Dy­ing woman wants lov­ing homes for art

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

A Whitby woman with ter­mi­nal can­cer is look­ing for lov­ing own­ers for her beloved art­works.

Pain­ter and textile artist Laura Muir, 72, is hold­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion and sale of more than 50 art­works at Whitby Lakes re­tire­ment vil­lage next month.

She is sell­ing the works at hugely dis­counted rates, to en­sure they are snapped up.

‘‘I want them to have lov­ing homes. That’s my aim, it’s not to make money,’’ Muir says.

A for­mer so­cial worker and psy­chother­a­pist, Muir came to art late, in her 50s. A fel­low psy­chother­apy stu­dent in­vited her to a draw­ing class at The Learn­ing Con­nex­ion in the 1990s, and Muir found her call­ing. She be­gan by work­ing with fab­ric, but found lit­tle suc­cess in paint­ing at first.

‘‘ I learned to draw at the Learn­ing Con­nex­ion but I found I had a real psy­cho­log­i­cal block about paint,’’ she says.

A year-long diploma in art and cre­ativ­ity at The Learn­ing Con­nex­ion got her over that hur­dle. Gal­leries be­came in­ter­ested in her work – her paint­ings of Welling­ton vil­las sold like hot­cakes.

‘‘I hit on the fact that peo­ple love Welling­ton houses. They were very pop­u­lar and they sold,’’ Muir says.

She moved into more ab­stract work in the 2000s.

‘‘I re­alised you could have a lot of fun if you went ab­stract so that started me off.’’

Muir ex­hib­ited three times in Toronto while vis­it­ing her son two years ago. She fell ill while in Canada and was di­ag­nosed with colon can­cer. For the past 18 months she has been a pa­tient of Mary Pot­ter Hospice.

Mary Pot­ter vol­un­teer Heather Alexan­der helped Muir or­gan­ise the ex­hi­bi­tion.

Be­fore re­tir­ing, Muir spent 30 hours a week on her art, and she is still cre­at­ing new works.

‘‘Life is for liv­ing. When you know it’s short­en­ing you don’t want to waste a day.’’

Laura Muir ex­hi­bi­tion, Septem­ber 8 and 9, 2pm to 6pm, at Whitby Lakes re­cep­tion, 1 Newhaven Way, Whitby.

Sew cre­ative: Whitby artist and can­cer pa­tient Laura Muir hopes her textile art­works and paint­ings will find good homes fol­low­ing a Septem­ber ex­hi­bi­tion.

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