Laura Dempsey's Profile

About

I carve different types of wood to create a variety of birds that are life size in a style that is very realistic and detail oriented, but I also enjoy working in stone to create abstract pieces.

Wood gives me the ability to do bird carving sculptures with fine detail. I like to paint the birds in oils or acrylics giving the sculptures a layered and soft look.

With stone, I use a direct approach, taking the stone down with chisels and a hammer. I like to see what the stone has to offer and then pull the piece out of the stone.

In addition to sculpting, I also paint in gouache, acrylics and oils. In my paintings, I have used gouache on paper for many years. It has always been a favorite medium of mine. I like the opaqueness of the paint, and the fact that it can be…

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  • Female
  • Born on March 19
  • Joined February 3, 2008

Favorite materials

wood stone metal painting in gouache acrylic oil and watercolor photography

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WildFeatherStudio
Wildfeatherstudio

About

I carve different types of wood to create a variety of birds that are life size in a style that is very realistic and detail oriented, but I also enjoy working in stone to create abstract pieces.

Wood gives me the ability to do bird carving sculptures with fine detail. I like to paint the birds in oils or acrylics giving the sculptures a layered and soft look.

With stone, I use a direct approach, taking the stone down with chisels and a hammer. I like to see what the stone has to offer and then pull the piece out of the stone.

In addition to sculpting, I also paint in gouache, acrylics and oils. In my paintings, I have used gouache on paper for many years. It has always been a favorite medium of mine. I like the opaqueness of the paint, and the fact that it can be used almost as a watercolor.

For my wildlife portraits, I prefer acrylics. It is a versatile paint and I use many layers to create a soft feel of fur or feathers. I am quite fond of using oils on wood or canvas also.

Oil paint is my favorite for blending and creating a smooth look when needed. I like to use this in portraits of people or on my bird carvings.

I will get an idea or maybe several ideas at once to create something that has sparked my interest. Some of these ideas I will put on hold for a while, and then work on the one that is most pressing on my mind.

Usually I get my inspiration from nature. Often it is something in nature that I have seen and the beauty is so striking that I am inspired to paint or sculpt from it.

My intention is not to duplicate what I see, but to come up with a piece that has a beauty of its own. I have always had a passion for birds. I love all animals but birds have truly been a favorite of mine.

In working with stone, I have found that each piece of stone has a hidden texture and patter to it. It is a long process to take down a piece of wood or stone and get to the final image. When the grain finally starts to appear after you have completed many months of work, it is very satisfying to see the result.

Sometimes I have worked on sculptures or paintings for so long that they seem to never get to what I had originally intended. This is when I have to stop back and let the piece take on a life of its own.

In my paintings I have often been touched by an event or incident that made me want to portray and tell a story.

I feel that to be an artist is something that keeps me alive. I am most at peace with myself when I am doing my work. I want to grow as an artist and learn new ways to express my ideas. I find that it scares me to stay stagnant and repetitive. It is one of the reasons I keep moving into different types of media. I also like to experiment.


BIO:

Laura Dempsey was born and raised in Queens, New York. She became interested in art in high school and went on to pursue a career in textile design.

Laura studied textile design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and graduated with an Associates Degree in 1981. Her work was selected for the very prestigious Interstoff Show in Frankfurt, Germany, that same year. She also won the Dan River Award for Excellence and a thousand dollar scholarship. She continued her study of textile design and graduated with top honors at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1983 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, winning the Departmental Award for Outstanding Designs in the textile department.

After graduation, Laura worked in the garment center as a textile designer and freelance artist for over ten years. She also operated her own textile design studio for several years. Upon leaving the garment center and the textile industry, she moved to Long Island with her husband Kevin. During this time she became involved in other artistic disciplines, and began to broaden her artistic repertoire to include sculpture as well as painting. Laura is a self-taught painter, and works in oils and acrylics as well as gouache. Her love of animals is evident in the subject matter she chooses to portray.

Her interest in sculpture soon led her to the world of wildfowl carving. Laura began to devote much of her time to this interest, working in wood and creating highly realistic life size birds with great detail. She also became interested in working with stone at the same time.

Laura Dempsey’s sculptures and paintings have won numerous awards throughout New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Her work is in many private collections throughout the United States.

Since moving to Hardwick, New Jersey she has been president of Gallery 23 from 2001 to 2003. In 2004 she has had a one person show in the Romano Gallery at Blair Academy.

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