Having really upped the ante in recent months to promote local artists and their work, the Visual Arts Society has again created a marvelous opportunity for locals to showcase their talents via their Artist of the Season series. Recently it was the turn of Maureen Lazarus, a lady whose work is much-loved in Cayman for its vivid and accurate depiction of traditional iconic Cayman flora, such as sea grapes and coconuts.
Having honed and fine tuned her art, Maureen is enjoying creating pieces of artwork that are almost living, breathing images, as she combines painting and sculpture to ensure that her images leap out at the viewer, ripe for the plucking.
“I use compressed layers of newspaper (always the Caymanian Compass!) to create the sculptured effect,” she confirms, “slowly building up the layers until I have the required thickness which can then be formed into the shape I’m looking for.”
Although this latest exhibition still includes a hefty supply of Maureen’s much-loved and easily recognisable sea grapes and coconuts, she has branched out to include some magnificent and huge bell-shaped yellow flowers in artwork such as ‘Beauty to Ashes’ as well as beach and sea images that employ real sand into the painting to give rough texture to the work.
“I like to make my paintings tangible,” she says, having successfully given depth to her work via clever shading and colour, as well as the use of real materials in the artwork. “It’s all about capturing the ruggedness of nature.”
“Paper Sunset’ pushes the textural boat out even further, with deep brown and vivid orange hues bouncing off the grey of the horizon and a concertina effect of layered paper again enhancing the viewpoint and adding to the serenity of the scene.
As to her change in focus for this exhibition, Maureen says: “I wanted to show another side to my abilities and let people see that I’m not just the Seagrape Lady!”