Laurie MacFayden

Photo by Randall Edwards

“As a full-time professional artist,
Laurie MacFayden has a very strong work ethic
and … is unafraid of exploring and pushing boundaries,
leading to work that is arresting visually,
vital and expressive in her love of colour
and mark making.”

— Sharon Moore Foster,
Visual Arts Alberta gallery co-ordinator

Artist’s Statement

I’m a painter, photographer and award-winning poet who’s endlessly fascinated with wordplay and the visual arts. Largely self-taught, I painted in watercolours, oils and acrylics in high school, but set the palette aside for two decades while pursuing a career in print journalism. In the mid-1990s I rediscovered my passion for throwing paint around.

For me, art-making is not merely a process of visual expression but a merging with the divine spark/vibrational energy that I consider to be the creative process. The resulting work is hard to categorize: I paint serene, post-impressionist landscapes and I paint boisterous, abstract-expressionist colour bombs. I paint electric skies and lively, dancing gardens. My urban and “inner” landscapes are more visceral; I apply paint with a vengeance, using brushes, knives, electric toothbrush, rolling pin … dabbling, flinging, dripping.

Growing up in Barrie, Ont., I was keenly influenced by nature hikes through the woodlands and marshes of Simcoe County with my father Clifford, a painter and avid birdwatcher. Works by Emily Carr, A.Y. Jackson, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Joan Miro and Mark Rothko make me feel great and small at the same time.

I currently work mostly in acrylics, and I’ve been told there’s a joyous, unfettered quality to my art that borders on reckless abandon; it pleases me to hear that because I never was very good at staying inside the lines.

“The whole point of making art is to touch the heart.
It should have breath and a pulse.
Whether it invokes feelings of joy, love, beauty,
sorrow, despair, even moral outrage…
art should make you feel something.”

Clyne Crop