As Laurel moved from realistic oil paintings into abstract oil paintings, she was profoundly touched hearing we are part of the cosmic dust of the universe. She realized that her abstract paintings were challenging her to look at the cosmic dust that colors our lives.
Laurel has always felt the down to earth grounding that was a major part of her life. She grew up in rural Nebraska walking barefoot in the summer, lying in the grass and looking up at the stars. In the winters she plowed through
the snow. Her family were farm folk who knew their neighbors and raised their own food.
She graduated from high school and traveled to Montana State University in Bozeman, Mt to study architecture. Art classes were a part of the curriculum and taught her to focus on shades and shadows and the nuances of early morning and late afternoon light. Professor DeWeese first inspired her to be open to abstract forms., but Laurel was not ready to delve into the art world.
She worked for thirty-five years in the field of architecture and during that time her hobby was photographing flowers and landscapes. These photos became the inspiration for her realistic paintings. In her early thirties she wanted to see the world and so she became a Peace Corps Volunteer to the Fiji Islands where she was a rural community development volunteer and lived in a grass bure (hut). Later she taught at Fiji Institute of Technology. It was an experience that broadened her understanding of people and history.
Laurel also had to work on early PTSD issues, processing the depths of emotions, soul and spirit. She was able to reintegrate herself and allow herself to express the depth of her soul.
After retiring and doing some traveling, she took up oil painting. In the fall of 2013, she began painting flowers and landscapes. She became dissatisfied with some of her paintings and had a dry spell for a month. Then in January 2015, she reread THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron and DRAWING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN by Betty Edwards. She realized she needed to tap into her right brain so she began painting with her left hand allowing her inner self free expression. She is creating dancing free-form figures in her abstract oil paintings that reflect her view of the universe, her surroundings, her feelings, her soul and spirit. She use lines, forms, textures and colors to create images that touch viewers’ souls and raise their spirits.