Chatham born and current Bellevillian Laurie Near is an award-winning Canadian artist and teacher. With a passion for visual arts beginning in childhood Laurie pursued her craft studying Fine Arts alongside Child Studies and Social Sciences at the University of Guelph before getting her M.Ed. She is an Elected Member of the Society of Canadian Artists and her artwork hangs in a number of galleries and in private collections across Canada and internationally.
Her artistic interests are largely nature based, Laurie loves to explore the interconnectedness of the natural world. From photorealistic graphite drawings of animals to works featuring insects, flowers, cats and quirky characters. Laurie believes in using her intuition as the driving force of her work. Her paintings are characterized by focus on repetition, organic shapes and fluidly applied colour. Each painting reveals subtle, yet important compositional changes depending on the precise angle at which light hits the surface of the canvas.