Enriching the Arts

Featured Artist for August 26: Brent Laycock, MFA, RCA, ASA

Laycock January Shadows acrylic 24x24in 2016HR

Brent Laycock, January Shadows


Brent R. Laycock was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1947, received an MFA at Brigham Young University in Utah, and now lives in Calgary with his wife, Kathy.  They are the parents of five children. The subject matter for much of his work comes from the variety of mountain, foothill, prairie and parkland landscapes that are accessible from his home in Calgary. Much of his landscape painting expresses his love of the panoramic expanse of earth and sky which he develops into lyrical compositions.

For most of Laycock’s career, he has worked in watercolor or in acrylic using a fluid, spontaneous style whereby the paint is applied in bold direct strokes rather than conforming to a preliminary drawing.  In his painting, communicating an emotional response is more important than detailed representation.

Laycock has held many solo exhibitions across Canada and in the USA and has participated in numerous juried group shows that have toured Canada, the USA , Mexico, Europe and Japan.  He is a member of the Alberta Society of Artists, the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, the Society of Canadian Artists, and the Royal Canadian Academy of Art. His work is represented in the collection of Canadian watercolours that was presented to Her Majesty’s Royal Collection at Windsor Castle in 1986.  In 1991, the Albert Government presented one of his watercolors to Queen Margrethe of Denmark.  He has received a variety of awards for acrylic and watercolour painting.  In 2006, the Province of Alberta awarded Laycock the Alberta Centennial Medal for contribution in the arts.

The major commissioned work of Brent Laycock has a surprising contrast in scale.  In 1982 and 1984, he was commissioned to do small paintings of Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park for Canada Post’s $1.50 and $1.00 stamps.  He has produced large mural canvases for various institutions in Calgary, Lethbridge and Toronto and an outdoor historical mural in the Town of High River.  He was commissioned to create a design for the large flat roof of the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  This art work, the size of half a football field, was designed to be viewed from tall buildings or aircraft.

Laycock Sunshine Ridge acrylic 12x12in 2016HR

Brent Laycock, Sunshine Ridge

His work is represented in many important corporate collections, in the university collections of Brigham Young University, the University of Alberta, and in public collections such as Calgary’s Civic Collection, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Glenbow-Alberta Institute, and the Mendel Art Gallery in Regina.  The book  Waterton: Brush & Pen  features over one hundred Laycock paintings of Waterton Lakes National Park accompanied by essays by renowned author, Fred Stenson.  Other articles and reproductions of his work have appeared in many Canadian and international art magazines and books.  WhitePine Productions has produced two instructional DVDs featuring Laycock’s acrylic and watercolour techniques.

Q&A with the ASA

ASA: Could you tell us about your influences?

Brent: As a student, I was always impressed by the work of the Group of Seven and other Canadian landscape painters of that era.  I have always loved landscape and appreciated their bold approach in which every brush stroke counts.  Fortunately, Canada now has a many bold and inspiring landscape artists who continue to inspire me.

A very different thing that influences my work is music.  I have a love of classical or serious music and have considered how musical ideas of rhythm, movement, melody, colour etc. can be interpreted visually.  In pursuing abstract painting, these musical ideas often provide important clues to resolving compositions.  I want my landscape paintings to employ these same abstract musical principles.

Laycock Alpine Light acrylic 36x48in 2016HR

Brent Laycock, Alpine Light

ASA: Which body of your work would you consider most successful to date?

Brent:   My on-going effort to interpret the Alberta landscape is probably my most successful work to date, and it is something that I am not likely to abandon.  I have tried to evoke a unique approach or style to these paintings, and I always hope to communicate to the viewer something of the emotion that I feel when looking at the landscape of my home territory.  If my paintings happen to bring someone else joy, then I’m happy too.

ASA and TREX Address

Crossroads Art Centre
#302 - 1235 26th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1R7
ASA Phone: (403) 265-0012
TREX Phone: (403) 262-4669

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