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Mary Laucks:
Contemporary Abstract Painter

Welcome to my site! I hope my art intrigues you or makes you see things a little differently.

Arche 1 textured painting by Mary Laucks
My approach to painting has evolved out of the years I spent working as a research scientist. For me painting is an exploration of the world around me, much as an experiment is for a scientist. I ask questions about human perception through painting - I try to create a visual experience using colour, texture and form.

I prefer this to painting representations of recognizable objects or objects standing in for feelings or ideas because, for me, art occurs in and on the painted surface not in the recognition of an object or an idea. Concepts and representations of objects are secondary to the immediacy of the perception of paint and the materials on the surface of the painting. Colour can evoke a subjective landscape, the interface between coloured shapes can create dissonance or harmony, relationships between forms in a composition can give structure and balance, and the surface can be gouged and fractured, then filled with other colours, to create the illusion of depth and complexity. What is "seen" in this kind of painting is the bare interaction between a perceiving mind and the material external to it.

I have moved between "process" painting - the painting arises from the marks laid down and I struggle to contain the marks in an integrated whole -- and "abstract" painting - the painting begins with an image of an object and moves successively away from its representation towards simplicity and structure only. Many of my "process" paintings begin with flat gestural marks as the under-painting, and the painting evolves from these marks - sometimes layers are hidden and other times new layers are scratched to reveal the underlying layers. Often the texture of a previous layer determines the growth of the successive layer. My journey into process painting has taken me from painterly, highly textured compositions with forms, to layered grid paintings (each layer is scraped or scratched), to three-dimensional sculpted paintings having distinct topography.

My abstract art has often been graphical in style, using sharp lines to define forms, optical illusions (aerial perspective) to imply space, and the juxtaposition of intense colours to create perceived motion. Some of this work is large scale. My attempts to capture the complexity of the perceived world in paint may fail, but in the attempt I may make some art!

Recent Work

Contact the artist by email: mlaucks@telus.net

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