What is your name: Laura Payne
Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I’ve just finished my Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Western Ontario.
What is the style of your pieces: Some of my paintings could be classified as photorealism, though some are a little looser than that. I’ve focused mostly on portraiture over the last four years.
What is the medium in which you work: Acrylic on canvas.
What started you on your path as an artist: It must have been my older sister, Emily, who set the wheels in motion. She was always drawing as a child and naturally I wanted to emulate her. I can already see the same thing happening with my niece, Abigail.
What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: It’s a little early on to answer that one definitively, but for now just knowing what I want to do with my life. I realize now more than ever (having just graduated), that so many people don’t have a clue, so that’s a real gift. Doesn’t mean I’ll absolutely get to do it, be an artist that is, or it may end up looking differently than the way I envision it, but I’ve got something to aim for.
What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Based on a Wikipedia listing, I will say horror artists. I hope to be one myself someday.
Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I haven’t been so lucky yet to have a big solo show. The closest thing I guess would be last spring when a couple of my paintings were selected to launch a public student art campaign on the UWO campus in the community centre. Other than that I’ve had a few group shows/juried exhibitions. I’m usually trying to dodge as many questions as I can, not because I can’t answer them, but I think it just ruins the mood.
Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: Pajamas; sometimes just regular clothes. The way I work isn’t wild enough to warrant a polyester jumpsuit. But I dream…
What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? Realizing that technical talent has little to do with it; sometimes nothing at all. Having been praised from childhood for what I could put down on paper, it was difficult coming into an academic setting where professors cared more for what could be said about what was on that paper. Art school doesn’t teach you how to make art, it teaches you how to be an artist.
What is your favorite sandwich of all time: Sweet onion chicken teriyaki on parmesan oregano.
Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: For the first time I have an opportunity to make work without the guidance/interruption of critiques. Which can be good and bad. No one wants to spend sixty hours on a painting and then be told they’ve missed the mark. But I think it will give me a chance to see if I can really do this.
Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Favorite video artist is Paul Pfeiffer; favorite sculptor is David Altmejd.
What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Placebo).
Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: A dog; she hasn’t expressed much of an interest. Although she was sniffing around some of my black paint a few weeks ago and now appears to have a Dali-esque mustache.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: I have a piece in an upcoming juried exhibition titled The Wowza Effect at the Susan Kristjansson Gallery in Sarnia, Ontario.
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