Laurel Wilson is a full time professional artist who for over forty-two years has worked exclusively in the challenging medium of watercolor. Her prize-winning work has been shown locally on Cape Cod, regionally, and nationally. Many of her paintings are found in countries across the world, from Romania to South Africa to the Philippines and beyond. Her artwork is done in a realistic style and is known for its harmonious color, composition, strong values, skilled drawing and fine detail. Interesting to many are her choices of unique takes on scenes of the land and sea. Each piece is appealing for its peaceful mood and invitation to explore and reflect.
Laurel enjoys sharing her experiences. She imparts a part of herself in each piece as she discovers and captures the beauty within whatever environment she finds herself. As a volunteer naturalist at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and a volunteer on archaeological digs, she finds the environment and history a source of rich subject matter. She paints vistas, close-ups of plants and animals, and also the people in their surroundings. Her goal is simply to connect with others who have similar feelings about special places. She wants to encourage the viewer to look, enjoy, and appreciate the treasures that abound and have brought joy to her.
Interesting to many is the road that led Laurel to spend her time immersed in painting. As a child, drawing and painting was a favorite activity encouraged and nurtured by her family. At Mount Holyoke College she majored in Art History, studying the world’s art and the wonderful cultures and histories that influenced artists. She minored in Studio Art, using many mediums and working in design, printmaking, and painting . For her, creating art led to a deeper understanding of what other artists have done, what they are saying, and why they and their work should be valued. Post-grad work was at Oberlin College where Laurel continued Art History and specialized in American Art. Since then she has held several jobs: docent, curator, and conservator at both the Smithsonian and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She taught Art History at Alfred University to both ceramic school artists and liberal arts students. She also spent a short time as an art therapist for hospitalized psychiatric patients in Hornell, New York. All these experiences influenced and enriched the style and content of her paintings.
When her husband’s job brought a move to the Cape in 1971, she chose to stay home with her children and got back to creating artwork. It was more satisfying to her to be interpreting the world, than interpreting another person’s thinking and process which so often took the form of putting both artwork and artists in neat little niches but hide the value and uniqueness of what is seen. Laurel's debut gallery on the Cape was at Gallery 31 in Orleans. Since then, she has shown in several galleries. Eastwind Gallery, a cooperative, is her current home. She also shows at the Cape Cod Art Center where she is honored as a Master Artist and at the Chatham Creative Art Center where she is showing at the Festival of the Arts this summer for the 42nd year. She also exhibits her work at the Cape Cod Cultural Center, the Falmouth Art Center and the art guilds of Plymouth, Yarmouth, and Falmouth. This summer she will be outdoors for a week in The Cottages in Orleans and a week at the Hyannis Art Shanties in Bismore Park on the harbor. In 2019-2020 she has participated in six important national juried shows: the Creative Arts Center's Festival of the Arts (Chatham. MA), the New England Watercolor Regional Art Exhibition (Portsmouth, NH), the National at the Rockport Art Association (Rockport, MA), the National at the Cape Cod Art Center (Barnstable, MA) and the 42nd Biennial National Exhibit at the Visual Arts Center (Punta Gorda, Florida).