"Laura Westlake's career originally began as a commercial illustrator in Manhattan doing work for television, magazine and print ads, portraiture and book illustration. She attended Santa Barbara City College in California, and The School Of Visual Arts in NYC, to help her prepare for this job which lasted 15 years. She became very disillusioned and by the late 1980's was making the transition into the gallery scene. Always working with the colored pencil she started from scratch using her basic instincts and the elements of nature for her new and current work. With the pencils, she recreates the rich colors and moods of still lifes and landscapes through a slow layering process with as many as 15 layers of color applied. Some of the works take as long as 100 hours to complete. Using the camera the subjects are staged and pieced together with many photographs as the primary source of reference. Each piece is an original work of art.
Laura has recieved numerous awards and has exhibited extensively in galleries throughout the United States. Presently she is teaching workshops in color pencil and has changed her medium to oil painting.
As a hobby Laura is a wild bird rehabilitator and holds Federal and New York State licenses for the rehabilitation of migratory birds. Many of the birds portrayed in her art are specimens she has nurtured back to the wild.
Laura Westlake lives in Orient, NY, with her artist husband, Dominick DiLorenzo."
"A native Long Islander, growing up in Stony Brook, I am essentially a self-taught artist drawing and painting since the age of four. My love of nature and the outdoors has always been the inspiration for my work. For 35 years I have used color pencil as my main medium for most of the works because of it's delicate nature and is ideal for detail which is characteristic of my style. Passionate about wildlife, particulaly birds, I look to incorporate them into my artwork at every opportunity. I feel it's a personal connection I add to the piece and it brings "life" to the art."