Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Laurel Burch: Gone but never forgotten...

Where have I been that I haven't encountered or realized the exquisite art of Laurel Burch? Sadly this icon has died, Sept. 13, 2007 at her home in Novato, Calif. She was 61.

But her art continues to speak of her loves and reflect the woman as she described herself on her website: “I live within the vivid colors of my imagination ... soaring with rainbow feathered birds, racing the desert winds on horseback, wrapped in ancient tribal jewels, dancing with mythical tigers in steamy jungles.”

A self-taught artist, her creations combine whimsy, vibrant colors, quirky personalities, and a deep love of nature and animals into scenes that draw me in. I love her fantastic felines and mythical horses. I want to surround myself with the world she has created. No harm can get through to this world she has created.

From what I've read, she has battled pain and degenerative osteopetrosis her entire life. Perhaps because of the limitations she felt in the 'real world,' she drew within to find or create her own where she felt no pain and was surrounded by the most carefree, outrageous array of animals. Handicaps are only limiting to those who think they are handicaps, I suppose. She certainly didn't let hers stop her as she found a niche for her various lines of jewelry and products between high priced designs like those designed for Tiffany's, and the readily available low priced costume jewelry.

For a visit to her work, stop by her gallery online. Or to see the line of Laurel Burch fabrics, here's a site with a selection. Or check out her Kindred Creatures quilt book with 12 projects to make using her designs.

And, a special tribute to this 'artist hero' demonstrates what her life's work means to others.

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