Laura Laughren (lorahliemaybe) is a Vancouver born self-taught diverse artist influenced by her birthplace-the North Western landscape-who now lives in Toronto Canada. She centers her visual work in a variety of mediums and techniques. With a powerful mastery of color, form and depth, her pieces speak with intuitive loose and fluid brushstrokes. Combining layering and wet-on-wet techniques, often with surprising texture or complex inking.
She takes inspiration from nature while conveying a serious and urgent undertone. Painting is an extension of her being. Transporting herself and the viewer into a sensual world of Abstraction, Abstracted Landscape, Surrealism and emotion. Her Art’s Practice is a combination of quick and astute affordable pieces intermingled with long term committed pieces over 2 year periods.
Her expansive creativity also flows into paper craft, stone jewelry, wood craft and fiber arts. Laura’s work is included in many private and corporate collections and has been exhibited in solo, group and juried exhibitions in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec since 1989.
~Artist Statement 2019~
I was born an artist, one of those children fascinated with patterns and colors….the preschooler me admired glittering plastic sea-shell beads strung as a necklace endlessly for their shape and texture. I got in trouble for art, would attempt to make “frescos” out of pillaged plaster powder, crushed watercolors and Styrofoam meat trays. It didn’t stick very well but the colors were soft and pastel.
My first exhibited piece, a pen and ink drawing of roses, was displayed in the Vancouver Art Gallery when I was in grade nine. Aside from that I was a secret artist. In my twenties I left my job to paint for a year and my television companion was Bob Ross from the PBS painting series. I watched and listened absorbing all of his knowledge. For a time I too used his “magic white” oil paint.
I discovered acrylics, so clean and versatile, and my mentorship with Bob ended. I began to enter competitions, selected three years in a row for the North West Coast Regional Art Show, the beginning of many exhibitions. I also became the Art Instructor for the City of Prince Rupert and taught a wide range of programming for all age levels.
I now work freelance from my home studio near Greektown in Toronto Canada. Over the years I didn’t really establish a “set” method of creating visual art. I’m an experimenter. Mostly painting in Acrylic but I also work with Encaustic, Lino, Graphite, Ink, Paper, Fiber, Clay and Resin.
Most people don’t know that I have vision in just one eye. I think it has confused art critics at times…I’ve had them say that my paintings are “astute” and “have a lot of depth despite not being three dimensional”. I am a visually impaired Artist. A hidden disability that I have learned to live with. I think it helps me actually…the world looks two dimensional to me anyways and translating that into a flat image comes easy. I’ve always relied on color theory and spatial contrast to get depth.
I research and watch a lot of documentaries on artists, past and present. One of the things I have noticed is that it is often commented upon how the artist’s style changes over time. It occurred to me recently “maybe it’s just age…their eyesight just isn’t as clear as it once was”.
That is happening to me. Age, medications, and radiation treatment for Cancer are all effecting my “good” eye. I’ve decided to relax my “style” and method of painting. I have awesome color awareness so that will still be a focus of my craft. But the days of extremely detailed and hyper-realistic work is over. People that have known me for a long time are noticing this change…and they like it! I’m leaning towards Abstraction, and Abstract Landscape. It’s always been “fun” but now it is a matter of function and energy level.
I’ll always paint…even when I inevitably become completely blind.
~ Early Career Highlights ~
3yrs Art instructor for the City of Prince Rupert-courses
consisted of: children’s programming 4-12 yrs, cartooning, crafts and painting. Adults and special circumstances programming, watercolour, acrylic basics and paper porcelain flowers 1990-1993
3 successive years West Coast Juried Regional Art
Prince Rupert Port Corporation Authority Competition 1991
Prince Rupert Panel Competition 1992
Accepted Artist Prince Rupert North Coast Art Gallery 1992
Logo + Municipal Design City of Prince Rupert 1992
Port Edward Cannery Museum on-site artist 1993
Independent Studio Work 1994 to 1999
Millennium Mural Parliamentary Library Ottawa 2000
Independent Studio Work 2001 to 2011
Being Scene Juried Exhibition
“Delirium” selected for Workman Arts 12th Annual Juried Exhibition. Exhibited at U of T, Gladstone Hotel and Workman Arts
John St. Farmers Market
June 2012 – October 2012
Organic farmers market featuring independent artists, musicians, gourmet coffees and edibles in the beautiful Grange Park, Toronto
Propeller Center for the Visual Arts Now…What r u waiting for?
Two pieces, “Opal’s Essence” and “Opal Waiting” selected for the exhibition
Touched By Fire
“Fly” Lino/watercolor print selected for the Touched By Fire 5th Annual show and sale. “Fire and Ice” donated to Mood Disorders Association of Ontario for Annual Fundraising Event during Touched by Fire @ Cooper’s Fine Art Gallery
Solo Exhibition at Full of Beans Coffee House and Roastery
2013 Year of the Snake Print Exhibition
Proof Studio Gallery
International artist’s exhibition. Venues for this annual exhibit included Toronto, Ottawa, Muskoka and Concordia
Sage Print Show
Group show at the Sage Café hosted by Jerry Silverberg
Art Fusion Toronto 2013 (January, May)
January 2013 Daniel Spectrum Centre
May 2013 Mel Lastman Square
Participating Visual Artist
“We Were all Children” Solo show @ CAMH
A body of work consisting of children’s Encaustic exhibited in the CAMH Client Library May 14th-August 14th 2013
Square Art Circle Exhibition at B1 Lounge
Exhibition and art auction at the exquisite B1 Lounge, Toronto, Ontario. Hosted by Daniel Anaka
Architecture of Mad: An Exhibition of Art by Mad People
“Under Siege” selected by Jury to be exhibited during the Mad Pride Festival. Exhibition Opening Ceremonies July 11th, 2013
Community Action for Families
Logo design, banner design and community outreach coloring book 2014
Tending the Wallflower Group Exhibition hosted by Lauren McKinley Renzetti
Glass Works Gallery
Laughing like Crazy Juried Exhibition
Mood Disorders Association of Ontario
~2016 -2018….Independent Studio Work~
~2019 Studio Work & Community
Toronto Community Housing Corporation-May 2019 ongoing
Art Based Workshop Pilot Project-planning, developing, fundraising & Facilitator for THCH tenants, East Toronto Division
The Pocket Community Association-Jan 2019 ongoing
Steering Committee-Art Coordination for the planning of the Pocket Hub house (location Phin Park Toronto, Ontario)
Other Committees-Phin Clubhouse & Pocket Events Creativity Emporium