"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home." Sander
Vermont fine artist Laurie Rohner mainly works in watercolor. I use watercolors for my flower designs on hand painted furniture and home furnishings which I design and build myself. I also work in acrylic and oil at times, when my muses move me.
I am in awe of nature. Nature is forever teaching me. The beauty of a changing landscape, the amazing magic of an unfolding bud into a stunning flower or watching wildlife, birds, a dragonfly just being. How can you ever be in a bad mood sitting under a tree in nature. My relationship with nature especially flowers inspires my artwork. Shop at Laurie Rohner Studio.
Thank you for visiting.
" I perhaps owe becoming a painter to flowers." Claude Monet
My story begins many years ago, I have made some big mistakes along my journey and discovered some honest truths about life. First, mistakes are little blessings wrapped up for you to unfold. Lessons for you to grow with and best of all discoveries about your selves you never would have found otherwise.
I tried very hard to fit into a life others had told me I must live. Most telling me in order to make a living I would have to give up the dream of creating art. I floated from job to job. I worked as a full time life guard to working as a wrangler on a ranch. It wasn't until a serious car accident, I wrapped my car around a tree (literally), did I stop. At that time I was working in corporate USA, miserable but doing what I was told by the people who could never understand what it is to be a creative person.
While I recovered I knew I had to find something that worked for me. I started healing by painting large floral watercolors. Not having the confidence in my art work I found another passion, working with flowers in floral design. I spent the next 16 years in the floral industry and loved every moment. It was a heart wrenching day when I sold my flower shop not by choice but due to a finger allergy I had developed from the chemicals used in the floral industry. I was curious about painted furniture and discovered the work of Annie Sloane, Jocasta Innes and MacKenzie-Childs. These wonderful artists inspired me to unpacked my brushes and creatively paint furniture. But I wanted to design my own furniture so I learned how to custom make my furniture. The first big piece of equipment was a Delta Unisaw and my new career was launched. Next came my Delta 16″ band saw. This is my most cherished piece of equipment because my Dad bought it for me just as he was being overtaken by dementia/Parkinson's disease. My Dad could not understand why a girl would want such a thing but he supported me, the last act of love he gave me as the Dad I knew.
After Dad passed I felt adventurous. Exploring discovering new and wonderful places. I fell in love with Vermont. Vermont was a beautiful fit. I knew I had to move there. Mom a widow and myself separated and single again took the leap. Mom had developed debilitating RA and there is nothing more exhilarating and healing than a new adventure, so Mom came along. What a blast.
By the way I think fairies are in abundance in Vermont.
I opened a gallery and studio shop called Whitefield with Mom running the shop. Not many people would shake up their world at 78 young but she could not have been happier. I felt absolutely blessed seeing her so content. For myself owning a place in the mountains, living close to nature and opening Whitefield’s was absolute joy. Short-lived; a few years later I sold Whitefield to care for my mother who suddenly developed a rare form of cancer. A lesson to live life in the now and love the moment you are in. If I had thought what if? we would never have had a few years of wow.
I am happily back in Vermont but several years ago I left Vermont. I left my joy, my art, my life. The healing energy from nature, gone, in the distance and my life never the same. I am grateful that I cared for such a beautiful soul and wonderful friend at the end of her life. I understand so much more from my experiences. We all live with the pain of bad choices but what we do with the pain, leads to wisdom. I am overjoyed to say though a long journey I am back in the place that makes my heart sing, Vermont.
The loving energy of a creative act is placed inside an artist work. It is the soulful gift from an artist to the observer of the work. It is something special, uniquely its own and people need to cherish. I place this loving energy in all work whether it is a painting or painted furniture or fairy house I place within the work a part of my soul, passing it on to you.
Nature has always spoken to me. Through long walks in the woods, planting a cutting flower garden or sitting meditating under a tree, the whispers of the natural world speak and I humbly listen. I have sat quietly in the woods, within minutes animals would start to appear, investigating this new smell, what is this? If I sat very still not long a chipmunk would come and sit on my knee or birds would fly very close to land in a branch along side me. I have cherished memories of those days and my walks with Mom and the dogs (several very large Standard Poodles) in the woods. We never knew what we would discover, maybe an undiscovered single wild Lady’s Slipper under a hemlock tree which to our delight happened early one spring morning. No matter what the problem after an afternoon or morning in the woods and nature, all would be well.
For the next several years I traveled many roads and learned so much about this human experience. Nature has always been my anchor and teacher allowing me to observe her beauty, wisdom and power. I live in a world filled with fairies and sprites and creature unseen, with ancestors of yesterday’s and my loving connection to God/Spirit
Where I am now with my creative process?
I am studying to expand and enrich my art and designs with new techniques and processes. I am working with a technique using watercolor and gouaches on furniture. I am studying how to improve my paintings and adding new work to my portfolio. I am back living and working in my beloved Vermont driving down the many back roads discovering landscapes and wildflowers with my new buddy, a chocolate standard poodle named Jessie James.
I have always been a creative person. I received my BA in Studio Arts, where I studied the fine art of printmaking painting and interior design. My very first love was and still is watercolor paintings. Andrew Wyeth’s watercolors and Redoute’s illustrations inspire my work. My work experience includes working closely with an interior designer at Sotheby's in NYC for restoration of painted chairs.
It is how I view nature as I look between the weeds of life because beauty is found everywhere in nature. A weed is just as beautiful as a garden rose. Sometimes a wildflower is hidden in the blades of grass.
I hope you enjoy my collection of work. I am grateful for the opportunity to share it with you!