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Meet the artist - that's me!

Posted by on in Art

Saturday, July 25, 2009 - noon-5pm

Northwest Cellars Wine Tasting Room
11909 124th Avenue NE
Kirkland, WA 98034


Please join me at the Northwest Cellars Wine Tasting Room, home of award-winning Northwest wines, custom wine labels, and the house labels I designed. Sample the currently available wines and buy a bottle or two to take home. If you’d like, I’ll sign the label for you!

I will also have full-size (11"x14") prints of select illustrations available for purchase.

Tagged in: Creativity

Introducing pastel illustrations by Laura Olsen

Posted by on in Art

The discovery of a new medium. Just the mention of it sends artists into seething excitement!
I discovered a new medium this summer. It's not new to the world, but rather, I had rediscovered it for myself in a really big way. Pastels. I'm talking about the chalk, not the color palette.
I experimented a little with pastels back in college, but didn't develop a preference for them as a medium. I leaned toward oil painting. When out "in the field" I would usually bring along my sketch pad and graphite pencil, rather than charcoal. I found that charcoal and pastels shared a similar "scritchiness" that bugged me - a little like fingernails on a chalkboard. I preferred the smoother feel of mediums such as graphite and oil paint.

I found that painting en plein air (French for "outside") in the natural light gave my oil paintings a lot more life and freshness than work done in the studio, but what a hassle it was to drag all of that equipment around – not to mention that a wet canvas is not the easiest thing to haul back home.

On vacation this summer, I decided to give pastels another try. I discovered advantages to using them in the field. They're portable, more colorful than graphite, drier than paint, and no extensive clean-up is involved. I was able to easily achieve the natural light look without the mess. Plus, time is a premium for me now, so I'm all for any activity that I can squeeze in quickly and easily. The scritchiness of the pastels didn't bother me, either (perhaps age has desensitized my nerve endings).

The result of settling on a medium that allows me to crank out art in short order, is that I am able to accumulate new material at a sustainable pace. What does that mean? It means that I can make enough art to be marketable. What more can an artist ask for?

Where can you find them? - "Sailboat at Sunset" and "Pacific Northwest Mountains". Also "Pastels of the Pacific Northwest" 2009 wall calendar featuring 12 drawings from 2008. - If you're into good Northwest wine, eight varieties are available featuring art by Laura Olsen on the label. For a REAL treat, ask us about personalizing a label for you. Minimum order is one case. Makes a great gift or to have on hand as your own "house" wine.