors just get more fun and more fun with meeting amazing people along the way. 

Since so many film shoots have happened at The Sunlight House—is there one or two fun/cool experiences to share?

The first that comes to mind was a shoot with Kareem Abdul Jabbar. What a treat. He was shooting a Pharma ad and his team was amazing.

The 2nd was probably being asked to have my sweet yellow lab Maddie be part of a shoot. I quickly learned how to be a  “dog handler” on set.  It was hilarious.  After the 10th take she actually began to stop on her mark.  I was nervous, but she was a rock star.

Thanks Maddie cakes!

What should people know about designing inviting spaces? Is there one easy “must do” tip you can give them?

I always want people to “feel” joy and light energy in any space I create. I want them to feel like they would love to hang out, invite friends over and just really feel a lightness of being from any space I create. 

You have two enterprises going at the same time with Hang3 which launched earlier this year (congrats!). Can you elaborate on the underlying inspiration to support local artists? 

Hang 3 is another endeavor I stumbled upon. I had a collection of my own shots from all over the world and one day I began putting them together.  I then contacted some local incredible photographers from all different  talents and asked for some of their favorite heart filled work and Hang3 was born.  I now shoot my own images as well as recruit painters/photographers and help to broker their work to the design trade and all over.  It has and is currently a wonderful learning experience. 

Inspiring artwork now available at Hang3shop.com

We feel their is an expression or feeling you want to share with your endeavors? Are we onto something?

As I grow older, I find that creative endeavors and using my own creative unique gifts and sharing it with others brings me the most joy. (Besides my amazing 3 boys of course). I feel absolutely blessed to be able to do what I love and also make wonderful revenue streams 

We know you enjoy curating spaces and entertaining, are you the chef at home? 

Ha! My 3 boys might challenge this, but I have started to really enjoy cooking and wine pairing as I have gotten older.  Sampling food from around the world and having unique eating opportunities has been so much fun. 

What ingredient can you not live without? 

Tequila and my hot tea!  Any type of fish and Mexican food comes in at a close 2nd. 

Who, if anyone in the world, would you most like to dine with?

There are so many…but today it would be Leanne Ford the designer.

Her effortless creative style is so inspiring. 

What is your most marked characteristic? 

Always finding the silver lining or positive in a situation, no matter how dire it may seem at the time.  The universe is always teaching us something for our highest good. 

Design or Business school? 

I actually  have an MBA from my corporate days. It has helped me tremendously in my real estate investing and running my businesses. Design school probably would not have been for me. I always have to be out in the world learning.

What not so obvious thing should people know about being an entrepreneur?

All the mistakes that lead you to your right path. I think also sometimes being terrified but doing it anyway. 

What word or phrase do you most over-use?

Embarrassingly, the F word can fly out of my mouth a bit when I least expect it during last minute issues or running behind for a deadline. I would also say “everything is always working out” and “you got this”. 

What is your idea of a perfect day? 

A wonderful morning meditation, a beautiful ocean hike with my wonderful girlfriends, time spent with all 3 of my boys (they are now all older and getting them all 3 together is super hard now with them on different parts of the country). Ending with a fabulous meal, my boys/ friends or any creative souls. 

Wendy Leithem and her 3 boys enjoying their annual b-day weekend snowboarding trip!

Who are your heroes?

First would be my 3 boys…they are amazing and handle any challenge that comes their way like gladiators.  Second would be my amazing Uncle Clayton Kiewel. We just lost him. He was the patriarch in our family and the man/person we all aspired to be. 

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Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Social Dining. Come on a lark with us!

Friday 3/22/24 w/the talented Chef Kyle Powers + Sous Chef Bryan Barnes!

Open invite. Limited Seats.