For Immediate Release / August 3, 2023
Eco-Friendly Artistry with Laura Edwards
“I've always felt connected to nature,” Laura Edwards explains. “That's probably the thread that runs through everything.”
That everything includes her schooling, her work, and her artistic practice. Having studied environmental science and spent time as a homeopathic consultant, Edwards is also an abstract painter—one who’s started developing a more eco-friendly approach to her art by making pigments out of natural products.
“I guess it’s an inner-value system thing: I just care,” she says. “Acrylic is plastics, and it does create a lot of waste, from your paint water to your old paint tubes to your paper towels or whatever you're using to clean up space. And so I think that's just part of it: trying to minimize waste. With the natural paints, I can clean up in my kitchen sink. All the pigments I'm using are non-toxic. ”
Edwards started making art when she was young. Her grandmother was an artist—”we would sit for many hours and draw together,” she recalls. But other interests, like dance and science, took precedence for a time, the latter of which she pursued as a career. But after she had kids and shifted jobs, her artistic side found space to return.
“I started to connect back to my artistic roots,” she says. “I was at home raising kids and had a practice that I was running mostly part-time. And the creative side of me had some space, so I started to pick it up again, … and I just never stopped, really. I just keep painting.”
Mixing pigments out of natural ingredients—many are soy- or egg-based—has taken some adjusting from more traditional paints, Edwards notes. Oil paints dry in more familiar, consistent ways, for example, and can be mixed much faster. But the results of her methods speak for themselves: Edwards’ works are beautiful, compelling twists of colour and shape, which can be found in the Art Gallery of St Albert, Concept Jewelry Design, and her own etsy shop.
She notes that she doesn’t always know where a piece will end up when she begins it. She discovers it as she creates.
“I have a bit of an idea and often select a colour palette—let's say four to five colours that I want in the painting—and then it kind of takes on a life of its own,” she says. “It is a spontaneous process, so I never really know what it's gonna look like. As I get more experienced, I know, is this gonna work? Is this not gonna work? What do I have to do to save this painting?
“And then I always wanna try new things too,” she laughs. “Nothing really ever stays the same for that long.”
Article written by: Paul Blinov
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Last edited: August 1, 2023