A few words from the artist: Writing an "artist's statement" has got to be an artist's most daunting task. I've read statements from all sorts of artists and most are attempts at portraying personal artistic visions that are just barely accessible to the "common" man. Imagine the pressure to try to come up with something to say about my art that is practically incomprehensible, raises me the level of art-god and uses language that only an art critic can understand?!?! Hmmm...... So, I decided to just talk about my art. Why I do it and why I do it the way I do. I'm one of those people who has always done art in one form or another. As a child it was my solace in troubled times, my road to notoriety socially, and my greatest joy. All those things are still true. I'm very lucky to have had this art thing as a focus throughout my lfe...it has been the one constant in a constantly changing environment. I may occasionally make forays into the abstract, usually in the form of textures, but my love of old master works has always been a driving force. Since I lack traditional training, I have taught myself over the years to emulate my heroes using age-old painting techniques to produce what I like to call "magic art". Magic art is the kind of art that makes you wonder "how did he do that?". The kind of art that appears so 3 dimensional that the flatness of the canvas is a surprise. My subjects never range far from figurative, but of course, there is a lot to be explored within work that includes a figure. I have spent a great deal of time working on a continuing series of angelic paintings. They allow for a huge license to be creative ...after all, we don't have a set idea of what angels are, what they look like, or what their purpose may be. My angels all have one thing in common, they are all nude. Their nakedness is symbolic of their"otherworldliness". Only non-human beings would fly around unconcerned with appearance. I am currently exploring tattooing my angels with markings that reflect their identity, personal mission, or angelic purpose. My more traditional figures tend to explore light, mood or situation. I like finding the beautiful in everyday acts, the light on a sheet being shaken in the fresh air, or the patterns of shadows from a tree on a figure, or the simplicity of a mood conveyed through body language. My current focus lies in the blending of fabrics with a figure. The way fabric drapes, interacts and moves with a model. I am batiking and hand-painting my own fabric for part of this series so that I can use patterns and colors that invoke the mood or theme that I want.
Biography: Laura den Hertog (1959-) was born and lives in the Montreal area of Quebec, Canada. Laura's interest in art began at a young age and she was producing portraits of friends at age 9. She is of Dutch descent and made several trips to Holland as a child. While there, she visited the famous museums of Holland and saw the master-works of Vermeer, Frans Hals, Rembrandt, van Gogh, etc. and they left a lasting impression. After studying commercial arts in college in Montreal, Laura began a career that encompassed many and varied disciplines of art, from sculpture to illustration to design. She gave up commercial art when her children were born. While at home raising them, began to educate herself on the old master's techniques she so admired as a child. Laura now paints full-time and explores her favorite subjects. She has a fascination with light patterns and effects, like light filtered through the leaves of a tree, the way light travels through fabric or the striking effect of strong light on the body and face of her models. Laura is also working on a series of angelic paintings in order to explore the angelic or spiritual realm. Her angels are always nude to signify trust and openness. Although she sometimes wonders if she was born in the wrong century, Laura always paints using the traditional/classical methods of the past. Her paintings are made by layering thinly applied glazes of oil paint to achieve a sculptural and luminescent effect. Very often there is no white pigment added to her work, but rather, light areas are created by letting the light ground of canvas shine through the glaze of paint.
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