Secretly always wanting to be an artist Laura Pedley finally perused her dream of creating evocative abstract landscapes after struggling with post-natal depression. Here is Laura Pedley’s story …
Can you tell us your backstory and how you got into the art world?
Secretly I’ve always wanted to be an artist, since I was a child and would paint endless watercolour sunsets. I actually studied an arts degree at university, and tried all through my twenties to figure out what creativity looked like for me. But it always felt forced and clunky, and took a back seat as my office job grew and took over. But the secret dream never went away. Years later, after I’d had my first child, I struggled with post-natal depression. I took up walking in the hills around Manchester (my home) and painting as a way of rediscovering who I was now I had become a mother. What started as a personal way to remember who I was in those crazy early days of parenthood, capturing in paint the open spaces and big skies that brought me such peace, became something I wanted to share. I thought of my son, and wanted him to grow up seeing his mother pursuing her dreams so that he would believe he could chase his dreams too. And so I decide to pursue art as a full time profession, and it has grown and grown from there!
Can you tell us more about the link between abstract art and emotional connections to natural landscapes?
For me, to abstract something is to have a starting point and to try and filter everything out so that you can capture the essence of it. This is how I approach my art practice. I want to capture and share those deep internal feelings of peace, calm, and hope, that I experience as I’m out in high places, open spaces with views filled with the beauty of the natural world. I hope to recreate these feelings in my work so that others can experience the same as they view my paintings; that they might be transported to those calm valleys and big skies and know peace and hope for themselves.
How would you describe your signature style and technique?
My work is very much inspired by the landscape but not literal places. I try to strip things back to the elements that express those emotions of peacefulness and hopefulness best for me. So often it’s the places I see the most beauty, like the transitions in the layers of a landscape or the shifting colours in the sky. I work mainly in acrylic paints and glazes and build up lots and lots of soft layers to create my abstracts, building contrast as I go.
Are there any exhibitions or events you are planning?
I’m very excited to have my first solo exhibition coming up with Manchester gallery Comme Ca Art, at The Lowry Hotel Gallery Space here in my home town from 22nd September. I’ve been creating lots of new larger abstract landscape works in preparation for this, which has been both stretching and really fun.
You will also find me at Manchester Art Fair from 4-6 November. I’m so excited to be able to share a new collection of work there and to get to meet with people in real life to talk about the artwork. If you fancy a day full of art then I’d love to see you!
What is the best advice you received as an artist?
I think its probably to slow down and to choose to take the long road. These days we are so often wired to want things immediately, to want instant answers to our questions. But to embrace life as an artist I think you really need to resist that pull and instead lean into taking things slow. Work on your craft, practice endlessly, put in the hours to find what it is you’re really wanting to say to the world through your art. Be patient. And know that being an artist isn’t about your successes or perceived failures, it is about expressing what’s in you to express, whatever that looks like.
To view the full artwork portfolio please visit Laura Pedley website.
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