By: Kathy McDermott Goodman
MiltonNews DAILY Correspondent
Printed in the Weekly Record Herald on Friday, March 18, 2011
On February 12, 2011, the Tipp City Area Arts Council held an Artisan Showcase and Fine Art Sale called ‘Art for the Heart’ at Zion Lutheran Church. It featured paintings, photography, sculptures and more created by local artists. Laura Oshea of Ludlow Falls was one such artist who proudly displayed her work that day.
Laura’s family moved here when she was in the first grade, and she attended Newton Schools. While in the ninth grade, she dropped out of school. She eventually got her GED and has taken some college courses as well. Art classes and creative writing classes always interested her, though she never picked up a paint brush before June 2010.
Last spring Jason Smith, a brother of one of her high school friends, contacted her via Facebook. They decided to meet in person and on their first date, Jason introduced her to the joys of oil painting. Laura began painting on small canvases and has now moved on to larger ones, which she prefers. She is also looking into purchasing rolls of canvas to put up on her walls.
Painting has opened up a whole new world for Laura. She begins the process most times with a concept she sees in her mind and then watches as it grows each time she picks up a brush. “A lot of things come to me,” says Laura. “When I close my eyes and think, I see colors, shapes, feelings.” She takes pictures of each stage of her paintings and is often amazed at how much they change from her original vision. Though the final product may look like nothing like what she originally planned, “It always changes into what it is meant to be.”
She enjoys painting alone, with her boyfriend and also in groups, which helps to spark her creativity. For Laura, painting is a whole body experience. She uses her mind and heart to inspire a new piece and her whole body, not just her hands, to translate the concept onto the canvas. Music also plays an instrumental part in helping her compose her artwork. She often finds herself dancing and moving while painting. It is much more than simply standing there and moving a brush with her hand.
Laura is self-taught and has never taken any classes to learn new techniques, although she is open to the possibility of taking such classes in the future. “For now, it is better to let what I feel come out,” she says.
Laura is also the mother of three children. Cassi, her oldest, is 20. Katie, who just opened a new hair salon at The Greene, is 19 and her son Kori is 12 and currently attending Milton-Union Schools. One of the paintings Laura is refining was inspired by Katie and she also recently finished one for her daughter to hang in her salon. That piece is one of the first that she has let leave her home.
Since she puts so much of herself into her work, Laura considers all of her pieces her “babies” and finds it hard to think about parting with any of them. In order to realize her dream of traveling around full-time with an easel, some canvas and her paints, she understands that someday soon she will need to start letting go. She is getting closer to that day with each brush stroke. For the time being, Laura is content with simply painting every day. “It has helped me in ways that I never imagined. It is my love.”
If you would like to view her work or speak with her about creating a piece, Laura can be contacted at email@example.com.