Artist Statement & Bio

The brief statement below is how I have ‘deep-down’ approached painting and drawing, but mostly without having any words for much of my life, especially as a younger person, and feeling like a bit of a stranger (or wallflower?) to the disciplined studious art world because of it- inhabiting a marked void of a particular formal technique or school of thought, or successful people to follow or aspire to. But this is where it authentically originates from, the best way I can describe it, why I -truly- paint:

My deepest feeling is that it is between the land and you, that there you are, whole (whether I feel it or accept it or not, this grinds down like chaff on a millstone, into more of an empirical, cyclical truth, for me).

Between, you are not entirely “you” of your singularized abstract sense of self, and you are not entirely “lone nature” either. Concomitantly, you’re not totally ‘in’ the way a tree is “in” but you are not exactly not that either, so you’re not “out”. This is a peculiar intersection that a person has to exist within and experience uniquely. Between one and the other, between the land and what you call as yourself, that’s where you really are- tumbling into becoming a surprising mix of the two forces instead in your own funny transcendent way. Art making helps us do this better, (insert long paragraph here about our conscious and unconscious) especially when we show up to meet this invitation openly with whatever we have left in the tank, meet our own light with the bigger light, and find our groundless ground. This is the terrain my paintings explore, intimately traverse, and hopefully celebrate- the surest unknown ground (of mystery) that connects us beyond specified locality, but ironically through it.

It’s okay if that doesn’t make sense to you, (it’s a blurry idea for me too), but if it inspires you to cherish all the unusual ways you may open to the world before you, as it twists and turns you, in a Sprite-like spirit of quirkiness and surprise, sometimes in undeniable sorrow and exquisite beauty, that’s more of the heft, and what my paintings are attempting to share.

Here is a little more about me and my history of making the art of landscape.

I have been painting the landscape since childhood growing up in rural farming New England (in a small town that borders MA and VT). Oil painting was introduced to me around fourteen years old and I was immediately drawn to the depth of color, its insatiable challenge beckoning me on, and the refinement of expression that it enabled.

After college, which included much meandering with my art supplies, I worked as a therapeutic wilderness guide in the forests of Vermont, (painting in my off shifts) and upon moving to Shelburne, Vermont in 2009, (after a children’s nature-arts camp had lost funding from a grant), I was motivated to share my interpretations of the surrounding landscape at the village’s farmers market for that summer season. It was the first time I had a sweet flurry of public eyes receiving my work (outside of college critiques) and it was such an authentically supportive, open-ended and empowering, loving experience.

That phase dove-tailed into private commissioned work for homes in the area and the process of photo-documenting my work professionally, encouraged to offer them in the form of archival ‘giclee’ prints, in original and alternate scales.

I eventually moved my studio from Shelburne to a work /show space in Charlotte, then to an extra room in a house my husband and I acquired in Colchester, VT in 2015 while I more than stumbled through the initial experiences of being a mother full time, and painting took a back seat (or a backroom- which for 6 months I allowed only myself to enter in, to the hilarity of my husband at the time, but make no mistake it seemed a dead-serious matter for me then!).

In 2019, I turned my focus back into my art-making mode much more, renting a new public-accessible studio space in downtown Winooski, VT. That year I established relationships with other exhibition venues in the area, allowing for customers to find my work there, in addition to private studio visits. With the pandemic to confront, I turned back to parenting full time until my daughter was able to join her Kindergarten class, now in Richmond, VT where we have since moved and our new home is. This is where my home-studio is for the remainder of 2021 and perhaps the idea is that in 2022 I will work from a more formal space if it would make better sense.

Thank you for taking so much time to read all of this!

Lastly,

Please feel free to reach out with any other questions or inquiries you may have about my work, the archival prints that come from it, or your interest in commissioning a painting. Safely masked and respectfully sanitized studio visits most welcome.

In extensive gratitude for your interest, warmth, and support for my creative path,

Laurel

ps. Below are a few photos of a past studio and a farmer’s market booth (both from 2019), and a more recent bio pic (2021).

Winooski, Vermont Studio Space at the Wishbone Collective 2019
Burlington City Arts Market in Burlington, VT 2019
The person who gets to stare at some paint on a canvas all day long if she’s lucky!