An artist's life after retirement

The prints of Ilsoo Kyung MacLaurin will be in Port Coquitlam this and next month.  - courtesy of city of port COQUITLAM
The prints of Ilsoo Kyung MacLaurin will be in Port Coquitlam this and next month.
— image credit: courtesy of city of port COQUITLAM

It wasn’t until Ilsoo Kyung MacLaurin was nearing the end of her nursing career that she decided to pick up a paint brush.

MacLaurin, who immigrated to Canada in 1967, had worked long shifts caregiving in hospitals and around the community in Manitoba and in Richmond.

But when that ended about a dozen years ago, MacLaurin chose art to busy herself. “I didn’t want to stay home,” the Ladner resident said. “I wanted to keep my mind and hands going.”

By then, she had already received rave reviews during a painting workshop she had attended. “The teacher said to me on my second class, ‘You have done this before?’ and I said, ‘No, never.’ So that encouraged me. I really like painting.”

Over the next decade, MacLaurin honed her skills and delved into other media, namely, drawing, sculpture, video, photography, digital imagery, performing art and installation works. She signed up for additional classes at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, SFU and UBC, where she gained a bachelor of fine arts degree. As well, she exhibited prominently — in solo and group shows — in Canada, Australia, the United States and in her native Korea.

She joined several groups to gain inspiration, among them, the Federation of Canadian Artists, South Delta Artists’ Guild, Delta Arts Council and UBC Photo Society.

And about three years ago, she found a new art form to ply: printmaking.

On Thursday, MacLaurin will display for a month 38 of her new printmaking pieces in Port Coquitlam. The exhibit, titled Natural World, examines Canadian livelihood and wildlife and focuses on capturing light as it reflects off surfaces, using translucent- and water-based ink.

“Printmaking to me is very natural and I really love it,” MacLaurin said.

• Natural World runs until Sept. 23 at the Leigh Square Community Arts Centre (behind Port Coquitlam city hall).


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