Michaela Laurie lives and works in country New South Wales just south of Canberra, Australia’s nation’s capital city. She has lived at ‘Wren’s Nest’ near Burra in NSW since she moved from Sydney in 2002 with her husband and children. The essence of her surroundings remains as it was when they moved there. It is a landscape and environment where she has become acutely aware of comings and goings of animals and birds, the change of seasons and the beauty of light in each day.
The landscape of my home has pervaded my soul. It is a land of expansive skies and rugged hills and mountains which are overbrimming with elements of natural beauty formed by a very harsh climate. I see this landscape with its rocky outcrops and weathered gum trees every day from my studio and home and as I drive in my car. The trees, each with a distinct personality, are distinctly silhouetted against huge ever changing skies. These views never cease to draw me to them. As the sun rises or sets, these same hills, rocks and trees become silhouettes. Their interior makeup disappears to create a dramatic scene. The sky becomes a luminous pool of colour at day break and night fall. Magic is played out and colours begin their hypnotic dance. These are brief reflective times to be delighted in.
I am fascinated by the layering of line and colour to create texture and a sense of place. My technique involves scribbling with pen and ink, using washes of acrylic paint followed by “painting’ with coloured pencils. The coloured pencils’ waxy consistency allows for translucent, rich colour by blending, layering and glazing of the pencil marks. The combination of paint, ink and coloured pencil, allows for areas of light and dark to be created giving a very 3D effect.
I bring these techniques to my subjects including landscape, islands in the bay, bonsai gardens and still life subjects. I like to bring elements of magic into my interpretation of the landscape to create a touch of whimsy and make it somewhat fantastical. I see a world of calm moody stillness with elements appearing from my imagination and my childhood. The man-made elements invite the viewer to enter the landscape and imagine walking through and interacting with it.
I create both large and small works. My small work falls into the miniature category as it is 100 square centimetres or less in size. The subjects are at least 1/10th life size and the pen, pencil and paint marks are very tiny.
In 2016 my work was selected to hang in the Salon des Refuses Exhibition at the National Trust’s S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney, Australia as one of 24 out of over 700 Wynne Prize Entries. This exhibition also travelled to the Mornington Peninsular Regional Gallery in Victoria. In 2017 I was awarded Honourable Mention at the Chelsea International Art Competition in New York, won 1st place for Miniature Art at The Royal Canberra Show and 1st place for Mixed Media Miniature at the National Awards for Miniature Art in Sydney.
Contemporary acrylic, pigment ink pen, coloured pencil and gouache on watercolour board painting 160mm x 160mm frame 330mm wide x 310mm high Contemporary art full of interest and details to...
Contemporary acrylic, pigment ink pen, coloured pencil and gouache on watercolour board painting 100mm x 100mm frame 280mm wide x 330mm high Miniature paintings are a special category of art...
Contemporary acrylic, pigment ink pen, coloured pencil and gouache on watercolour board painting 100mm x 100mm frame 280mm wide x 330mm high A solitary tree is home to the bell...