Artist's Statement

My paintings are a manifestation of my love for color and a desire to take traditional subject matter (landscape, floral and figurative imagery) in a contemporary, fresh direction.  I want to create visual interest by using striking color and varied techniques to create my work. 

As an abstract-expressionist, I am most interested in form, composition and the interaction of color. The beginning of a painting starts with the creation of an interesting color palette.  I work with hundreds of color swatches mixing and comparing them to find striking color combinations. 

When I approach the canvas I have a general idea about the subject that I will portray but the specifics develop as the painting develops. I may start the process by applying paint with a paint roller and then work the canvas with thin dripping washes of paint followed by thicker layers, with my primary consideration being the overall composition. I use an array of small and large brushes, palette knives and spatulas to create varied texture and movement of paint.  After I apply paint to an area of the canvas, I step back to evaluate the effect, move forward to scrape back an area or apply more paint, back and forth, working quickly and letting my intuition guide me.  The painting feels as if it advances through me, frequently surprising me with the result.

My artistic journey is evolving with the continued exploration of exciting color combinations and interesting ways to apply paint. My goal is the creation of artwork that is striking, fresh and original.

 

 

Laura Varich / Nature Remembered

by Claudine Garrett

 

The work of abstract oil painter Laura Varich captures the very essence of her life experiences. Varich entices her viewers to share in her love of the natural world through her use of light, texture, and colorful palette. She derives inspi­ration for many of her dynamic abstract pieces from her early childhood, living among the natural and beautiful open spaces of the California landscape. In addition, both her global journeys and her current life in Florida have contributed to a deeper connec­tion to her work, a greater appreciation of the broader art world, and an understanding of the varied nature of light and color according to place. 

Growing up in Northern California, Varich was surrounded by open spaces and remembers being affected by “the greenest greens of the landscape and bluest blues of the sky.”  In this world, she also discovered a never-ending variety of color that sparked a desire to provide these hues and images a permanent place on canvas.

She remembers superb teachers at Stanford University who helped develop her strong background in color, shape, and form.  After years of experimentation and evolution, she says that she “wet my brush with oil paint, finally having discovered my medium.” Because oil paint dries slowly, Varich realized that she could present her love for abstraction and at the same time put forth her bold gestural style where movement of the paint is key.   Additionally, it is the process itself through which Varich creates that provides each piece its unique life. Sometimes the process begins with an idea or a recreated feeling inspired by an interaction with nature. More often, the creation is the result of artistic experimentation in which she simply finds her vision as it appears on the canvas. “I approach each work intuitively and with an unremitting desire to see its final form.  As each piece develops, I find that I easily walk fifteen thousand steps, moving away to assess and then forward once more to apply a new focus of color, over and over again.”

Varich’s artwork follows in the style of abstract painters of the mid-20th Century. Her figurative work is influenced by the paintings of Elmer Bischoff, a key member of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, who painted figures in bold and colorfully abstract ways.  Varich’s depictions of nature are mainly influenced by abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell, who painted nature in a very loose and gestural style that allows the viewer to feel they are present in the moment she is creating. Varich approaches the canvas similarly, with expressive strokes, and in this way her creative process is also laid bare, allowing the viewer to truly enter her creative work.

A new life and artistic adventure began in 2009 when the artist moved along with her husband and two young daughters to Central Florida.  This was soon followed by the opportunity for extensive international travel, with both short and long explorations across Europe and Asia.  “Traveling throughout Europe and living in Asia truly broadened my exposure to different landscapes, architecture, and cultures, in addition to artists and styles of painting,” says Varich. “I came away with a great respect for the unique voice and expression that each artist applies to their work.”

As a member of long-standing art groups, Varich also enjoys sharing in the voices of fellow painters. She painted with the California artist group Alto Artists for more than 10 years and has since joined the Fifth Avenue Painters in Central Florida.  “There is an amazing synergy when creating in a supportive group,” she explains.  “Although each of us has a different style and subject matter, we challenge one other, gaining new insights and ideas and ultimately bettering our work.”

After consistent artist evolution, her artistic motivation hit new heights in 2017. She describes that as “an arrival at a point where new ideas were constantly sparking my creative process.”  With her creativity in full swing, she combined her connection with her medium and her love of abstraction in the continued artistic maturation of her bold, gestural style. She uses the juxtaposition of opposing colors and textural elements in her work, drips and splashes of paint coexisting with brush strokes and palette knife across thickly applied and thinly scraped areas. These varying textures inject the artwork with an additional element when viewed from a close perspective.

Varich currently resides in Mount Dora, Florida, where she continues to be inspired by the stunning and varied surrounding nature. Her paintings are an expression of personal experiences in time and place. She invites the viewer to share in the wonder of the natural world and the creative process itself through her use of dramatic color and her expressive, gestural style.

Varich continues to work intuitively and to fully enjoy her fascination with the jux­taposition of color and texture. As in the words of Varich’s inspiration, abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell, “I paint from remembered landscapes… and remembered feelings of them.”  Varich offers, “This is my artistic goal as well.  I seek to share a sense of place, a feeling.”

 

 

Resume

Education (selected)

2002 to 2009 - Studio Oil Painting, Cheryl Battiato, Palo Alto, CA

2008 – Abstract Figurative Painting, Michael Azour, Palo Alto, CA

2001 – Life Drawing, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA

2002 – Sculpture, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

2001 – Studio Drawing, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

 

Exhibitions (selected)

Aug to Sept. 2019 (solo), MDCA Gallery, FL

Aug to Oct 2019, 5th Ave Painters, Tavares, FL

May to July 2019 (solo), Tavares, FL

May 2019, SOBO Gallery, Winter Garden, FL

2012 to 2019, Matamo Designs, Mt. Dora, FL

Jan 2019, SOBO Gallery, Winter Garden, FL

Dec 2018, University Club, Winter Park, FL

Dec 2018, SOBO Gallery, Winter Garden, FL

Feb 2018, Mount Dora Arts Festival, FL

Dec 2017, University Club, Winter Park, FL

May 2017, SOBO Gallery, Winter Garden, FL

Mar 2017, Modernism Museum, Mount Dora, FL

Feb 2017, Mount Dora Arts Festival, FL

Nov 2016, Mount Dora Art Center Gallery, FL

Oct 2014, Mount Dora Art Center Gallery, FL

Apr 2014, Gallery at Avalon Island, Orlando, FL

Sept to Nov 2011 –Florida Museum for Women        Artists, Deland, FL

Nov 2010 to Jan 2011, Windhorse Gallery, FL

June 2010, California Modern Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Apr 2009, Los Gatos Art Museum, CA

May 2009, Saratoga Fine Art Show, CA

May 2009, Los Altos Fine Art Show, CA

Sept 2008 to Jan 2009, California Modern Gallery, San Francisco, CA

 

Awards / Press (selected)

Orlando Arts Magazine Featured Artist, July & August 2019

Mount Dora Buzz Online Newspaper, May 2019

Curators Choice, Concealed and Revealed Exhibit, SOBO Gallery, Winter Garden, Jan 2019

1st Place, Mount Dora City Flag Design, May 2017

Orlando Sentinel, Featured Artist, January 2017

1st Place, People’s Choice Award, Mount Dora Center for the Arts, 2014

Pulse Magazine, Central Florida, Cover, Spring 2013

Orlando Magazine, Featured Artist, Paint the Town Exhibition, March 2012

 

Current Gallery Representation

July 2012 to present - Scott Laurent Collection, Winter Park, FL

 

Corporate Collections

Windhorse Gallery (Permanent Collection), Eustis FL

2011 to present, on loan: Synergy Spa, Mount Dora, FL

2006 to 2008, on loan: Aragon Surgical Company, Palo Alto, CA

2006 to 2007, on loan: Mike’s Café, Menlo Park, CA

 

Private Collectors 

List provided by request

 

 

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