Laurel studied art and environmental science in college at St. Olaf. She currently studies part-time with Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art in Minneapolis. She also works as a professional Naturalist.
While painting I’m often fixated on a subject that I feel is overwhelmingly significant and commonly overlooked. What motivates me to paint is a moment that I feel is ephemeral, significant and worth sharing with you.
While painting I’m often fixated on a subject that I feel is overwhelmingly significant and commonly overlooked. What motivates me to paint is a moment that I feel is ephemeral, significant and worth sharing with you. Mundane or grand, this image flashed in my mind and I think “someone’s got to see this”. Painting serves as meditation to deeply absorb this initial spark.
My subjects vary, but do have common threads. I’m a professional naturalist as well as artist. I work closely with all manner of organisms (humans included), in all weather, year round. I see the interaction between humans and nature on a daily basis. This influences my subject choice. I think most people agree nature is beautiful; what I want is to reconnect people to it. We aren’t separate. I try to get people past their line of separation each day.
My technique has developed from years of drawing (graphite, charcoal, colored pencil). I first painted in high school, in acrylic. I began oil painting at age 18. Oils were the right match for me. They dry slower, allowing me to rework areas while the painting is still wet. Experience teaching in nature leads me to paintings: I paint to study an organism or niche in more depth. Often I want to linger on a subject and can share this through a painting. When someone asks how long it takes me to create a painting, my response is “my whole life.” Each painting (or sketch) feeds the next.
As my work develops I continue to paint in an impressionistic, realistic style. I hope to share art that celebrates and creates a personal connection with our surroundings, be they humble or grand. I want my work to foster an appreciation of our surroundings, our observation and connection to this each and every day.