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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Featured Artist: Laurel Douglas Shugarman

Born Laurel Douglas....known for years in York Region as “Dr. Shugarman” still using both names, Laurel Douglas Shugarman. (sorry, it’s a big mouthful) Almost 20 years ago, I decided that I had always been defined by one external or another, geography, profession, marriage, parental status, decided it was time to become a kite without a string....and see where the wind would blow me. I ended up in Austin Texas at a wonderful spot called Laguna Gloria. An old mansion, converted to museum and art school, where peacocks ambled along the banks of the river. I took my first art classes there....and knew that this was what I wanted to do.

The practice of medicine is a very extroverted pastime and the practice of art is just the opposite....solitary, introverted and contemplative. How blessed am I to have this balance in my life. I used to be a doctor who did a little art, now I am an artist who does a little medicine. I have been a student of art for the past 20 years and will be a student of art for the rest of my life. The path has led to the Haliburton School for the Arts, The Toronto School of Art, the Academy of Realist Art, the studios of some wonderful painters in San Miguel de Allende, Jonathon Williams, Donna and Tom Dickson, Britt Zeist, and most recently mixed media with Jane Dill. 

My first mentor and inspiration was a wonderful Canadian painter named Jean Townsend. Jean died in 2006, but had always encouraged me to go to San Miguel de Allende and join the art community there. I finally took her advice and have been wintering there for about 10 years now. Many of my paintings reflect my Mexican experience.

My work is varied. My oils and watercolours are largely impressionist realism, and I have started producing giclee prints of some of the pieces that have proved more popular. I have been doing ink on ricepaper for several years and have recently incorporated that technique into the mixed media pieces, which combine calligraphy into the mix as well. Always, always, the goal is to find beauty in the ordinary. I look forward to sharing what I do with you at the Studio Tour. I am very excited as this is my first year participating. I am trying to finish several new pieces for the Tour. With art cards, photo prints along with the originals, there will be something for every price range.

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