North Shore artist answers the call of the wild
Laurie Walker is a Glenview artist who specializes in animal portraits. She used to live in Wilmette and remains active in North Shore art organizations. | Karie Angell Luc~for Sun-Times Media
Laurie Walker, an artist and Wilmette resident of 26 years, wanted to smart size to a new residence on the North Shore.
Three years ago, Walker and her husband Scott found the perfect home in Glenview where the artist could build her portfolio with wildlife portraits and domestic (pet) commissions.
Her new art studio faces east. The roomy, treed backyard on the large Glenview lot welcomes summer art campers. Walker began hosting youth art camps at her Wilmette residence.
The artist, who loves painting outdoors, looks forward to winter vacations in venues such as Florida. There, seascapes provide frolicking children as fun subject matter, including blue ceiling-reflected waters.
The Walkers have three children, Shawn, Kelly and Ryan.
She is a founding member of the Wilmette Arts Guild, the North Shore Art League and the Glenview Art League.
Meet Laurie Walker. Inquiries about her art are answerable via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.lauriewalker.com.
Q. Laurie, how do you describe your artwork?
A. I do mainly wildlife paintings. Not only do I do them on canvas, but I do them on cut and polished stone. I also run art camps for kids in the summertime. I’ve been doing the camps now for about 20 years. I’ve been a professional artist all of my adult life. I’ve done shows. I’ve worked with different art organizations. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with kids and different activities. That’s mainly what I do. There are a lot of opportunities here (on the North Shore) for artists.
Q. Who are your influences?
A. I don’t know. I start off mainly just doing wildlife and then it just kind of, like, you know (evolved). Somebody just once said, “Would do you my pet?” And it just kind of evolved from there. I am a very detail-oriented person. I’ve always worked from photographs. What’s really funny is when I go to a museum, I look at the impressionist artists, their work. And yet, that’s nothing like what I do. So it’s hard to say who my influences were because I’ve built up my own style of doing things in my own techniques. I build up in layers. And I have to have, like, a smooth surface to work on to get the detail in because I use such fine brushes. I work in acrylics, water-based paint.
Q. How does art speak to the soul?
A. I’ve always felt like it (art) was part of me. I don’t know really how to explain (it). I think a light bulb kind went off when I was younger. I remember it was like third or fourth grade. An art teacher looked at something I was doing and said, “Oh, that’s really good.” And I thought, “Oh, somebody thinks my art is good. Maybe I am …”
Q. Are you having a good life?
A. I’m having a great life. I’ve been very blessed because you can take your art anywhere you go.