My pastel landscapes are of real and imagined places. Each painting is an experiment to express an idea about place and atmosphere. They are painted pretty quickly, over a day or two, and many do not succeed. I am not patient but I am persistent.
I go back to the same places to paint over and over again to record the weather, the quality of light, the reflection of water, the growth of grasses; all the changes in a place over time. Familiarity breeds understanding and a focused sense of the place so that I can express its fundamental nature simply.
I also paint from memory, reentering places I have visited in the past. These imaginings are strong images distilled as designs as well as places. I often work over old, failed, pieces that peek through, influencing the new layers of pastel, a bit of a surprise. The sanded paper and fixative spray allow for layer upon layer of pastel, glazes of color that aren't muddy. The large blocky pastels I use don't lend themselves to fine detail.
I have always drawn and painted. Growing up in a busy family with five kids that valued creativity in all the arts, I was the designated visual artist. Later, I chose a landscape architecture career that honed my designer's eye and drawing skills. Those years of creating three dimensional spaces, designing with shadow, sunlight, color and texture, naturally inspired my passion for painting landscapes.
When I turned 50, my children grown, I decided to put in my 10,000 hours to master pastel painting. Now, some (many) years later, I've participated in juried shows, solo shows and group shows and have even been published in a national art magazine. I quit my day job and became a full time artist when I fell in love and moved to the King's Valley area in the Coast Range of Oregon, near Corvallis.
Shows coming Up
January 5 - February, 2017
Coffee Plant Roasters
2836 W 11th Ave
Little Wolf's First Howling
Available April 11, 2017
Written by Laura McGee Kvasnosky and
Illustrated by Laura and Me
(she did the b/w gouche/Photoshop layer and I did the color in Photoshop)
Students from the Jam Journalism class at the University of Oregon filmed an interview with me Fall term, 2014. Bryan Cargill, Fahmo Mohammed and Stephanie Lambirth made the experience a comfortable delight. Here is the video they made. There is also an article on the Register Guard's blog.