SPECTRUM artist Laurie de Camillis interview - April 03, 2014

Below is a great article written by Loveart Toronto on one of our featured SPECTRUM artists Laurie De Camillis. 


Toronto’s West end is home to many galleries and artist studios. Laura De Camills, a founding member of the Canadian Art Collective, was kind enough to invite us to her studio off Dundas Street West for a chat.

When did you consider yourself an artist?
I’ve always painted. I think most children draw and/or paint in their childhood. I just never stopped. Being part of a large family was fairly noisy, so I would retreat to the special place in my room to draw and to get away from everyone. I think going to art school lead me to where I am today.

Run us through a typical day.
I get up around 8 am, have breakfast with my husband and then walk down the street to my studio. I am usually at the studio till 3pm. At the end of the day I clean my brushes to make sure there are no residues left on them. My palette is always clean like my studio.  My painting looks quick and spontaneous but unlike how it looks, each brushstroke has been considered.  The colours are carefully mixed and their placement is specific.  My brushes and thoughts have to be clean.  There is no going over or changing anything, I must be accurate the first time. The brush strokes are side by side and do not overlap, they fit like a puzzle.

Who/what inspires you?
Canadian painters such as David Milne, and on a more contemporary side, Charles Meanwell. I like painters who’s work is simple and direct. And I look for those who use contradictions and paradoxes in their work.

Is painting something you do mainly for yourself? Or your viewers?
It’s a mix. It is mostly for myself. I have to satisfy myself. Sometimes I go in directions that aren’t pretty.

What is the best art tip you have ever received? And by whom?
Ted Lindberg, curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery who said to me “don’t worry about your career; just do your painting and look after yourself.”

How has your style changed over the years?
I was an abstract artist, painting colour fields. My favourite painter at the time was Jack Bush. The colour fields were very exciting and I was interested in the Abstract Expressionist world of the time. I would put my paintings up on the wall but after a few weeks I wanted to change them. I realized they didn’t have the staying power that art should possess. Having had a few major shows in Vancouver, I was starting to build a reputation for myself but I couldn’t continue in the same vein. I decided to leave, to go to Toronto and start over. I changed my paint from acrylic to oil looking for substance and found it in images.

What is your favourite piece in your studio right now?
Afternoon Twilight.

How do you know when a painting is finished?
When every brushstroke has found its place.

What are you working on right now? 
I’m working on these little boards. I have two shows coming up before May. I’m just preparing for the exhibitions: naming, cataloguing and photographing them.  The first is a group show SPECTRUM at Arta Gallery opening March 31 with its reception Thursday April 3rd 6-8. The other is a fundraiser where the commission goes to charities.

If you had one kind of food you had to eat eat for the rest of your life what would it be?
I’m Italian so it has to be pasta!

Canadian Art Collective: 14 Afton Ave., Toronto, ON, M6J 1R7
Arta Gallery: The Distillery District, 14 Distillery Lane, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4


*"Laurie de Camillis." Love Art. March 31 2014. 



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