Laurie Blanchard Photo by Saroyan Humphrey I am a California native, a professional musician, and an emerging artist. While I do enjoy working with watercolors, I work primarily in Acrylic paint and Acrylic Ink, and I love working on big canvases. I’ve been a professional musician since I was a child. Some years ago, after my father’s death, I began to do art more seriously, but performing music and recording was always the priority. And then 2020 happened. Between the Pandemic and Lockdown, all my gigs were canceled and a year later I am still not working as a musician. I expected this to be a great tragedy in my life, however, something wonderful stepped in to fill that space that music normally occupied. Through the worry, the loneliness, and the boredom of the last 12 months, art, nature, and exploring both of these things, has sustained me, and I try to do art every single day. One place, in particular, moved me to such an extent it was almost mystical. Last fall, I went for a long drive in the mountains to find a grove of Aspen trees. I spent time photographing them, drawing them, painted them in watercolor, and once I came home, painted them in acrylic over and over. I find myself still trying to capture the movement of the leaves, the golden light, and most of all, trying to represent the feeling of peace they give me.