Thursday, September 15, 2022

DPW Spotlight Interview: Laurie Leehane

 Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Laurie's painting "Cottage Memories" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

Enter to Win Laurie's Giveaway

From Laurie's DPW Gallery Page: 

I was born in St. John’s Newfoundland. I have lived in places across Canada, finally settling back in my native city, St. John's Newfoundland, in 2002. My passion for drawing streets and houses as a child has carried into my professional career. Collections of my art can be found with the City of St. John’s and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador as well as publication in The Newfoundland Quarterly and “City seen: Artist’s Views of St. John’s”.
I recently moved back to the coastal community of Eastport here in Newfoundland. It has been a big change but I am enjoying beach combing and the quietness of it all.


I think of my work as a unique and personal interpretation of the Newfoundland landscape that captures the characteristics and spirit of the land and the people. It is essential in my work for me to have an emotional reaction to a situation or place. My work generally contains a narrative of abandonment, mystery and longing. It isn't what is said that holds my attention but what is NOT said. I aim to create work that deeply touches a viewer’s memory of a moment and to have them connect with the essential feeling I wish to convey in the painting. I believe there is a magical time for everything whether it is the time of day when the light strikes the homesteads and sheds I investigate, or when the landscape is speaking in dreams. Everyone and everything has a moment. I’d like to think I am documenting time and space.

Cottage Memories
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing interview

What did you want to be growing up? 

        When I became a teenager I wanted to be a psychologist and then I wanted to be a writer. I loved creating and as an only child had an imaginative mind.


When did your artistic journey begin? 

I entered College at 18 in a commercial art program that lasted three months because I ran out of money. I ended up taking Fine Arts in college in Ontario, Canada at age 22 and that is where my journey really started. After two years there I started University in hopes of being an art therapist. That fell apart as well because of life circumstances. At age 30 or so I met an older woman artist near me who became a sort of mentor and I started filling my days with painting and being part of local shows. When I moved back to Newfoundland I was picked up by a gallery. 


Making Plans
(click to view)

Did you have any long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?

I often lose my mojo and feel very disinterested in working. I live with chronic pain from fibromyalgia and spinal disease so it can be easy for me to lapse into months of having no inspiration or energy. It has gotten harder as I get older. I can’t say how I get back on the horse. It just happens generally to my surprise. I can be in terrible pain and yet some creative spark will ignite and I will push through it to get the job done. Lately I have been very busy working on smalls for my DPW gallery and I feel excited about getting to my studio. I feel blessed when this occurs.

Which mediums and genres do you gravitate toward? Which ones don’t appeal?

I use acrylics for my small works and for the underpainting of my gallery art. I love oils and my large pieces are almost always oil. Streetscapes and coastal depictions are generally my gallery art and my smalls can vary greatly. I love crows and also I have done a vast amount of pet portraits. The last few years I have gravitated to landscapes.

Stacey's Cove Twillingate
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice? 

Thirty years of painting and I am still learning and developing so I guess that has been the process. Hard work, many fails and tears and wanting to go to bed for a week is how I have developed. I found what identifies my work about fifteen years ago when my gallery took me on. I gravitate to light and shadow and time of day. The drama in the scene. 

Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why? 

I always loved Edward Hopper’s paintings and David Blackwood’s lithographs. Hopper’s light always attracted me and Blackwood’s dark and tragic scenes. As I have gotten older there are so many I really admire and find inspiration with. 

(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

I would have told myself to enjoy the process more. To have fun. 


Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle? 

I don’t think I win the distraction and procrastination battle. HA! I have a sign in my studio “Habit is our biggest competitor” I keep that in mind. I spend all of my time in my studio. I may not always produce but I do practice what my mentor friend told me years ago, which is to do at the least an hour every day doing something related to art. I do find walks on the beach helpful for getting me more into the art spirit. 

Stormy Day in Powell's Cove
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

I reach out to my family and my artist friends for reassurance at times of doubt. I push forward by being stubborn I guess. To prove to myself I CAN do this. 

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art? 

My goals are to get my pain under control and produce large bodies of work. I would love to be able to have another show at the gallery with many large pieces. I am always wanting to get better at what I do.

(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success for me is producing work that I really love and am proud of. If someone is moved by my work or better yet, wants to buy it, that is fulfilling.


What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

It’s hard to say which that is. Winning top prize in the Art’s and Letter’s Awards was special and when the Government procures my work, that always pleases me.

Evening Walk on Freshwater road
(click to view)

Thanks, Laurie!

© 2022 Maddie Marine

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