Laura Levitsky is a wildlife artist whose strikingly realistic work tries to capture the vast splendour of the natural world.
Levitsky told the Progress she was “overwhelmed” to learn she had earned two separate awards for her art recently.
Her painting of American wigeons gliding gracefully, titled ‘Charm & Elegance’ was selected as Ducks Unlimited Canada Waterfowl Stamp & Print for 2015.
That’s been a longtime artistic goal of hers, so she’s thrilled and humbled.
“You just feel like you made it,” she says, about being chosen among the talented other artists in the DUC portfolio.
“I’ve admired so many of the Ducks Unlimited artists and their work with realism. To be included in that list is a real honour.”
Also her stately painting of a Great blue heron, called ‘A Quiet Repose’ won the B.C. Wildlife Federation ‘Artist of the Year 2015’.
So it’s a big year.
The Chilliwack artist moved to B.C. in 1989 from Saskatchewan and has been awestuck by its wonderful creatures ever since.
Levitsky enjoys looking to nature for inspiration around the Fraser Valley.
“I’m constantly in awe whenever I am hiking around.”
Levitsky says she and her husband like to pack up the truck and take forays into the great outdoors to see if they can spot wildlife in its habitat.
“Lots of people miss the details. One simple tree has tons of life on it. It’s a challenge for me when working on a painting to get all of that in there.”
She is self-taught and very focused down to the nitty-gritty of curled tendrils on lichen.
“When I first started, I used to sit there and try to get it exactly right.”
Now she’s shifted her practice somewhat.
“If I need a break now, I step away from the canvas and go to the bird sanctuary. I feel at peace and free when walking around, free of the hustle and bustle.”
Her stunning and well composed working is hanging in the Cornerstone Framing shop on Mill Street until the end of February, and online at levitskyart.com.
The last few years she’s concentrated on self-publishing limited edition giclee prints, and exhibiting the originals in solo shows and juried exhibitions.
“Art is where I go to explore and express. I get lost in it,” she says.
“It is the only thing I seem to have an infinite patience for as I can sit for hours and meticulously paint every hair of lichen growing on a tree. It is what challenges and humbles me as an artist.”
If you meet Levitsky, she’s always on the go.
“Painting is the only time I’m standing still.”