Laura Wait

Environment, words, calligraphy, celestial movements, time, symbols, history, music, elemental energy are some of the many influences on my artwork.While it may appear that I am simply an abstract painter using letterforms, there are meanings beneath the surface. I don’t offer simple explanations for my markings; understanding often must be intuited. Titles are very important in entering the world of my paintings, as they provide a key to my imagery and is related to the main theme.

I have always been interested in graffiti, as well as Asian art and medieval manuscripts. I think that graffiti is especially important as a driver in new forms of abstract art like the African music rhythms that influenced jazz and rock music in the last century. Numbers as mathematics, or as symbols are also part of my language.

While often illegible, word forms as image are indeed the primary vehicle of my art. I use words and letters to form marks and symbols, adding layers to create history and depth of imagery.

My art is influenced by my history. I was a bookbinder and then a book artist for about thirty years, printmaking, and painting at the same time. My techniques are inspired by my experience with paper, cutting accurately, mono-printing, collagraphs, calligraphy, and paste painting.I now use acrylic as the main medium, but often start with paper which is attached to the panel as the first layer. Many layers of paint and imagery are required for the results. The first layers are covered up, but never fully hidden. My process is largely additive, but sometimes subtractive.Finally, I use many layers of thin acrylic to create a smooth surface which helps illuminate the imagery.

I use many different brushes and tools, often using Asian brushes. I started out about twelve years ago using western letter forms, but those have become simplified or gone altogether and replaced by more universal forms and marks based on Asian forms of writing.I use a brush backwards and up and down quite frequently. I use variations on many alphabets and am a student of paleography and development of letterforms.


1981Certificate (BFA equiv), Croydon College of Art, Croydon, England

1977Certificate in Printmaking, Croydon College of Art, Croydon, England

1975BA, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY

Recent Solo Exhibitions

2021Beneath the Surface, William Havu Gallery, Denver, CO

Make your Mark: Laura Wait & Jane Maxwell, Gallery MAR, Park City Projections: Laura Wait & Curtis Olson, Gallery Mar Carmel, Carmel, CA

2020Laura Wait & Tina Mion, galleryFRITZ, Santa Fe, NM

2019Ikeda, Scott, Stevens & Wait , William Havu Gallery, Denver, CO

2018Laura Wait, Arden Gallery, Boston, MA

2017Ted Gall & Laura Wait, Hunter Kirkland Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM

Ikeda, Scott, Stevens & Wait , William Havu Gallery, Denver, CO

Karwacki, Wait & Yang: Stricoff Fine Art, NY, NY

2016Abstract : Estes, Madigan & Wait: Stricoff Fine Art, NY, NY

Goertz, Mackey, Reynolds, Wait, Stricoff Fine Art, NY, NY


2019 Unfettered Letterforms, Letter Arts Review,Vol. 33, No 3, Fall 2019

Santa Fean magazine. Cover Art, summer 2019.

2014 “Artist Thrives by Creating Mystifying Symbols” Steamboat Pilot, by Audrey Dwyer. Sept 5.

2013 “Authentic Visual Voices:Contemporary Paper and Encaustic Catherine Nash.e-booklet

2011 “Masters of Book Arts”, Lark Books, Asheville, NC

Annual JuriedIssue, Letter Arts Review, Vol. 24, No 4, Fall

2010 “Laura Wait toys with shapes, meaning of letters ….show”