Fine art bio

I am currently taking a sabbatical from painting, but here is my biography


Laurel comes from a family of artists and has been drawing and painting since she was a young child. 

Statement:  Life is full of many contrasts; beauty and ugliness, good and evil, joy and desperate grief. Out on location I am drawn to the beauty and contrasts I see in nature: the subtle contrasts of a two-value scene to the more dramatic contrasts found in a full range of values; the contrast of a dead or dying tree with vibrant spring grasses; and the many contrasts found in color itself. I paint outdoors on location, where colors and contrasts live. I finish some larger works in my studio.

When I'm painting, I work with three mediums—oils, acrylics, and pastels—and usually take all three out into the field. I decide which to use once I am on location. I choose oils for their lush color and dramatic potential, acrylics for their bright almost 'digital' color, and pastels for the impressionist feel and softly vibrant colors. Nature in all its beautiful and delightful moods is what I hope to capture and share with those who view my works.



  • "Best North Carolina Agricultural Scene" one of five special awards, North Carolina State Fair, October 2007 for "Dry Summer off Mort Harris Road," 9" x 12" acrylic study on canvas.
  • Honorable Mention "Smoke House and Fountain," oil on linen. Plein air Paint-out, Cary Gallery of Artists, September 27 (paint-out day). Show of all plein air artists, October 2008, Cary, NC.
  • People's Choice award, 3rd place tie, Wendell Chamber Annual art show "Charms of Wendell," for Kannon-Knuckley historic house. January 2009.

Professional Organizations

  • Oil Painters of America, Associate member
  • Santa Barbara Art Association
  • Goleta Valley Art Association


  • Best of America, Oil Artists and Artisans, Vol. II
  • The Richeson 75, Pastel International, 2009, three images juried into catalog

Juried Shows

  • DECEMBER 2011, Featured Artist of the Month, Gallery 113, Santa Barbara Art Association
  • S.C.A.P.E., juried show, benefit for Santa Barbara Land Trust, January 2010
  • Gallery 113 and the Santa Barbara Art Association, juried shows, various
  • Goleta Valley Art Association, juried shows, various
  • Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and Santa Barbara Art Association, Annual art show, maritime and nautical theme, "Resting Boat." pastel on paper. July 2009.
  • Wendell Chamber of Commerce and Wendell Woman's Club, Annual art show, "Charms of Wendell." Two works juried in, "Kannon-Knuckley Home," and "Reflections at Timberlake." Winner, people's choice award 3rd place (tied) for "Kannon-Knuckley Home." January 2009.
  • Richeson 75 International Pastels Art Competition, 75 works chosen for exhibit. "Flower Barrels on Canyon Road" chosen for exhibit and show catalog, "Cloud over Le Perouse Bay" and "Hollyhocks near Houshang's Gallery" chosen for inclusion in catalog. Janaury 2009.
  • Pastel Society of the Southwest, 27th Juried National Exhibition, Fort Worth, TX, November 2008. "Hollyhocks near Houshang's Gallery"
  • North Carolina State Fair, professional division, October 2008. "Christmas Colors," Toad Song Farm, acrylic on canvas. "Apples in the Fall," Skytop Orchards, oil on canvas.
  • Cary Gallery of Artists, plein air paint-out competition. October 2008.
  • North Carolina State Fair, professional division, October 2007. "Dry Summer off Mort Harris Road," acrylic on canvas, "Best Agricultural Scene."
  • Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Magnum Opus XII, Sacramento, CA, June 2000
  • S.O.U.L. (Save Our Unique Landscapes), Santa Barbara, CA, three works, May 2000
  • Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival (see above), two consecutive years, 1978-79

Solo Exhibitions -- juried and/or invited

  • December 2008 -- "Beauty of North Carolina Farms Selection," United Arts Council, Raleigh, NC. Reception during Raleigh's First Friday art and gallery walk, December 5th. 110 S. Blount Street, Raleigh, NC.
  • "En Plein Air Selection," Garner Historic Auditorium, Garner, NC, August/September 2008
  • "Beauty of North Carolina Farms," Holly Springs Cultural Center, NC, March 2008
  • Dana Point Nautical Museum, Dana Point, CA, Marine and Nautical paintings, 1980
  • Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival, solo booth for nine weeks, seven days per week. The Sawdust Festival was "Voted one of the top five art festivals in the country by readers of American Style Magazine."


  • Laurel's work is also commissioned for private collections.
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