Many ask Laurel Dagnillo how long she has been an artist. The answer is simple: All her life.
Laurel was a quiet, shy kid growing up and spent many hours drawing alone. Art quickly became her best friend – a friendship she maintained through devotion (and practice). Her dedication began paying off even while she was still in high school as she sold her pieces as a way to make extra money.
As she got older, Laurel studied with some of the best local artists she could find and continually refined her skills. Her art education stems solely from teachings from her mentors, fellow artists and experience without any formal college training.
As for inspiration for her pieces, Laurel says she finds it everywhere. She looks at all the possibilities in all she sees. Being a DIY person around her home and yard, she remains open to constant opportunities. (She has one of the most creative and eclectic gardens you have likely ever seen!)
More specifically, Laurel says her landscape pieces are actually inspired by the magnificent clouds she sees all around her daily. Meanwhile, her wildlife and animal art comes purely from her heart. Laurel has a true love of animals and birds. She takes this love to the next level and has donated her artwork to benefit the Jacksonville Humane Society, First Coast No More Homeless Pets and the Akita Rescue Society of Florida. She also recently donated artwork to the Gifted Cork for their annual fundraiser benefiting S.A.F.E.
Laurel says the way she starts a painting is pretty simple. Most of the time she begins with a photograph to use as a reference point. She never creates an exact replica of a photo, but instead uses her creativity and imagination to enhance the photo. After deciding which direction a piece will take (impressionistic or realistic), Laurel produces a pencil drawing. After corrections, she then redraws the image on canvas usually with oil paint – her medium of choice – and enhances all of the colors.
To this day, Laurel enjoys the solitude of creating her artwork in her studio with her dog as her silent companion. Not to mention, she finds the creative process extraordinarily therapeutic.
While she’s not one to give an overpowering sales pitch, she hopes her paintings will touch your heart. Meet Laurel and explore her beautiful paintings when you visit her booth at Made in St. Augustine.