(View Artwork by Laurie Koss)
Laurie Koss was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. She developed a love and appreciation for art at a young age from her mother, Mary Eagle, who is also an artist. Following high school, Laurie studied commercial art and photography at Capilano College in North Vancouver. While there she became fascinated by colour -- especially the mixing of tertiary and quaternary colours -- and studied it extensively. This interest in colour is something that she credits as a significant influence in her current work.
Following a number of years working as a commercial artist and art director in the advertising field, Laurie continued her education at the University of British Columbia. It was during her five years at UBC that she developed a love for acrylic painting, as well as a fascination with light and form in black and white macro photography. In 1990, she was awarded the Brissenden Scholarship in Art Education and graduated having earned a Bachelor of Education with a double major in Art and English. It was her interest in photography, however, that eventually led Laurie, in her fifth year at UBC, to a one-on-one photography course with graphic artist, Bob Steele. Bob taught her, during that time, something that she credits as the most major influence in her current work. He taught her that it is much easier to take a good colour photograph, but that once you remove the colour and shoot in black and white you have to rely on the shape, form, light and dark, and movement to make it beautiful. Consequently, it is much more challenging to produce a beautiful black and white photograph. It is this same idea that she is exploring in her current painting collection: "Is a flower still beautiful without its colour?"
After teaching high school art for a short time, and then relocating to Kelowna, Laurie spent the next several years being devoted to being a homemaker and spending only a very limited amount of time in her studio. Once her youngest child was in school full time, however, she returned to painting. Laurie now enjoys spending regular time in her studio, painting on large canvases and using her own black and white photographic images as a source of inspiration. Instead of relying on a flower's most beautiful feature, its colour, her paintings become a more intense and intimate study of natural form, light and movement. She creates the neutral tones of her paintings as she works by mixing the paint on a simple palette of the three primary colours -- red, yellow, and blue -- and white.
Interview with Laurie Koss