For artist Laura Levitsky, creating her tight realism work is her peaceful moment.
A collection of her work is on display at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre Art Gallery until the end of September.
Although she admits to sketching and painting throughout her formative years, it wasn’t until the fall of 1999 that she seriously began painting, once her children were older.
“Painting after so many years was fun,” she said.
“It was a discovery for me to see where I was as a painter.”
In 2003, after building her portfolio, Levitsky became a self-published artist.
She produced giclee prints on canvas, a process that employs an high-quality printing technique and produces excellent prints.
In her work, Levitsky says everything is about the colour and character of her subjects.
“The variations are full of colour and character,” she said.
“Finding things like black isn’t black, its full of variations.”
Her work reflects a love of all things natural but she admitted to having two particular favourites in the collection.
“I love the one with the robin on the post, but actually it was love of the post that inspired me to paint, the robin was an accent,” she said.
“And the old International truck reminds me of growing up on the prairies. I built the canvas around the composure – big, big sky where the clouds draw you in. I can remember scenes like this from driving on the prairies.”
Now, she can often be found wandering the nature reserve near her home in the Lower Mainland snapping pictures and quickly sketching in her notebook, eager to capture the images she will then recreate in her art.
“Everything I see I want to paint, so I snap a lot of pictures,” she said with a laugh.
In addition to her finished artwork, Levitsky has learned the importance of marketing herself and her work.
She has been accepted, through the juried process, as a member of the Federation of Canadian Arts which opened the doors to many shows across B.C., as well as many national exhibitions and competitions, but she plans to focus on solo exhibitions as that’s where she can really showcase and market her work.
“Being a full-time artist, I need to learn the market and have more shows outside B.C.,” she added.
“Respect and recognition as an artist is very import. The more you show the more you’re able to network with other artists and the more you learn what you need to know.”
Levitsky is looking to expand her artwork market across Canada and hopefully in the U.S.
“I want to take it as far as I can,” she said.
As for her show in Quesnel, Levitsky said this is where she began to paint as an adult.
“Quesnel was home for 18 years and where I started again,” she said.
“I thought it would be fun to come back and let people see what I‘m doing.”
For Levitsky, B.C. will always be her comfort zone.
“B.C. is my passion.
“I can appreciate other landscapes but find inspiration in B.C. There’s so much more to explore in my province.”
Her prints can be found in private collections across Canada and the United States.
The show A Closer Look is sponsored by South Quesnel Business Association.