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Member, Board of Directors: International Society of Scratchboard Artists
“Humans can be deceptive, but animals are always, by nature, honest. It is this honesty that I strive to capture in my paintings and drawings of them. The depth of spirit of an animal shines through them, be it a mouse or a moose, a dainty dragonfly or a ponderous Komodo dragon lizard. It is my hope that the viewer will see and feel the full impact of the spirit and beauty in all beings.”
Laurie Riley is a signature member of Artists for Conservation, with paintings in the 2020 and 2021 Artists for Conservation juried “International Exhibit of Nature in Art”, which is the world’s top conservation-themed art exhibit and sale. She is an award-winning member of the International Guild of Realism and won “Best of Animals and Wildlife” in their 2019 online exhibition. She also received the prestigious Featured AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for August 2020.
Her work has also been shown in galleries in the discerning art communities of Sedona, Tubac, and Jerome, Arizona; in Seattle-area galleries and juried shows, and in her private gallery in Port Townsend, WA. Laurie’s work was featured on the cover of the June 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Association.
“It’s as though he’s speaking to me,” is an often-heard comment in Laurie’s gallery. To bring a true appreciation of their personalities to the viewer, each pose and expression needs no added idealism; yet there is something more happening here than just paint and canvas. It is her intention to inspire the viewer to support the preservation of wildlife and habitat, and the right of every wild-born animal to roam free. Laurie’s patrons have remarked that when they spend time with her paintings, they develop a deep relationship with them.
Laurie contributes a portion of the proceeds of her art sales to wildlife and nature organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, and Artists for Conservation.
- Artists for Conservation shows: Vancouver BC, and St. Petersburg, FL
- International Guild of Realism online shows
- Ironwood Gallery, Arizona-Sonora Desert Art Museum
- Sedona Arts Festival, AZ
- Edmonds Arts festival, WA
- Oldfield Art Shows
- Glendale Arts Council (AZ) Juried Show (Patron Purchase Award 2007)
- West Valley Art Museum, AZ
- Call of the Wild online juried show, San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center 2022
- Prescott Fine Arts Fair, AZ
- Sedona Arts Center – various juried shows (2nd Place Professional 2007)
- Tubac Juried Arts Festival, AZ
- Tubac Arts Center Miniature Show
- Tsuga Fine Arts miniature shows, Bothell, WA
- Gallery North Juried Miniature Show, Edmonds, WA
- Fred Oldfield Western Heritage Center Western and Wildlife Art Shows, WA
- Shoreline Arts Festival, Shoreline WA
- Bothell Live Arts, WA
- Mountlake Terrace Festival of the Arts (honorable mention 2010)
- Valley Art Show, Duvall WA (2nd Place 2010)
- Kirkland Art Center Studio Tour 2013
Past gallery showings:
- Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ
- Pura Vida Gallery, Jerome, AZ
- Canyons Gallery, Sedona AZ
- Kinion Fine Arts, Sedona AZ
- Art and Soul Gallery, Bothell, WA
Many people ask what my mediums and processes are.
Rather than using each of my favorite media – acrylic, color pencil, and scratchboard – exclusively in any piece, I prefer to combine them if doing so creates a more real-looking depiction of the animal. Therefore, some pieces are done in just one of these mediums, and others are mixed. Likewise, the surface on which they are rendered varies according to the subject, the medium, and the effect I aim for.
Scratchboard, which is used for extreme detail, uses a prepared hard surface overlaid with white clay, which is then overlaid with a layer of black or colored ink. To achieve the characteristic fine detail of a typical scratchboard drawing, I use a fine scalpel-like blade, and sometimes a stiff fiberglass brush, to scratch through the darker surface to the white underneath. This produces a white image. Some scratchboards are most effective left black-and-white, and tend to look like photography (example: “Emu”). Scratchboard is a very time-consuming process. It can take months to do a large one.
I often create scratchboards with graded color backgrounds by adding my own colors to a plain white clayboard. The result is a background that glows (example: “Bug’s-eye View of a Collared Lizard”).
Usually, I add color to my scratchboard subject. This can be done with images on a black or a colored background. I use a thin wash of acrylic paint. It does not show over the black surface, but the white clay absorbs it. The more layers I add, the deeper and richer the color becomes. Therefore the colors can be subtle or bright (example: the subtle fur color and bright flower color in “Contemplation”).
Any areas that need to be portrayed as smoother than fur, or which I wish to be secondary, or which need to be contrasted for best effect, I often paint rather than scratching. Skin and eyes are good examples of textures I think are best represented with painting. Therefore, much of my work is “mixed media”.
Some of my work is not scratchboard, but purely painted acrylic on clayboard. For those, the fine details are done with a very thin brush.
Some of my pieces are done with oil-based or wax-based fine art color pencils. Some are on suede board, some on paper, and some on clayboard prepared with an acrylic background.
In all cases, detail is important to me. Although every painting must look good from a distance, I like the viewer to see more and more detail as they get closer to my paintings.