Laura Zerebeski picture

Laura Zerebeski

Canada

I grew up in a pulp mill town in BC's interior and loved to paint. My art teachers were often exasperated because I wanted to go by instinct, which means I am mostly self-taught. However, becoming a starving artist scared me: after growing up in the 80's recession, I craved stability and opted for a BA at the University of British Columbia. I still painted but my poor roommates had to put with a lot of somewhat gothic subject matter over the years. With every new painting I put up, they'd tactfully suggest that I should get some fresh air and sunshine. Painting was my way of working out frustration at a world I couldn't control.

After UBC, I embarked on a 16-year corporate career, painting sporadically and eventually rarely between various systems projects. When I started painting again, I focused on local subjects, things I knew. I was inspired by the everyday stuff, because sometimes there are days when the ordinary becomes absolutely beautiful due to whatever effects of light or season or one's own mood.

I began painting professionally and developed two styles of work: exuberantly satirical landscapes which depict Vancouver and the surrounding province and more introspective abstracts where I pull inspiration from music, literature, and poetry. As an avid runner and cyclist, I try to portray the feeling one might have when moving through a scene. Certain landmarks you see might hang in your head and then you see another point of interest; in your mind, it all seems closer together and brighter because of endorphins, fresh air, and good weather. Meanwhile, my abstracts show internal landscapes and the transition from one emotion to another. The common point between both styles is the sense of motion and change.

My stylized distortion of architecture often represents the people who inhabit the buildings and neighbourhood scenes. The vivid colours and implied instability create a whimsical and cheerful view of the city. I've learned that you can't control the world but you can interpret it, and I like to emphasize the color and character and electricity of life. There is so much joy and motion around us. My hope is that those who like my work get a jolt of familiarity.

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