Laura Harris dreams big in the abstract world 

New work includes popular abstract landscapes and florals, as well as a 'whimsical' throwback


A person could get lost in one of Laura Harris's dream-like landscapes: the textured folds, soft blending of rich colours, the occasional splatter or thread of metallic shooting through the surface.

"Sometimes when I look at them, I'm like, 'This is where I want to be! I actually want to be wherever this is!'" Harris said with a sigh, "I think when people actually pause in front of my work, they don't need to buy it, if I just make someone in this day and age pause, that is very cool!"

On Friday afternoon, Harris was busy toiling away in her home studio in Victoria, putting the finishing touches on the final few new pieces that she plans to bring to Whistler this week.

"I'm still finishing the last pieces for the show," she laughed sheepishly, "I've tried to be organized with my approach - I really have - because this is the ninth show I've done at the Adele Campbell Gallery, and every year, I do it last minute. Every show I ever do is last minute, because I find, I don't know, it lacks passion or something - the work is different when I'm not under pressure! It just isn't as good."

Her work ranges from abstract landscapes to figurative and floral pieces, though more recently, she's been drawn more towards her striking abstract landscapes.

"The figurative I am going to revisit this summer. I love that work, and I just need a bit more time to play with it a bit more; I like the stark black and white and more contemporary, clean approach."

But this latest collection features 25 pieces, a mixture of abstracts and florals, plus a bit of a throwback: her whimsical houses, which she hasn't done for almost five years.

"Now, it felt like the right time. All of my galleries as pretty regular: there are always clients asking for them. So for the first time, I felt like, 'I'm feeling like revisiting them!' so I just did three, just as a little nod to the past."

Speaking of the past, Harris's artistic roots branch out quite widely: before pursuing painting, she was actually a graphic designer by trade.

"I guess I kind of straddled both worlds," she reflected, "My dad is a mechanical engineer by trade, but he was always painting and drawing when I was growing up."

"It gave me all of the perspective and the realistic side of things, and the training. I basically learned everything, so I knew how to break the rules!" she laughed.

But in the late '80s, early '90s, when computer graphics were just coming onto the scene, she decided to jump headfirst into this exciting new frontier of design.

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