It’s Laurie Samara-Schlageter’s love of painting plein air that sparks her inner energy. Setting up her easel outdoors and observing nature. “I’m attracted to all aspects of nature, and all living species,” Laurie says. “It’s my favorite subject, because the simplest things often go unnoticed.” And she wants the viewers of her artwork to see what they may have missed.
Drawing inspiration from her father and brother, who were dedicated painters, Laurie is a self-taught artist, who over the span of more than 30 years has taken many group and private workshops.
Although she works primarily in acrylics, because she likes the functionality of the medium, Laurie will paint in the medium that best contributes to the subject, whether it be watercolor, pastels, or inks.
Working from a home studio, Laurie has a separate station set up for each of those mediums. “They are ready to go when the moment strikes,” she says. When not painting outdoors, she’ll work from photos, and create from her imagination.
What is the driving force behind Laurie’s art? “When I see colors, and shapes, whether it be from something physical, or in my mind, I just have to interpret it. It’s very therapeutic.”
Laurie’s art has changed over time. She tries not to commit to just one style or vision. From decorative painting, which she feels tends to be more of a “paint within the lines” style, to a dabble with abstract using geometric shapes, Laurie now feels that she is freer to express either detailed pieces, or minimal within any art form.”
She feels that being yourself is integral to an artist’s work. Try not to mimic others, and your true personality will shine within your own work.
Laurie’s word of advice to fellow artists is to not try to be perfect. She doesn’t believe it exists. That an artist should accept each failure as a learning experience and build from that. You should “express what you feel, and not what others want of you.”
Whatever medium Laurie chooses to work in, there is a whole world of nature that is just waiting for her. And we’re happy to view the results!