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Undercut with Emotion: The Painting Portfolio of Bonnie Laird

A painting of a bright blue cloudscape over waterWhen The Day Is Done, oil on board

Bonnie Laird is an oil painter who creates soft, blended images of landscapes, florals, and human figures. The artist’s works are undercut with emotion and tend to feature lone central figures on neutral or relatively unadorned backgrounds. 

A painting of a woman dressed in dark clothing on a pale green backgroundWoman with green background, oil on board

I really enjoy the mix of soft blending and fine detail that Bonnie achieves in her works. In many cases the artist uses larger brush marks to create the illusion of detail -- strategically-placed strokes of white in a painting of sky, for example, seem to do the heavy lifting of portraying the texture and imperfection of an entire portion of cloud. Likewise, a few simple, cleverly placed marks can build up detailed facial features in a portrait, lending a human subject an expression that draws the viewer in immediately. 

A screen capture of Bonnie Laird's art portfolio


In our previous feature of Bonnie’s work with soft, blended brush marks, we also looked at the artist’s use of colour. I really appreciate the way that Bonnie can shift between using deep, high-contrast, saturated hues (like in her floral pieces) to more subdued neutral tones (like in her portraits of workers). Though the effects exist at two extremes, both are powerful in their own way.

A painting of pink flowers on boardNocturnal, oil on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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