My creativity and desire to learn are expressed through my love of nature and keen interest in Chinese and Japanese culture. As a child and while on one trip to Chinatown in downtown Toronto, my father purchased an antique tea wagon as a gift for my mother. It was painted with Chinese Brush Painting and my passion for the art form was born.
I have been told by many Master Artists that to paint in this art form is to paint from the soul and capture the chi (breath or spirit) of the subject matter. Meditating prior to painting helps me to open my mind and spirit. Meditation and Traditional Chinese Medicine have helped me manage physical pain from a rare disease. Pain relief has been vital to my art process and overall well-being.
My paintings are inspired by my love for the Canadian landscape and the honour and respect I have for traditional Chinese and Japanese art, and imagery derived from Chinese tales and operas. In Chinese Brush Painting and Sumi-E. Ink and space create the balance and harmony. I like to start a painting with an idea. Each brush stroke is deliberate – from the tiniest of strokes to the largest. Brush strokes are neither ‘touched up’ nor ‘fixed’ and once painted, they are final. The vibrancy of the image evolves through the spontaneous movement of the ink itself as it touches the rice paper or silk.
I have followed this path under the influence of Chinese Master Artist, Baoxing Zhang. Every painting includes my own seal in Chinese characters. My name, ‘Laura’ is translated as ‘Láo’ meaning working and ‘Wá’ meaning baby. Sometimes a second seal is added and represent either the year of the Chinese Zodiac in which the work was produced, or with a ‘mood’ seal. My mood seal means ‘Life Journey’.
In the Chinese culture it is important to learn from masters, be they architects, poets, calligraphers or artists. It is a life long journey and I see myself as an advocate for Chinese Brush Painting.