January 28, 2017
Laura Harris - Celebrating 15 Years Q&A
It's an exciting time for both The Adele Campbell Gallery and artist Laura Harris! This year marks our 15th year together and we can't wait to celebrate with Laura on February 11th, 2017 at her Solo Exhibition. We have watched Laura grow and evolve as an artist, and celebrated each changing stroke and technique over the past 15 years.
So much of Laura's art evokes an emotion, with it's shiny, colourful texture. We thought you might want to dive into Laura's process and find out what inspires her. See below for a Q&A with Laura Harris herself...
Q. Describe your creative process, from the idea stage to the finished piece. What part of the journey is most invigorating?
A. A lot of my work has a 'big sky' feel to it, a theme conjured up on my daily walks through the forest and by the sea. It is while I'm on these walks with my dogs, that I feel immense connection and am compelled to work it out on canvas, painting from emotion is the only route. While I move the paint around the canvas, I connect to something big, something I cannot quite name, but that feels fantastic and true, and rocks my soul open.
There is nothing more exhilarating and fulfilling for me, than the very first stroke of colour on a fresh white canvas. That moment never fails to brings me deep joy, offering a certain freedom, liberation, and there’s always a small twinge of fear to confirm that I’m in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing. I’ve learned time and time again to respect the painting process, for it knows best how to get to the honesty and beauty of a piece. Armed with my big old brushes and the spark of an idea, the magic only comes when I let go and trust… trust that my hand and heart knows, and my mind will catch up when it needs to. One consistent thought I have is to paint what I ache for… nothing less.
I’ve heard it said by other artists that the best parts of the process are in the beginning and the end … I completely agree. The middle bit is ‘work’ (if you can call it that!) Layer after layer bring my paintings to life and it takes time, patience and a gentle hand. I know my creative work is done when I stand back and witness a painting breathing on its own. I apply a thick coat of varnish to protect the work and then send it off on a journey unknown. It is my deep hope with every piece, that it is truly loved and brings joy in return.
Q. What sort of artist community are you surrounded by? How do they motivate you and push you to the next level?
A. Now in my 45th year, I feel like I’ve found my place in the most amazing tribe. Relationships that were not healthy for one reason or another have just fallen away and I am surrounded by good, healthy, pure love. I feel respected, supported, championed, understood and loved in the arts community and in my personal circle. It is liberating. Emotional safety is of the utmost importance, especially for the creative heart and I no longer hear criticism, accept selfish demands or comparisons and I will not be held to any standard. I am accepted as is, I have friends and family that will rise to my call without question and I have a beautiful man by my side that loves without agenda, restrictions or boundaries. My artist-soul thrives in this place and my motivation rises from it.
Q. From your experience, what habits are most beneficial to your artistic growth?
A. Get into the habit of seeking joy. Be still and feel it all. Fill that cup. Be afraid and do it anyway. Break the rules and do it often. Trust your process. Whole-heartedly accept that your mistakes are golden. Don’t compare.
Q. We know you love music and love creating to it! Who are some of your favorite musicians?
A. Oh I love music!! So hard to pick a few but Alt-J and Chet Faker are on serious repeat these days along with Ben Howard who’s been in my creative pocket for years. His music literally moves my brush like magic. Bon Iver, Angus and Julia, the National, London Grammar and of course Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, James Taylor and Leonard Cohen.
Q. Favorite quote?
A. “The challenge is not to be perfect…it’s to be whole” ? Jane Fonda
Q. What advise would you give to aspiring creatives?
A. When you hear “no” from a perspective gallery (and you will, we all do) trust that it means ’something even better is on its way Darlin’!
Take the time to master your craft and fall in love your own work.
If you do not feel genuine joy from your chosen field, then you are not on the right track.
Keep going. Jump in with all you heart!
Be your word. Deliver on time. Do good business.