Laurie Themm Walker Exhibit Holds Opening Reception, 3/10

Laurie Themm Walker Exhibit Holds Opening Reception, 3/10Laurie Themm Walker is no stranger to large things - she paints animals often on oversized canvases and has been the subject of numerous one-woman art shows, including one opening next month in St. Petersburg. But it's the tiny details that make her work come to life. She has developed her own meticulous technique using very fine brushes in distinct layers of color so that she can represent the animals as they appear as if the viewer could reach out and feel the texture of their fur, feathers and skin.

The details going into this method are time-consuming, but always worth the effort. She's also a great multitasker. "It helps me to have several paintings going at one time so that I can stand back and view my works as the various processes take life." To prepare for her show at the Mirella Cimato Gallery, which opens in March, she worked simultaneously on paintings of a mountain lion head, a horse head and a wolf, among other subjects.

The exhibit will present a large variety of paintings, most on canvas, and selected polished, sliced stones. "It's fun to see a stone and know how I can blend in the natural background of the stone to work with the subject," she said. Walker finds inspiration as nearby as her backyard, observing a rabbit eating her daisies, and as far away as National Parks, where most recently in Yellowstone National Park, she got her inspiration for her wolf painting that will be on display.

An animal lover, Walker has also worked with various zoo organizations and belongs to several wildlife-related groups. "I have loved animals of all types since I was a young child," she said. After graduating from Trinity University with a fine arts degree, she combined her love of art and animals to create her unique works. "Whatever animal I'm doing, I'm studying and learning about it," Walker said. "I hope my paintings will raise awareness of the beauty and wonder of the animals that surround us."

The Mirella Cimato Gallery is within Opera Central, 2145 First Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida. Part of the proceeds from the art show sales go to the St. Petersburg Opera. The gallery's hours are Monday through Friday, 1 to 5:30 p.m. An opening reception will take place March 10 from 5 to 9 p.m., during St. Petersburg's monthly ArtWalk. The exhibit runs through March and April.

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