Mary Ann Laing

From The Studio

(posted on 6 Dec 2020)

My biggest fan.  Actually, that should be the other way around, I am Logan's biggest fan, adore my beautiful grandson. 

I spent a good hour and a half last night writing a blog.  For reasons too long to explain, I used a laptop that I bought over 5 years ago, and that could be the reason it blew up and disappeared on me.  The blog entry I mean, not the laptop.  The laptop is still in one piece sitting on the desk in my studio, amazing.  So frustrating to pour thoughts out until the eyesight begins to fade into triple vision, only for it all to disappear in one innocent click.  I can't re-write it, it was off the cuff, adlib, spontaneous, and maybe, a blessing it disappeared.  Maybe it was the internet gods who decided... nu uh, Mary Ann, you don't want to share that.  

I won't go on for long here because, who knows, maybe this one will poof into thin air as well.  What I said basically was a few words about the show way back in September, old news yes, but the pandemic is still current and forcing it's vicious wrath on our world.  The opening was on a day that not only were we all gradually allowed back into public places wearing masks and nervously keeping distances between ourselves, but also making our way through grey smoke graciously shared with Victoria from the mainland of USA and BC.  I didn't ask anyone to venture out of their homes to come see my artwork.  It was an honour to be in this past show.  Amy and Lana put it together with Elaine Brewer White's sculptures beautifully.  In better times, I would have made sure to have all my friends and family there.  Oh well, I made it.  Yes, one of the hardest 6 months I've even endured in getting a group of works together, signed and done, but I did it.  Since then, the painting engines are pretty idle, but I do have a new piece to take in to the gallery this week, so no white flags, just slow engines.  Amazing how different it feels to paint after all that stress and pushing myself.  Nice to ponder and muse again without that voice saying.. you don't have time, it's fine, leave it alone, go onto the next one.

Now onto the Ho Ho Ho time, and in my word meander last night, I don't think I was too light and merry.  It will be fine.  The house loves me to decorate so I shall.  I may pour my soul out again once I recover from my last blog mishap.

Much to be thankful for.  Thank you to Amy and Lana and all the staff at West End Gallery for featuring my work, and the sales I am so grateful for.  Thank you to art lovers who make sure they own something that makes them feel joy, that's the ultimate goal we who take to making art hope for.  Thank you to all who take time to look, in this world where we have so much time to look at  online, nice to know there are people interested in what we do.  But, the gallery is very open to the public, I advise you if you live in Victoria to go to West End Gallery in person.  Beautiful artwork that doesn't get complete appreciation online, something about the magic of the brushwork that can only be truly understood in person.

And thank you for reading, now I will hold my breath and see if this one posts.

Mary Ann


(posted on 1 Sep 2020)


" From My Heart To Yours "

New Works by Mary Ann Laing

September 12 to September 24, 2020

West End Gallery, Victoria, B.C.


In partnership with Elaine Brewer White's new collection of sculptures, " Canadian Iconic "

Opening reception Saturday, September 12, 2 pm to 4 pm



" A Visit With The Grandparents "  oil on wrapped canvas  48 inches x 48 inches


It is September 1st.  I am brush hustling, or maybe that should be paint hustling, last minute push to finish those works that were promised before they were born.  I feel okay with the paintings, anyone who knows me will think I've made a major break through of confidence saying that.  Okay is good, in fact, okay is amazing.  Not saying I will feel okay all day, but at this moment of time, I'm thankful for okay.

My inspiration for this collection of works comes from years of photos I have collected over the decades. I've never been an artist who bonded with painting on location, perhaps that's because I am basically an introvert who needs the protection of her creative cave surrounding her while she pushes her brush across the canvas.  I ponder the ways artists are inspired and how it comes through in their work.  In fact, before I started painting for this show, I made the mistake of looking at other artist's work to find inspiration, then remembered that after all the years of painting, time to look at myself for inspiration.  No one knows what drove the artist to paint what they did except themselves, from their own silent and personal heart.  SO... I decided that was it, look inside my own heart, past paintings I have painted, the memories that stir old emotions that never disappear, hence the title for this show, From My Heart To Yours.

I have, however, gone back to my bible of words written by Robert Genn.  I am constantly reminded by his eloquent words why I paint.  This particular newsletter I looked up on trees truly says it all for me.  So I am going to quote Robert Genn now: 

 ” I find it valuable, in solitude, to anthropomorphize natural objects, including trees. This means to attribute human characteristics to them. Trees of different species, for example, droop in sadness, empathize with one another, pray to the sky, take joy in the wind. Some trees reach out, others are smug or private, still others are exuberant or voluptuous. "

"More than anything trees are metaphors. Firmly rooted, genuinely patient and content, willing to undergo insult and humiliation, they also open themselves to all manner of creatures and make a home for many. These oldest of living beings have nobility in every leaf. They bring warmth to the northern cabin, and shade to the southern traveler. Daily, they do the breathing for our increasingly fragile planet. If they were to disappear, we would soon be dead. To honour trees is to grasp life. "

Amen Robert, and thank you!

Thank you, also, to West End Gallery for giving me the opportunity to share my artistic soul to the world, I am always so grateful!

Back to my paint hustling, hope to see you there!

Mary Ann

(posted on 7 Aug 2020)
(posted on 7 Aug 2020)

Apparently, I professed in my last blog here that I was to be taking to my typewriter again to share my thoughts.  That was 5 months ago, March 7, one week ahead of our city closing it's shutters due to the C-19 pandemic  Little did I know then what was about to happen collectively to we humans who share the living space on this earth.  Here we are, 5 months later, no singing together, no walking into a store in a relaxed fashion hugging random people we bump into (that we know of course), no leaving our cars without a mask on.  I can't say I am getting used to this way of life.  It's probably best I shop alone and can't whine about feeling like I am suffocating under that cloth, that I can't hear without being able to read lips of cashiers speaking muffled sounds beyond the plexiglass.  No point in complaining, we are all in this together.

What isn't different, tho, is I am painting.  West End Gallery remains open and the feature show I was asked to paint for in September is still on.  All of their feature artist's exhibitions have not had physical opening receptions, I suspect mine the same, good I won't have to put make up on.  Yes, another show that a year ago approximately I said SURE! to is looming close.  No, don't have that 20 painting collection I imagined a year ago I might have.  I have maybe 20 excuses why I don't have 20 paintings nearly done, but that doesn't help, so I'll keep them to myself,, the excuses I mean.  I will get there, a series of new works done by your's truly on September 12th, 2020 is coming together.

So what is this show titled? you ask? or I ask, good question.  Under such unusual times outside of our own personal world, and inside our personal world, it's not been a childlike feel like my last show " Happy Childhood "... uh, no.  Getting the time to paint is more difficult, when I do get the time, my energy level is low, some nights my energy level is below 0.  I am still amazed, and thankful, that when I grasp that painting time, I can still paint.  The magic of making art kicks in and something beautiful happens.  It baffles me how that can happen, I suppose there are some good scientific answers about the brain high of creating art, but I don't have time to read up on that, I have to paint.

Living life now is more challenging than I ever imagined it could be.  My husband has progressive Parkinson's that is vicious and cruel, but he soldiers on with grace, most of the time.  We are in this one together.  Our family, too, close by and bravely taking on each day in hopes Dad at least feels okay, that's really all we ask.  I get to my easel close to midnight and paint.  I can digest and absorb so many emotions through the day, and pick up a brush and feel enchanted by the act of putting paint on a canvas.  The works in this show really are about that.  I didn't go on any excursions to gather material for a series.  I contemplated the thousands of photos I've taken over the years and decided that in light of how this artist's life is, paint for my own feeling of enchantment.  I understand more well than I asked for that moments come at us daily in all forms, good and bad, simple as that.  So, I have chosen photo inspirations of moments I recall.  I'm thinking this show will be titled " Enjoy The Moments ", unless another title hits me I like better, there is still another month to go.

Enjoy the moments, they come and go so fast.  The hard and cruel ones don't seem to, but they do.  I have learned that every moment is my due, so just keep that book of moments as balanced as I possibly can.  I really am so blessed, and I hope that comes through in my paintings, and that the viewers feel the same enjoyment I felt in those moments of being there, and painting them.

Mary Ann

(posted on 7 Mar 2020)

Yes, I have decided to blog share once again.  I am not sure if I should continue to write them in blogspot or just here.  I tried to figure out how to link my blog page there to here, but it's not working.  So until I muster up some new word-ology of an artistic nature, I will leave the address for all 59 blogs I put over there over the past 10 years or so.  It's   Holy smokes, 59 blogs, wonder what I said.

I am liking the idea of a fresh start, tho, who I am now in 2020... yesss

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