From Canada, living in Belgium, I am endlessly inspired by the landscapes of both countries and paint scenes that seek to depict my experience of joy in nature.
Laura K. Smith (1989) is a Belgian-Canadian landscape painter based in Brussels, Belgium. Inspired from a young age by the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art movements, Laura studied studio fine arts, art history, art theory, and philosophy for over a decade in Canada and Europe and is now pursuing her own painting practice professionally.
Laura holds a Ph.D. in Literature from KU Leuven (Belgium), a Master’s degree in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmith’s, University of London (UK), and a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Fine Arts with honours in Art History from Bishop’s University (Canada). Laura has worked in academia as a post-doctoral researcher and as an art consultant, gallery assistant, and researcher including in internationally renowned art institutions in Europe and Canada.
Peaceful, joyful, strong, colourful, dream-like, and haunting are some of the ways in which Laura’s paintings have been described. Using acrylic on canvas, Laura paints colourful landscape scenes of her home country of Canada and her new home country of Belgium with the aim of sharing the joy that she experiences in the practice and appreciation of art. Complementary to her painting practice, Laura writes about her painting process and inspiration in her biweekly blog, available on her website.
The practice and the appreciation of painting has played an essential role in my life since childhood. I remember feeling that the world was both opening up and becoming more mysterious when I was introduced to the world of art history nearly twenty years ago. Throughout my education, I strove to understand how the images artists produce communicate on an emotional level with viewers, challenging and sometimes changing the ways in which we understand the world around us.
My painting practice is both a study of the world around me, which demands attentive looking, and an activity where play and intuition are central. I have always loved this combination of being in the present moment and simultaneously tapping into memory and imagination. It is the meaningful places to me that fuel my creative expression. My years living abroad changed the way I began seeing my rural maritime home province of New Brunswick (Canada) when I would return. I noticed the immense space, the rich colours, and the quiet beauty of the landscape. Here in Belgium, I am drawn to the coast and the forests where I find endless inspiration in the colours, shapes, and textures of the landscape.
The walks I take and the reference photographs and sketches I make constitute the beginning stages of my painting practice. As I abstract the scenes with paint on canvas, I put the joyful energy that I feel in nature into the forms and colours I work with. My aim is to share with others the sense of aliveness—joy, peace, strength, memory—that painting inspires in me. I paint with acrylics on canvas primarily.