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