Studio Spotlight: Createful Member Laura O'Leary

Welcome to our new Studio Spotlight series where we feature different members and students of Createful Studio and their recent work. I'm really excited about this series because so many people are exploring and creating and doing some amazing work here at the studio—often for the first time or after a long time away from arting—and I've been looking to share their creative work. As an ongoing series, we will be shining the spotlight on different people on a regular basis (every week or two), which should be fun and informative for all. Enjoy!

Createful Member Laura O'Leary

 Featured Artist Laura O'Leary

Laura looks at most everything as her canvas. She takes raw materials like glass, leaves and twigs, found objects, wood or paint and throws them onto the canvas of her home, her gardens, her art journal or even real canvas and creates from her heart. About ten years ago, Laura and I were just naturally creative together without any real structure. We loved helping each other with art projects—and on our many field trips around the Bay Area we would inevitably get inspired by something (in nature or in boutique—it hardly mattered), and we'd look at each other almost at the same time and say, "You know, we could make..." and then before we knew it our minds started spinning off each other with ideas. After a while, we both started getting interested in mixed media and it didn't take long after that that we knew we wanted to make creativity a weekly habit together and with others. So we pulled in some friends and started an art group, The Marin Mixed Media Circle, which still meets weekly—now at the studio—to this day. 

Here is what Laura has to tell you about herself and this week's featured work, Let Go!

 "Let Go" Art Journal Page


So, Laura, who are you and what do you do?

Hi, I'm Laura and I live in American Canyon ...Yes, I drive to San Rafael every Thursday to art at the studio with our art group! I have worked as a medical assistant at Kaiser Hospital for thirty years. I am grateful that I work part time so I can make more time in my life to be creative and play. My two best friends are my dogs: Tucker, my four year old lab, and Gordon, my one year old chihuahua. They keep me loyal and playful. Our favorite spots is the wetlands near our house. I think I am most happy in nature.

How do you like to work, creatively?

I am inspired by colors, shapes and light. Even, the smells and wind help guide me to my next art project. When I am arting and in " the zone", the outside world is very distant. I admit I struggle to always reach that amazing level of truly letting go, but when it does happen I am again reminded that art and creating mean so much to me.

I enjoy my time at the studio. In our group of women, our styles of arting are all very different, and for me that is the best part! Learning from each other is truly a gift.  When I am working on a piece and I am stuck in my process someone is always willing to help me to the next step....or say "Stop, it's finished!" I love it when we share and learn different techniques together, too.

How were you inspired to create this work?

This is a recent and special piece in my art journal. It all started on a balcony in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, overlooking the beautiful Caribbean. I was listening to the birds and feeling the warm breeze on my face while my parents were talking. My mind began to wander and the next thing I knew I was doodling —and out came my favorite images of this magical place!

One of the powerful things about art are the the surprises and this piece was all magic. For instance, I painted the background for this piece before I left—and my color choices were perfect! Who knew?! And while I was doodling mindlessly, it was only later that I saw that this piece captures for me this small island in Mexico (which I return to each year).  Both in art and in life, I am happiest when I let go!