Bright Spots

In her light-filled SoPo studio, Laurie Fisher ponders, procrastinates, and eventually paints her arresting, organic-geometric works. 

Photographs by Meredith Perdue

I don’t recall the day I decided I would paint. I studied psychology in grad school, had kids young, and made being a mom my career. Ten years ago, I began painting with an artist friend in her house for fun. Later, we shared a studio and, slowly, I was spending all my free time there. Over the years, I resisted taking art classes because I was afraid that once I learned the ‘rules’ of painting, I’d follow them. But I spent a great deal of time reading and thinking about art. My current studio is a bright, windowed corner of the Huffard House interior design office in South Portland. On one wall, near a wonky easel, I hang works that are in progress. On another, I hang work that’s done or that I need space from — most paintings get stuck at some point in their evolution. It often takes me a while to get started. I sit and stare a lot. I procrastinate with my phone or by tidying up. When I put a little paint on the canvas, it creates a sort of problem, and I follow the work from there. I add paint; I subtract or layer over it. I scribble with an oil stick or use painters’ tape to reign in a piece. It’s a mystery to me how any of the work is resolved, and I’m grateful every time I arrive there.

Laurie Fisher’s work can be seen at

artist Laurie Fisher

ABOVE Color is my subject,” says Fisher, whose stools match her oil paintings. BELOW Unfinished works “simmer” in a corner.