Exhibition: Laurel Hibbert – Moments of Joy
April 20 – June 2, 2019
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Laurel Hibbert was born and raised in Lachine Quebec. She attended Macdonald College of McGill University. Upon moving to British Columbia in 1989, she attended the University of Victoria where she received a further teaching degree. Laurel taught a total of 40 years before retiring in 2009.
Upon retiring she began to paint and soon discovered that her unique style was the beginning of a new career.
Her work is remarkable for its vibrant colour and for its storytelling quality. It is illustrative, whimsical and captures moments of joy or peace in life. She paints from her imagination and from deep memory. Her characters sometimes possess a curious Slavic appearance which surprises the artist since this is not her heritage. Looking at her work invites the viewer to ask what has just happened or what is about to happen?
Her work is in private collections across Canada and in the U.S.
“When asked what my artistic style is I have difficulty explaining. The best description I have been given is “Sophisticated Primitive”. I think that suits me best.
“My work can begin with a single curved line which reminds me of the curve of my mother’s shoulder, the tilt of my daughter’s head or the arm of a child I once knew. This curve brings with it a story in my mind that I paint out following my own characters as they work or play or stand taking in the wonder of the world around them. It is like playing for me. My women almost always tie on aprons and wear heavy boots to remind me that work is honourable and an important part of life. I find almost everything in my own life to be amusing in some way as if I am a living cartoon and this whimsey is always there in my painting.
“Sometimes I paint a sky and it tells me what land or village it is hanging over. Then I wait until the rest of the image slowly appears on the landscape before me. I like villages, beaches, libraries. Rows of children and large stomached men with their dogs.
“I have worked in oil and watercolour and pen and ink, but my preferred medium is acrylic. I enjoy the fast drying quality and the vibrant colours. I like to paint on a flat surface and therefore often lean on my work so acrylic paint works best for me.”