Bear Lake Artist, Lauriann Wakefield

A little about myself-

I’m Lauriann Wakefield and I can’t believe I get to live here!

I think it all the time.
Two years ago I moved to a rolling hill in view of the beautiful Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border.  If you’ve been there you’ll understand the magic of this place, and the beauty of the mountains and the brilliant blue water.  Locals call it a little piece of heaven, and I’ve found that it is a place that feeds my soul.

Professionally, I am a portrait and lifestyle photographer, but painting and being an artist, have always been a part of what I’m passionate about.   I’ve had a good amount of art training, from when I was young through to when I was in college.   Although I’ve tried most mediums and subject matter, watercolor was my medium and still life setups were what I painted.  I loved fabric, lace, quilts, and texture and thought I would never stop painting them.  There was nothing like getting lost for hours in paint and wondering how did the time go by so quick.

Somewhere between college and work I lost that need to paint.   If I was a writer, I would have writers block.  I needed a new subject matter, but nothing motivated me to stir the paint.  Till Bear Lake.


When did you start painting oils and what do you paint?

Before I could really appreciate them, I had oil painting lessons when I was young from a very talented painter, Stuart Heimdall.  I always wanted to get back into painting oils embracing all of it.  I thought it would be when I was much much older.  I had it all planned out.  I was going to be that eccentric lady, with a handful of wind chimes on my porch, and the luxury of painting all day in my messy studio.

Now when I drive around Bear Lake and the surrounding mountains taking pictures, I see paintings.  I see colors and I see how I would put them on canvas.  It’s as if the land is begging me to paint it.   I’ve never had that experience before.   So I listened to the wind, drove to the nearest art store an hour away, and with a little bit of fear I bought the gear that I would need.   Landscape painting was my new thing.  I’m still in an exploring phase.  Still a little rusty.  But thrilled to feel the paint again, like a refreshing breeze.  There must be something in this mountain air.

Who inspires you?

At the moment I am captivated by the landscapes of Douglas Fryer.  He also lives in a rural, small Utah town, and captures the beauty of simple farm life.   His work is abstract, yet defines mood in landscape. I love his color palette, and perfect brush strokes.




I have a long way to go in my painting process.  I struggle with being too illustrative.  I want to paint more loose, more abstract.  I want the viewer to feel the brush strokes,  feel the wind in the hills, and see the movement.  I aspire to be a gallery painter again.  This summer, I hope to be exhibiting my work at the 2014  Bear Lake Raspberry Days.

And a quote that keeps me motivated:

Author, Elizabeth Gilbert said, “There’s never been a better moment to have been born female in the developed world.  We’re still not where we should be, but we have the best chance of anyone yet to do the work we want to do.  We are more than just caretakers, which is the main role women have had for centuries, we have a voice and creativity.  Do you think having a project that wasn’t 100 percent great ever stopped a man?  I’m constantly encouraging women to put their work forward, to get out of their own way.”  Elizabeth feels in every fiber of her being that it’s never too late to pursue that creative drive, never too late to change the course of your life, though she knows full well how difficult it is to act on that urge.


To see Lauriann’s photography work, visit

To see her oil paintings and work in progress visit  and