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Acrylic 24 x 24
We Rise by Laura McRae-Hitchcock was awarded the BoldBrush Award for Abstract in the March 2020 BoldBrush Painting Competition.
"My work moves between realism and abstract much as my life moves between the physical experience of being human and the wonder of remembering who I am as spirit. I believe art is a portal, an exchange of energy and ideas that creates a temporary shared space between the artist and the viewer. I have been exploring the idea of Thin Places for several years now. This is something that sparked my interest while I was in Ireland in 2016. The Irish describe Thin Places like this: "The space between heaven and earth is about three feet, but in thin places that space is much smaller." I first experienced a thin space when I was 16, standing at the edge of a marsh as the sun set it on fire at the end of day. Something in me cracked open. I felt a shift in how I saw the world. Fast forward over thirty years and I was in Ireland, standing on a cliff looking out over the Wild Atlantic Way, having the same feeling. It was life changing, as if the past and present were instantly connected.
Through my painting I have tried to paint landscapes in a way that creates that energy, that mystical feeling of Thin Places. After I returned home, I realized that Thin Places don't have to be as dramatic as a marsh at sunset or on a cliff in Ireland. A Thin Place can just as easily be sitting under your favorite oak tree on the family farm. I became frustrated with painting these places realistically...they just didn't seem to get the feeling I wanted, so I turned to more abstract representations. This, for me, has been much more satisfying. For instance, if you look at Sullivan's Oak and Eyes Closed, Sunlight Filtered Through You can see the relatively realistic painting of the oak tree and the abstract portrayal of what it feels like to sit beneath it, eyes closed and the sunlight filtering through your eyelids.
As I continue to explore this idea of Thin Places, I am conscious of the intersection of spiritual spaces and the idea that my own Southern roots influences my thoughts and my ideas. In doing this work, I have discovered that my identity is strongly tied to the South and it colors my vision of the world. The South is steeped in storytelling and connection, family and roots. I am eager to go deeper, look harder and see where this journey will take me and my art."
Laura McRae Hitchcock
Laura McRae Hitchcock graduated with a degree in art from Agnes Scott College.
Laura's work has been nationally recognized and featured. Her painting, Eyes for You, was chosen to be featured on a Charlotte, NC billboard for the nationally recognized ArtPop program. She was chosen as one of 9 artists for the highly anticipated spring Community Supported Art program in Charlotte and received a Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts and Science Council. And she has spent several months in Listowel, Ireland in the Olive Stack Gallery Artist Residency program. While there, she enjoyed painting the Irish landscape en plein air and getting to know Ireland’s treasures…her people.
She spent a month long residency painting in Paris and showed those works in the “Unfettered and Alive” exhibition there.
Laura’s paintings are featured in the book, 100 Love Notes, by Hyong Yi. the Olive Stack Gallery
Recently, she received news that she has received a third residency with the Olive Stack Gallery in Listowel, Ireland for July, 2020 where she will continue her work on Thin Places.
In 2018 she, together with friends Pam Goode and Jean Cauthen, created Wild Hair Adventures. An art retreat and workshop company that takes groups of artists looking for travel, instruction, inspiration and a whole lot of fun.
She lives in Charleston, SC with her favorite guy of 34 years, marvels at the new joy in her life, her new grandson, enjoys her 3 amazing grown children, 1 incredible daughter-in-law and a sweet cocker spaniel named Gunner. She enjoys painting, travel, walking on the beach and looking for treasures, cooking and trying new food, reading, exploring galleries and all that Charleston has to offer. Her secret indulgence is British TV.
Laura’s work can be seen in various locations in Charleston through Fabulon Gallery and at the Ballantyne Resort Gallery in Charlotte and on her website: LauraMcRaeHitchcock.com.
View paintings HERE
Follow her on Instagram @lmcraehitchcock.
Sign up for Laura's newsletter or contact her for more information on a painting or to visit her in the studio: Here
Her work is shown and collected nationally and internationally and is held in private and corporate collections.