Lauren Mercer-Smail

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Artist Statement

Creating art is an attempt to capture a moment, a feeling, a sight or a story. I share what I see and feel, what invigorates me. I seek to evoke nostalgia, warmth, longing. My first complete series of oil paintings were ‘snapshots’ of autumn. I wanted to express the incredible colour and light of the season, and to share the feeling of sleepy drives down small roads in the woods. The paintings are something seen in the blink of an eye, when you gaze out the window and daydream.

The Mechanicsville series was an experiment in style, evoking history. Inspired by Lawren Harris’ Toronto Houses, Clarence Gagnon, and Horace Champagne, I wanted to evoke the same rich sense of nostalgia, of the utterly Canadian experience of being swamped with snow, while belaying the considerable newness of our country. The play of the snow-laden old homes with anachronistic street signage, gas meters, and distant apartment buildings shows viewers that history is omnipresent, and needs only be remembered and shared.

My most recent series, Views From the 401, is also an exploration of the contemporary Canadian experience. It explores the massive amount of space we have, and how much we are all accustomed to long hours on the road. The series offers a variety of curious and nostalgic views as seen from the highway between Ottawa and Toronto. My goal is to express place, history, and transience. I strive to be an essentially Canadian artist. 

Artist Biography

Lauren Mercer-Smail is inspired by colour, light, and texture. She is influenced by the works of Tom Thomson, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and Clarence Gagnon. She attended an arts high school, specializing in the visual arts. Since then she has maintained an independent practice, taking holidays to pursue drawing and painting in between periods of work. She is always working on something new. 

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