LAURA STEELS HITCHCOCK

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PRÉSENTATION

This presentation is in English because the artist and Urbania Art Gallery decided to respect the mother tong of herself.

APPROACH

The artist grew up on the south shore of Montreal in Mont St Hilaire. She attended McGill University to study science and nursing. Growing up she loved to spend hours drawing but never did any formal training. Her mother is an artist so there was always paint and art supplies around. She painted in her 20’s doing children’s illustrations and completing painting s for the bedsides for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Intensive care unit where she worked. After a 20-year hiatus of raising kids, Laura participated in Inktober 2017, she completed all 31 days and just never stopped after that.

STYLE

Laura works in both Pen and Ink and in Coloured Pencil. She loves to capture details and tries to bring out an emotion in each piece. At the moment, most of her work is in coloured pencil capturing wildlife that she has encountered here in Canada and on trips abroad.

TECHNIQUE

Coloured Pencil is a very slow medium in which you work from light to dark. It requires thin layers of pigments to be built up to create the final look. There are over 30 layers of pencil on any given space. She starts by using complementary colours and undertones slowly building up to the final effect. Laura uses archival lightfast pencils and archival Stonehenge sheets for all her work. When blending colours, she uses Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits to melt the pigments. The smaller pieces take over 30 hours and large pieces 60-80 hours to complete.

COLLECTIONS

At the moment, Laura has several collections. There is a Canadian series of drawings that highlight animals and birds she has met in Quebec and Ontario, a farm series based on the farming community she lives in (the winning piece is from this collection) and a Galapagos/ Ecuador series from a trip right before lockdown began. She has also done some pet portraits of dogs in her life.

INSPIRATIONS

Laura is passionate about the environment and all the wonders it holds. Creating these portraits is a way to highlight the emotion and value these animals bring to the world and why it is important to preserve their habitats. Laura is a horticulturalist and Master Gardener so tries to also bring into the drawings her love of plants, especially trees.

NEXT MONTHS CREATIONS

Laura will be starting to work on her art full time this summer as she moves permanently to her 100-acre farm by Georgian Bay. There are still many drawings that will come from the Galapagos trip and her farm series. A new collection of drawings is in the works; a jazz series where she hopes to show the love between a musician and their instrument.

EXHIBITIONS AND PUBLICATIONS

• Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library- Your Galapagos! A selection of your artistic
• submissions inspired by the Galapagos Islands, March 2021
• https://www.vonnegutlibrary.org/your-galapagos/
• Coloured Pencil Magazine Gallery, February 2020 issue
• Coloured Pencil Magazine Gallery, August 2019 issue