Britannia Art Gallery: Opening reception — Jan 4th 6:30-8:30pm

I am in a small show this January (with one other artist). The opening is Jan 4th, 6:30-8:30. 

This show is in a Gallery in a small community library that has been part of my life since my kid, Brae, was a toddler, so I feel gratified to now be showing my abstract work to the people who frequent this space: lots of teens, and elders and people in the neighbourhood. 

I love that there are spaces to see paintings that are accessible to a wider variety of people than typical galleries. Art conveys possibility and hope by its very existence — and I personally believe that abstract paintings are nourishing for us, just like vitamins! Ha ha! 

I am super happy to share my new paintings with my East Side neighbourhood. I would love to see you there for a visit, right at the beginning of 2017! 

The opening reception is onWednesday Jan 4th, 6:30-8:30pm

Best,

Laurel

 

Britannia Art Gallery:

This is a small gallery in a local library. It has a real community feel to it!

Opening reception: Jan 4th 6:30-8:30pm

Runs: January 4-27th, 2017

1661 Napier St., Vancouver
(Off Commercial Drive)

Hours:
Mon/Wed/Fri: 9am-6pm
Tues/Wed: 9am-9pm
Sun: 1-5pm
 

The Culture Crawl 2016

I love the Crawl. It is an opportunity for me to meet hundreds of art lovers all in one weekend. Think about that: what other event is there that draws crowds of people out to look at art? It is the biggest art event in Vancouver! I enjoy meeting all the people who are drawn to my work. Art is so very personal, and the Crawl allows everyone to find out what kind of work excites them. 

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My lovely studio-mates!

A snapshot of the Crawl during the day. 

Painting is the most interesting activity I know

Painting is the most interesting and compelling activity I know. 

You start with a blank canvas and fill it up with something completely new — and the paint goes exactly where you put it. The awkwardness or brilliance of that stroke is yours, all yours. I am aiming for less awkwardness, or rather, just the right kind.

I am particularly interested in themes of transition, struggle and growth (both metaphorically and materially). Each painting is a visual expression of emotion and struggle, externalized through paint and materials. Some feel like storms, some like summer. My work is thematically connected by my focus on mark-making, the presence of the hand, the building of texture, and loose gestural painting.

The titles of each work add another layer of meaning to the painting: I treat each title is a mini-writing project — writing is an important aspect of my work and creative process. Writing, scribing-type marks are seen through out my work, so it is fitting that writing titles has emerged as an important layer to each piece. Writing can be a key to making it through the storm of any transition. I aim to make the titles equally as evocative as the painting itself, sometimes aphoristic, sometimes they are truisms, and sometimes they give warnings, and sometimes they offer a little sense of humour. 

I am working on process-driven work, and am pursuing abstraction in effort to create work that is evocative, emotional and that responds to the materials. It develops over time with layers of texture, marks, brushstrokes, colour, blood, sweat and tears (and a sense of humour!). 

My work intentionally shows the embodied making of a painting by highlighting the hand in the process, by incorporating mark-making, looseness of brush-stroke, movement, and texture. And now, this non-objective work is becoming bigger and bigger— my most recent bunch of paintings are over 50 x 60 inches (they barely fit in my Delica). 

xo Laurel

Gallery Woo

The show at Gallery Woo comes down September 6th, a week longer than expected. It has been great to see the work up and looking pretty! A friend says that when paintings are hung professionally and lit well, it is like they are wearing their party clothes! Take a trip down if you would like to see them. 

Gallery Woo
2977 Granville Street (near 14th)
In Bean Around The World

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Opus Demos

I just took SEVEN weeks off of painting to put myself through the wringer. Am I ever glad to be back.

I enrolled in two seven week condensed summer psychology courses at UBC. Which, FYI, is the equivalent to taking a full course load. Admittedly, I might not have conceived of it quite like that when I signed up. Willful ignorance, perhaps? So I wouldn't think about it to much and just do it? On top of that, I did 100 hours of training at the Crisis Centre, my new volunteer gig, AT THE SAME TIME. I literally did not touch a paint brush for the entire time. Or do anything else besides study and sleep. (Why I did all this is a much longer conversation...) 

But the self-imposed break DID remind me of how much painting is a part of me. That when I am away from it, I pine for it. Other people are passionate about boating, or climbing, or travelling, and such — for me, it is painting.

I plan to produce a lot in the next six months. This photo below shows a few on the wall that are well underway.


The last demo I did at Opus went very well, so they invited me back! This time to both their North Van AND their Downtown storesThe first one is this coming Sunday in North Van.

Exploring Mark-Making & Texture with Laurel Swenson

When: Sunday July 10th, 11am-1pm

Location: Opus North Van — 119 - 949 3rd Street West, North Vancouver

Read the full description. 

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please contact Opus North Vancouver at 604‑904‑0447 to register.


Exploring Mark-Making & Texture with Laurel Swenson

When: Sunday July 31st, 11am-1pm

Location: Opus Downtown — 100-207 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Read the full description.

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please contact Opus Downtown at 604‑678‑5889 to register.


Feel free to get in touch any time. If you see something you are interested in, you can come by for a studio visit or email questions.

A few of my pieces are out at some interior design firms, so if you want to see a specific piece in person, let me know and I can retrieve it. It is always nice to see a painting in person. You can also take it home to try it out in your space. No problem. Art is so very personal — it is always about finding a good match. 

— xo, Laurel

Leave It Better Than You Found It

This huge pink painting has been a test for me. This new colour palette — grey and pink — took me out of my comfort zone and into some serious experimentation, especially with using brighter colours and heavy texture. Check out the close-ups of the textures!

"Leave It Better Than You Found It" has not been stretched yet, but will do that soon. I think it will be approximately 53 x 60 inches. Another big one! Big paintings certainly take much longer than small ones. And a ridiculous amount more paint. 

Some of my favourite details:


Mayne Island Painting

Yes, my idea of a holiday is to paint even more. In fact, some of my resistance to "going away for the weekend" is not being able to paint. But when you are in a relationship, you should do what your partner wants to do now and then, right? So I packed a grocery bag full of six small panels and as much painting supplies as would fit in around them, and painted on Mayne Island. 

I have been painting so large lately that is has been a real pleasure to work on some smalls. One of the biggest struggles of working on large paintings has been how the scale changes everything. I  feel like I am relearning a lot. There is also so much more real estate to cover! It takes so much more time to cover the area with paint, and one main struggle is to keep the strokes fresh and active, the way I can on smaller pieces. It is a constant learning curve, this painting business.