Artistic Excellence 2013 | Honorable Mention: Laurence Saunois


Laurence Saunois, Le Bain, oil, 24 x 31.

Laurence Saunois, Le Bain, oil, 24 x 31.

What inspired your winning entry? In 2010 I took part in the Society of Animal Artists Annual Exhibition in San Diego. During one of our outings, I saw this white pelican awash in the evening light. This subject included everything I like to do in painting—a beautiful bird, movement, water, droplets, and contrast with beautiful light. Once I was back in France, I thought about painting this scene. In late 2011, I began the composition and work.

Where did you study art? I never studied art. I am completely self-taught. Depending on the subject, I choose the medium that seems most appropriate—oil, acrylic, dry pastels, charcoal, and even sculpture sometimes.

How would you describe your style? My painting is not exactly a hyper-realistic style, although at first glance people may believe it is a photograph. But they discover little things that characterize a painting and not a photograph. What I like above all is the illusion.

What is your pet peeve? I don’t really have a pet peeve when it comes to art. I like all phases of creation in painting. But among all these phases, the one I find most annoying is certainly that of the application of the first layers of color—those that serve as a working basis for the creation of the smaller details.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? I would certainly be a naturalist or be in a craft related to animals and nature. Otherwise, because I like everything that relates to the garden, maybe I would be a landscape gardener because, for me, creating a garden is also a kind of art.
What are your goals for the future? Create, always create. I would like to make very large-format works, explore new subjects and compositions, and convey more emotion to viewers.

What galleries represent your work? None at this time. I would really like to have American galleries interested in exhibiting my work.

This story was featured in the December 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2013 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!