Artist Profile: Judith Laws
INTUITION AND INSPIRATION FROM HER SURROUNDINGS GOVERN JUDITH LAWS’ COLOURIST PRACTICE IN EQUAL MEASURE. CHARLOTTE MIDDLETON WRITES.
For Queensland-based artist Judith Laws, painting is an intuitive process that begins with colour and unfolds organically. “Colour has become a language interpreting much of what I see and feel,” she says. Residing with husband and fellow artist Rex Backhaus-Smith on the Sunshine Coast – which she describes as a “glorious place” – provides the artist with all the stimulation she requires for her creative process.
Judith’s paintings are loosely based on landscape, but also incorporate memory and past experiences. With an old enamel oven tray serving as her palette, the artist works from a studio as riotous as her works, playing rhythmic background music to stimulate her imagination. Her unique style involves rich acrylics and oils liberally applied to canvas or watercolour paper for expressive effect. “I believe in pushing the boundaries of my imagination and creating works of depth and interest so that the viewer can involve themselves in my journey of the mind,” says the artist.
They might be a cacophony of colour, but Judith’s paintings are underpinned by careful control and technique honed through years of experimentation. Delighting in the physicality of paint, she describes how she squelches great blobs of colour onto the canvas, using large brushes and her hands for application. “Because of my experience with colour, I mostly know what to expect but there are always surprises,” she says. “If it works, I go with it.”