LauraLee K. Harris
~ A Deeper Look Inside  
Paintings on Wood  ~  Imagery in Words  

Detail of The Return
Acrylic on Oak

A Deeper Look Inside:  It is the relationship between the wood support and me and my fundamental response to its wood grain imagery, that mostly describes my work and processes. I don't know of another person who works in this way, with wood, so I believe it is pretty distinctive. The Wood from a tree documents its own growth history through its life and each one, like us, is unique. The grains become the paths for my brush to follow. There is an ongoing dialogue between the imagery in these grains and how I perceive them. The grains and knots relay the organization of my work and become for me an internal psychological prototype for laying down my knowledge, styles and colors that move me. The various artists and styles that shape my work are Arthur Shilling's abstracts, the Baroque and the Renaissance Artists. It is partly the knowledge of my Native Ancestry that has inspired this connection to the wood and also the statement of nature. Its ethereal truth in beauty and being, its substance, its intelligence, its life and spirit are what I feel when I paint and the colors and images I find speak to my own life's riches. It is a haunted truth this, of nature's connection, though incased in bark, the unmoving stoic tree would hold realms of imagery, repeated in our familiar visual dialogues, and when laid out plywood flat in grains and knots, would unfurl itself like a map. I interpret this growth map with my own internal maps, in paint and then words. It is trust that I cultivate, to pull together my responses to these wood images, which in turn further reveals where I am going with each piece. Trust is the primary element I travel in, when I bring colorful life to the images in the wood. It is a painting philosophy, I procure from its most basic level; there will be rain and sun to sustain life. I create much like nature does with this philosophy at my core. Without proofs and studies but through trust that there just will be another season, of becoming or evolving. Based on hope and trust of becoming; more images are revealed and as the exchange of painting information continues, more is revealed. Its meaning comes in verse and dancing words, lessons, truth, values, introspections and histories. Part of me is aware of its spirit, part of me is thankful of its gift, but mostly I am in awe of this special relation. It is finished when five or six coats of gloss, sanding in between, creates a glass-like cover, extending the colors and permitting
a deeper look inside.

- LauraLee K. Harris, Artist Statement  


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