Recent Work by Laura Feeleus July 9 - August 4 2016.
Opening Reception Saturday July 9, 7-9pm
Martin Batchelor Gallery 712 Cormorant Street, Victoria
After many years of professional life in Victoria, Laura Feeleus started art classes in her late 40’s. “I followed Wendy Welch all around town,” she says, “until she started the Vancouver Island School of Art (VISA) in 2004.” Feeleus enrolled and graduated with a Diploma of Fine Arts in 2010. She took all the required courses including art history and drawing but found she hated painting. “I had the finished product firmly in mind,” she says, “but it never turned out how I wanted.”
Gradually, Feeleus began to connect with the more intuitive energy of the right brain. She started each painting with collaged elements on her ground, then worked and reworked layers of paint until stories and emotions stirred into life. Her process is one of hiding and re-discovering, using colours, textures, composition and tools. Now Feeleus agrees with the advice given by artist/educator Chuck Close: “All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you...then something else you reject will push you in another direction.”
The artist has travelled widely and a recent tour of friendly Newfoundland inspired Open Door Gros Morne. (Above right)
Her upbringing on the prairies spawned some of the imagery in Prairie Lines. (Below right) During several trips to Europe (beginning in 2003) she visited famous galleries including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Tate Modern in London and the Louvre in Paris. “It’s one thing to see a painting in a book,” she says, “but to stand in front of an original piece is a profound experience. They pulse with life and energy.”
Since graduating in 2010, Feeleus has been active in group and solo shows. These include the Slide Room Gallery at VISA, the Portals Gallery in Duncan, a VISA alumni show at Winchester Gallery, and a cross-Canada touring exhibition with the Surface Design Association. Wendy Welch, Director of the Vancouver Island School of Art, comments on her former student’s latest paintings. Welch sees a level of confidence that comes from 10-15 years of working. After graduation, it often takes a student a while to find their own voice. “So it’s great to see Laura develop as an artist,” she says. The director admires the refined sensibility in the paintings, sculptural qualities and freshness of colours in works like Haute Couture. (Top left)
Looking closely at Website (above left) shows the variety of methods and media employed. The challenging medium of encaustic (tinted molten wax) creates the layers of pigment. Pages from a book are adhered to the cradle board, with some words circled. Random numbers and hand-written lists encourage the viewer to zoom in and investigate. (The artist’s love of text could be linked to her Library Science degree from the University of Alberta.) Grid patterns, rectangles and squares emerge from a ghostly ochre-layered background. Three squares of the quadriptych are connected loosely with a dark uneven line. An oblong insect body and red square connect the eye through colour association.
Feeleus’ painting career was boosted by a Cold Wax Oil Painting workshop with Lisa Pressman in 2015. Pressman is a well-known abstract artist with thirty years experience in various styles. Cold wax mixes Gamblin Artist Oil Colours with a waxy substance. The result is a rainbow of hues the consistency of icing. “The way this paint layers is remarkable,” she says, “I had an aha! moment about technique and renewed confidence in my abilities.” Her technique now includes sgraffito, the process of scraping back layers of paint with various tools. All this activity requires a strong working surface that the artists finds in cradle boards (reinforced wooden structures). The finished edges of the cradle boards lend a sculptural element to the artworks, which echo her contemporary textile work with the Surface Design Association.
Laura Feeleus welcomes interest in her work.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit laurafeeleus.ca
She enjoyed meeting guests at the opening on July 9 at Martin Batchelor Gallery. Show continues until Aug 4.
Some comments from friends and colleagues follow:
Closing Party on July 30, 2016:
Friends and family gathered at the Martin Batchelor Gallery to celebrate Laura’s successful exhibition on July 30.
The party was hosted by Terry Loeppky and Dorothy Rich, and catered by Juma. Wendy Welch, Director of the Vancouver Island School of Art (VISA) spoke on the importance of art education in our lives. A portion of sales during the evening went to support VISA.
Web Design, content and selected photos:
Kate Cino previewed arts events for 18 years at Boulevard magazine.
She has a History in Art degree and
Public Relations certificate from the
University of Victoria.
In 2013, Kate was nominated for a Women in Business “Above and Beyond” award, hosted by Black Press.
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