Painting History

By David

Laurie would describe her art as ‘observational’,  however, her paintings read as concerns about our physical and social environments.

After years of raising kids, and following a different career path, Laurie decided to revisit her dream of being an artist. Because of her other commitments she started out part time, painting still life and landscapes.  As her paintings began to sell her ambitions broadened. She wanted her work to speak to more meaningful observations. This resulted in the creation of the thought provoking “Habitats Threatened” series. Painted habitats threatened the escarpmentfrom 2003-2004, each of these landscape oil paintings include a small metal machine replica. The toys were mounted on a platform attached to the bottom of the picture frame. The backdrop of the platform-behind the toy-was a copy of the painting. To Laurie’s gratification, paintings in this series, won prizes, created a lot of discussion and provided new exhibition opportunities.

2004/2005 was a transition time.  Laurie's art changed from oil to acrylic, from small to large, still life and landscapes to figurative, and from detailed mark making to the loose strokes that characterize her later work.

In addition to  figurative painting, Laurie was also expanding into mixed media. She started to include “artifacts”, such as earrings, into her paintings as well as creating  mixed media pieces that included aspects of her previous paintings. queens hotel 2Her piece, “Queen`s Hotel 2” was accepted to the Juried show “Convergence” at the Tom Thomson Gallery in Owen Sound, where it won the People`s Choice award. This piece was also invited to be part of Group Show at the Tom Thomson Gallery called “Home”. It is the first example of the direction that Laurie is taking her newer art work .

Laurie’s figurative work captures everyday moments in life, lent poignant by expressions, postures and the juxtaposition of the painful with the sweet. These works were first seen at ‘The Bean Cellar and Roxy Theatre Gallery in Owen Sound and then in 2006 her solo show “In Time Between” at the St James Gallery located in Dundas, Ontario.

raised on fairytalesIn 2007 Laurie began her fulltime professional art career, by leaving the workforce and joining The Art Hive artist collective in the Haliburton area.

The interest in ‘visual anthropology’ as subject matter developed around this time. An example of this work is “Raised on Fairy Tales”. This is one of a set of five paintings dealing with the traditions of North American culture as they relate to child rearing and North American celebrations.


Another painting, “Teen”, carried a theme that became a focus in Laurie’s art. The Teen Series of paintings is about "telling the stories of children, teens and young adults in their ‘here and now’ as they grow in 21st Century societies". (From the Artist Statement) In this series, Laurie is trying to capture some of the influences and anxieties that teenagers deal with as they mature in our culture. Some titles from this series are: Teen, Streetheart, Leaving the Ground, 13 going on 7teen, Almost Ready, My Here and Now.


In 2008 Laurie was invited to participate in a show “Paternity Suite” scheduled for 2010, at The Rail's End Gallery in Haliburton. The theme of the show was an artist`s interpretation of fatherhood. It featured Laurie`s figurative pieces along with an cooperative installation piece by the artist Al Van Mil and his two sons. Laurie`s paintings for the show spoke to both the complex and simple aspects of ‘Fatherhood (a number of these pieces can be viewed in the Gallery section on the web site). These paintings as well as many of Laurie’s other paintings, often suggest an underlying uneasiness and can at times be chilling but their honesty touches people. Some people have cried when viewing a painting for the first time, others have wanted to sit and talk about their life experiences.

Laurie started experid kill to look better nakedimenting with encaustic media in 2006. She produced a number of small “Face” pieces. With the support of an Ontario Arts Council Grant, Laurie began using the encaustic process for the large pieces in her "Scars" series.

She introduced the first piece from this series in her August 2011, Hand of the Maker show at The Art Hive, Haliburton. The piece is entitled “I’d Kill to Look Better Naked”.

On completion, in 2013, this series was showcased at the Agnes Jamison Gallery in Minden.