Friday, December 29, 2017

Special collector perks!

When you have painted for awhile, there a certain paintings that have been a larger part of your artistic journey. There rare painting are selected to be made into giclees- gallery quality canvas prints  that capture the depth of color of the originals.Here are my favorites...

I have a wonderful group of collectors, some having multiple originals or prints. I created "Laura's FIRST CHOICE Art Group" on Facebook to keep them up to date on the progress of my art and because of their continuing support, I am offering new work here first. As an added bonus there are members only pricing on specific art sales. 

January's special is the Giclee collection  offered at 25% off retail for all members.
If you would like to join our group, please look up 'Laura's FIRST CHOICE Art Group" on Facebook and click the join button! 

I am planning a few more show and sales including desserts and wine, florals and Palette Knife. I look forward to sharing my art with you! 



Sunday, October 30, 2016


This is one of our first videos! We love to show you the amazing art work from the teens at Hidden Talent. The HT program works for scared stiff adults too!
Please leave a comment!

Friday, October 28, 2016


This week I thought it would be fun to have a handful of SEXY ART WORDS to casually drop when you are at an art event...OCCLUSION SHADOW,  TERMINATOR, UMBRA AND  PENUMBRA!

Take a look at the lowly egg- shine a bright light and viola! we have an art lesson!
As you can see the beginning of the shadow is  the TERMINATOR- where the light terminates or where the dark terminates ( same place).

The triangular shape of the darkest shadow is the CORE SHADOW. Yes, the shadow is darkest there because there is no reflected light from the surface hitting the egg that high. The shape changes with the object.

The crevice shadow is called the OCCULUSION and that is where NO LIGHT ( not even reflected light) is found. Save your darkest value for here!

The UMBRA is the cast shadow- the PENUMBRA is the soft light edge of the shadow furthest from the object.


" The transparency of the penumbra is only eclipsed by the richness of the core shadow!... and that OCCLUSION is amazing!"

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Cathy Freisen
Sylvie Fergusson
Bernie Nuemann

The newest members of the Imago Mundi Project!

Judy Schafers
Ian Sheldon
Linda Aleksa

Betty Dupuis   

Laura wAtmough

Pearl Der
Sandy Dewar

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The DARK SIDE......

Doorway in Venice

One of the important concepts of painting is that the tones and colors in the shadows are not ever found in the light... seems quite obvious, doesn't it? BUT... it is the #1 challenge! The blue door has a very sharp division of both light and shade and the various blues. The blue colors in the shadows will NEVER, EVER appear in the light side- they will ALWAYS BE DARKER. The blues in the light will never appear in the shadows. It is the same for the rocks....
  • When we look at anything in a serious way- our eyes adjust and what is in the dark side appears to be lighter than it really is. Yes, another occasion not to trust what you think you see!
  • This is true when looking at photographs or from life.
  • Glancing at your reference, instead of starring at it, will keep you eye from overcompensating for this effect.
  • Step back and squint- most values that are out of place will pop out at you.
  • Use red cellophane to look through and compare the values of both your painting and your reference at the same time.
  • When applying color, separate them on your palette- have a dark side and a light side and premix your colors. 
  • Hold your brush up to your reference for a quick way of color matching.
" The lightest dark in the shadow side is always darker then the darkest light on the light side"

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WHEN THE DOOR OPENS....Italy and Imago Mundi

Who would have thought all these amazing adventures started with a message on the answering machine at Hidden Talent!?
Jennifer Karch from Verona Italy left a message that at first I thought was a hoax-
 " Hi, I'm a curator working for Benetton in Italy and I would like you and the Hidden Talent artists to be part of a world wide art project! Please call me back!"

Needless to say, she had to leave another message before I took her seriously...

And I am so glad that I responded!

Jennifer was traveling across western Canada in order to visit with artists, see their studios and collect art works. 240 artists would be selected to exhibit in Venice during the Bienniale and there would be a high quality book produced to feature their contribution to the Western Canadian art scene as it is today. The grand vision on Luciano Benetton was to collect small works ( 6x8) from the artists of every country to provide a 'snap shoot' of the art of the world.

I did my research and...yes, it certainly looked legit! so I committed the works of 10 from our school. The small canvasses came in the mail and we followed directions and produced works that represented us individually.

 Jennifer and her husband Guiseppe were collecting art and meeting artists everywhere- including the High Arctic. I offered my place as a base for their Edmonton/ St. Albert stop and they took me up on it.

Hidden Talent Imagomundi

Jennifer interviewed us at Hidden Talent School to record our views of art. That was perhaps the most stressful time!
 Jennifer is an art curator and she documented everything! She will write about Western Canadian art and all images that are selected will be published in a book by the Benetton Foundation and each artist will receive a copy.

Her husband Guiseppie was there to take photographs, and some will be included in the final book.

 Pearl Der, Cathy Friesen, Sandy Dewar, Sylvie Fergusson, Betty Dupuis, Bernie Neumann , Wendy Pfeifer, Linda Aleksa, Michele Sawatzky and Cindy Sorley and myself participated. Cindy has broken her leg and her wonderful hubby came to St. Albert with her in order to get her artwork to Jennifer.

 Now, we couldn't just let them leave without experiencing the renown hospitality of western Canadians could we?????

Next blog post is all about our cultural cuisine exchange!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Art Projects II

 Did you see yourself? Did we miss you or one of your paintings?We hope to have a collection of all the artists/ art work from Hidden talent- send me a photo of your missing artwork so we can have a complete this project!

Art Projects II

Award Winning Florals

 One of the most popular subjects Hidden Talent students choose to paint is...florals! Their fleeting beauty captures the heart of many artists!

Please feel free to share these videos!

Award Winning Florals

Finished Works

 I have recently opened up the archives and found photos of Hidden Talent students, some over 15 years ago, and their amazing progress. Together with my trusty sidekick, Robyn, we have made videos and will share them here, on YouTube ( artschoolsecrets) and on the revamped website ( 


Finished Works

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Paris! An Artist's Dream!

Paris...a trip of a lifetime!  

My husband Ed and I recently guided an ART Vacation with 10 artist/students from Hidden Talent Art School. Where do artists dream of going? PARIS of course!
Most of us traveled together from Edmonton on Icelandic Air, a recent addition to carriers at our airport.
The trip was shorter ( different route of going over the North Pole) and we got off in Iceland only to pass through customs and return to the same plane, BUT different seats- an interesting way to do it!Some of our group were visiting Iceland on the way back- another fabulous opportunity.
We checked into our hotel- 2 blocks from the Louvre in the St. Germaine area. Not enough cam be said about our location- we walked almost everywhere, we ate at amazing cafes and restaurants, we had major shopping districts 5 minutes away. Our hotel was great-a bit of renovation not quite finished but a good continental breakfast and wonderful staff.

 So off we go, jet lagged but hungry, to have our first taste of French cuisine! The Petit Zinc, a famous Art Nouveau restaurant was ready for the 12 of us- of course we Canadians ate way to early (6:30) and that's probably why they could accommodate all of us without a reservation! No one eats before 8:00 at the earliest! Our new quest- to find the perfect Creme Brulee!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

THE BUSINESS SIDE OF ART- where to start?

I have just watched an interview with Michael John Angel, a famous Master realist artist who has an atelier in Florence, Italy. His students have a 3-4 year program starting with 'drawing flat' (from other drawings), then 'drawing round' (casts), and finally putting color to canvas in the final year.
In his opinion, today's contemporary artists must do 1 1/2 days of art business to 3 1/2 days of art in order to be successful.

Wow! That sure takes the romance out of it, doesn't it? 

What does an artist do when she doesn't have a brush in her hand?
At the beginning there is the 'Get to know and Love me' stage- website, social media, going to opening, networking and getting opportunities to show your art. Updating a resume, website updates, and perhaps a store on etsy or tryuing  to sell through FaceBook....oh I forgot, you must also refine and develope your style and skill- this means lots of paiting at the same time.
No wonder the vast majority of talented almost professional artists get discouraged! That's a ton of work! Even more if you have another job to support you.
I think you can see where the passion of an artists comes from- all this and we still love to paint!

This week it has been 2-8 hour days sitting in front of the computer- fixing the website ( font glitches and updates) and deciding on a few new projects( paint parties, Pino and Speed Painting). Check it out-

It's really my own fault, I am not tech savvy enough to get this done fast. But, I want to be able to learn these skills to be able to change things as needed. Artists tend to be a bit impulsive and when the moment strikes them- off they go. Me, too.
After a long walk around the neighborhood, I plan to spent a few hours with a brush in my hand- a real reward for all the necessary things I must do!

For all of you that are just starting this journey here are a few tips...

1. Your Data
Record all your paintings.
Number them.
Write about your paintings- where you were, what you liked, what was the challenge.
Record where you show them.
Record who buys them.
Record workshops and opportunities.
Hard copy and save all press.
Take GOOD photos of your art, number them, save them.
Write your story or some one else might!
Know your costs of materials

Yikes! That's a bit of work isn't it? There's more, but that's for a later post!


Sunday, October 19, 2014


What do you do when your painting just doesn't work?? or even worse, when you are considered a Master Painter and you've created a 'dog'??? 
John Poon 'tells it like it is' in this candid video that we ALL can relate too! He has a really valuable formula for composing a painting and lets you in on a few of his secrets...ENJOY!

ps I have been a fan for a very long time-amazing colors, amazing landscapes!  TO SEE HIS ARTWORK CLICK HERE