Laurie Steven’s work is diverse – landscape and figurative – but her pieces are all connected by a strong sense of narrative. They tend to reflect and explore the wild, resilient, windblown beauty of the American west. As an artist, she finds endless inspiration in small daily wonders: the first crocus of spring, the resilient beauty of the plains, the interaction of her wild animal neighbors, or that special sense of hope and possibility that is found only in the wide open. Stevens is also interested in regional history, particularly the reservation period. That was a time of great change in which westward expansion greatly affected the landscape and all living upon it. Her work is often a meditation on the “taming of the West” and explores this dynamic between settled life and a reverence for the wild and untamed.
Stevens began her career as an artist many years ago in Los Angeles where she spent 12 years working for the motion picture, theme park, theater and entertainment industries as a scenic artist and muralist. She spent time as a member of the Walt Disney Imagineering team, lending her talents to many Disney theme park projects worldwide. Stevens also did some set design, illustration, and matte paintings for several animated children’s movies.
"Having lived most of my life in the west, the wilds of Montana or the desert of Arizona, my focus in art tends to be about place – about landscape, and about the people and animals who have lived close to the land over time.
Home to me is “The Y Worry Ranch” on the high plains of Montana. I will always be captivated by our expanse of sky, the shadows moving across the landscape, the power of a summer storm. I appreciate, and am often humbled by the journey the seasons require of us all. It is these things that have shaped me. It is to these things I am drawn as an artist, and to the many related stories."