Profile

Laurie McGaw is well known for her vibrant portraits of such renowned figures as jazz artists Oscar Peterson and Gene Di Novi and film director Norman Jewison. She is also known for her award-winning illustrated books: Polar the Titanic Bear, nominated for a Governor General’s Award, has sold over 680,000 copies in five languages. A New York Times review described her portraits for African Princess as “stunning”; she was honored for her work by the NAACP. Portraiture has been featured on four collector’s coins that she has designed for the Royal Canadian Mint, including the 2007 proof silver dollar and a $300 gold coin series celebrating the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. A graduate of The Ontario College of Art & Design, and a former instructor there, Laurie continues to teach: she conducts portrait painting workshops biannually and teaches master classes to small groups throughout the year. The focus of her work is portraiture. Whether in commissioned works, illustrations, or historical paintings, her love is painting people. Laurie McGaw’s work has been featured in books, magazines, and private and corporate collections for over 30 years. People are drawn to her work because of her ability to reveal the sitter’s inner qualities with warmth and respect. “Laurie McGaw’s portraits have a lively attention to detail that definitively captures the fine nuances of her subject’s personality.”—Signe Ball, Publisher, In the Hills Magazine.

Exhibitions

2017 Insights, Juried Art Exhibition, Wellington County Museum and Archives

2017 Guelph Studio Tour

2016 Insights, Juried Art Exhibition, Wellington County Museum and Archives

2016 Guelph Studio Tour

2015 Guelph Studio Tour

2014 Insights, Juried Art Exhibition, Wellington County Museum and Archives

2014 Double Vision, (CAPIC), Arta Gallery, The Distillery District, Toronto

2011 Insights, Juried Art Exhibition, Wellington County Museum and Archives

2009 Star Portraits, Waddingtons, Toronto, portrait of Elvis Stojko (Bravo! TV)

2008: Double Vision: The Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communication (CAPIC), Toronto Imageworks Gallery, 80 Spadina Ave., Toronto; portrait exhibit

2008: Showcase 2008: Headwaters Arts Festival Annual Juried Show; SGI Centre,
Caledon, Ont.

2007: Double Vision: The Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in
Communication (CAPIC); Queen Street West, Toronto, Ont.; portrait exhibit

2005: Best of the Best: Headwaters Arts Festival Annual Juried Show; SGI Centre,
Caledon, Ont.

2004: Portraits in Performance: solo exhibition; portraits of prominent people in the
performing arts in the Headwaters region; Theatre Orangeville, Orangeville, Ont.

2003: 25-Year Retrospective: solo exhibition as part of the Headwaters Studio Tour

1992-2003: Headwaters Studio Tour participant

1992: Fourteen Hands: Shelburne Art Centre, Shelburne, Ont.

1996: Kyoto, Japan: exhibited 8 original paintings from Polar the Titanic Bear

1993: Artist in Residence: McMichael Canadian Collection, Kleinburg, Ont.

1984: CAPIC show: Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Ont.; exhibited Oscar Peterson portrait

1978-1990: exhibited in various CAPIC shows; some traveled across the country

Awards

2017 Coin of the Year Award, (Krause Publications) for the $20 silver/ 100th Anniversary of “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae
2012 : Award in Russia, for the gold coin with a diamond insert, celebrating Queen Elizabeth II ‘s Diamond Jubilee 
2007: Artist of the Year, Hills of Headwaters Tourism Association
2005: NAACP Award for African Princess
2004: Artist of the Year, Hills of Headwaters Tourism Association
2004: New York Times Children’s Books List, Selection, African Princess
2004: Publishers Marketing Association, selection, Publishers Weekly; Avram’s Gift
2003: Sydney Taylor Notable Book Award for Avram’s Gift
2002: Certificate of Recognition, The Dufferin Arts Council; founding member
1999: Red Cedar Award for Discovering the Iceman
1999: Applied Arts Magazine, Awards Annual selection, for Journey to Ellis Island
1998: National Jewish Book Awards, Children’s Picture Book Award nominee
(Journey to Ellis Island)
1998: Benjamin Franklin Award, Best Children’s Book for Something to Remember Me By
1998: Joan Fassler Book Award, (STRMB)
1998: Parents Choice Recommended, selection, (STRMB)
1998: Canadian Children’s Book Centre, “Our Choice”, (STRBM)
1998: Selected as “Outstanding” by the Parent Council, (STRMB)
1998: American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists”, (STRMB)
1997: Mr. Christie’s Book Award for Discovering the Iceman
1997: Information Book Award, Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada (Iceman)
1995: Silver Birch Award for Polar the Titanic Bear
1994: Governor General’s Award finalist, for Polar the Titanic Bear
1994: Canadian Children’s Book Award, Ontario Library Association Children’s Services Guild, for Polar the Titanic Bear
1990: CAPIC Annual Exhibition, Bronze Award for The Morningside Papers (portrait of Peter Gzowski)
1985: Civilian Citation, presented by the Board of Commissioners of Police, City of Toronto (for assisting the homicide division with portraits of suspects and victims)

Portraits

Oscar Peterson, Jazz pianist

Peter Gzowski, Broadcaster

David Suzuki, Environmentalist

Mark DuBois, Tenor

Dan Needles, Playwright

Terry Fox Fundraiser

Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Star

Norman Jewison, Director

David Nairn, Actor/Director

Gene DiNovi, Jazz pianist

Dave Young Jazz bassist

Silken Laumann, Olympic rower

Sharon, Lois & Bram, Children’s entertainers

Bruce Westwood, Literary Agent

Dini Petty, Broadcaster

Doris McCarthy, Artist

The Hon. Hugh Sedgwick, Judge

Pat Sedgwick Fundraiser

The Poulton children

Theresa Mizzi, Therapist

The entire Board of Directors of Imperial Oil Ltd.,

Dr. K.MacMillan

Canadian Bible Society

Katelyn Epners, Student

Neil Mathieson, CGA, Accountant

‘Freddie’ Mathieson, Homemaker

The Mathieson Daughters

Catherine, Joe & Angela Zeimet

Gordon Pape, Author & Broadcaster

Robert Thomas Allen, Writer

Boris Brott, Conductor

Farley Mowat, Author

Pope John Paul II

The Cruickshank children

Erin Gilmour cover, Toronto Life Magazine

Philip Orsino, University Health Network

Quincy Bradley (child portrait)

Barbara and Patrick Keenan, The Keenan Research Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto

Katelyn Epners, Student

Neil Mathieson, CGA, Accountant

‘Freddie’ Mathieson, Homemaker

The Mathieson Daughters

Catherine, Joe & Angela Zeimet

Gordon Pape, Author & Broadcaster

Robert Thomas Allen, Writer

Boris Brott, Conductor

Farley Mowat, Author

Pope John Paul II

The Cruickshank children

Erin Gilmour cover, Toronto Life Magazine

D’Arcy McKeough, Executive

Rogers & Hammerstein Toronto Life Magazine

Gillian Howard Fundraiser

Claude Taylor, Air Canada Executive

Charles Rand, Posthumous portrait

Christopher Needler, Executive

Conrad Black & Barbara Amiel, Executive &
Writer

Bill Lishman, Environmentalist

Walter Bean, Newspaper executive
Susan Butler, Educator

Tamara Hope, Actor

Dermot O’Brien, Art Director

Rory ‘Gus’ Sinclair, Musician, Social Activist, Contractor

Major Alexander J. Sinclair, 48th Highlanders of Canada

Genevieve, Grand-daughter of Carl and Anne Laurier

Cheryl Shoji, Newspaper Photo Editor

Ian French, Executive

Sandra Leah, Secondary School Principal

Roy Frankel, Executive

Andrea Bocelli, Tenor

Cheryl Shoji, Newspaper Photo Editor

Ian French, Executive

Sylvia Bradley, Orangeville Councillor

Dudley Whitney, Photographer

Tim Wilson, Film maker, producer

Major Alexander J. Sinclair, 48th Highlanders of Canada

Genevieve, Grand-daughter of Carl and Anne Laurier

John Mulvihill, University Health Network (Order of Canada recipient)

Angela van Breemen , soprano

Jim and Gracie Hankinson, Executive, Ontario Power Generation,

The MacPherson Sisters,

Michael Mahovlich, Photographer

Mary Newberry, Editor

The Shaefler Children

Jacob Freedman Child portrait

Sandra Leah, Secondary School Principal

Roy Frankel, Executive

Andrea Bocelli, Tenor

Jim and Gracie Hankinson, Executive, Ontario Power Generation,

The MacPherson Sisters,

Michael Mahovlich, Photographer

Mary Newberry, Editor

The Shaefler Children

Jacob Freedman Child portrait

Christopher Needler, Executive

Conrad Black & Barbara Amiel, Executive &
Writer

Bill Lishman, Environmentalist

Walter Bean, Newspaper executive
Susan Butler, Educator

Tamara Hope, Actor

Dermot O’Brien, Art Director

Rory ‘Gus’ Sinclair, Musician, Social Activist, Contractor

D’Arcy McKeough, Executive

Rogers & Hammerstein Toronto Life Magazine

Gillian Howard Fundraiser

Claude Taylor, Air Canada Executive

Charles Rand, Posthumous portrait

Dr. Elizabeth Stone, Ontario Veterinary College

Betsy Millar, Mono Township

Books

African Princess, Hyperion / Jump at the Sun / Madison Press
Avram’s Gift, MB Publishing, Maryland
Joan Stade’s Story, Joan Stade, Chicago, Illinois
To Be A Princess, Scholastic / Madison Press
Inside the Hindenburg, McArthur & Company / Madison Press (Collaboration with Ken Marschall)
Journey to Ellis Island, Hyperion / Madison Press
Something to Remember Me By, The Communication Project
The Popcorn Tree, Stoddart
Christmas with Anne, McClelland & Stewart
Discovering the Iceman, Scholastic / Madison Press
The Illustrated Father Goose, Little, Brown / Madison Press
Polar the Titanic Bear, Little, Brown / Madison Press
The Secrets of Vesuvius, Random House, Madison Press
Escape in Time, MB Publishing, Maryland

Teaching

2005 to the present: Teaching small master classes in home/studio
1999 to the present: Portrait painting workshops, twice yearly

1993: Artist in Residence, McMichael Canadian Collection

1987-93: The Ontario College of Art & Design, instructor
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Media

Print

2017 Kitchener Waterloo record re: “Heart of Our Nation” coin for the Royal Canadian Mint
2014 Guelph Mercury, re: coin honouring Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize for Literature
2013 Canadian coin News,  re: “Diamond Jubilee” coin for the Royal Canadian Mint
2007: The Globe and Mail, national newspaper, article about a commissioned portrait of Bryce Bradley
2007: In the Hills Magazine, feature profile
2007: Shelburne Free Press & Economist, article about logo design for the Town
of Shelburne 2004: New York Times, Sunday Book Review (Children’s Books), African Princess
2003: Canadian Jewish News, article about Avrams’s Gift
1996: The Toronto Star, feature article
1994: In the Hills Magazine, article
1992-the present: The Orangeville Banner, various articles
1992-the present: The Orangeville Citizen, various articles

Misc.

1999: Published portrait of Andrea Bocelli, personally presented to him in Verona, Italy
(Polar the Titanic Bear cards mailed by the Bocelli family to friends for Christmas)
2005: Portrait of Oscar Peterson purchased and donated to The University of Toronto,
Mississauga Campus, to hang in the new Oscar Peterson Residence

Radio & TV

2009: Star Portraits, PTV Productions; Part one of a 13-part series, combining the art of
portraiture with celebrity biography; airs September ‘09
2006: 30-minute interview, Rogers Cable TV Network
2002: CBC TV news: Presented To Be A Princess to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
1997: 96.3 FM Radio: Interviewed by Catherine Belyea
1994: CBC Radio: Interviewed by Peter Gzowski on Morningside
1992: Rogers Cable TV (portraits: Wayne Gretzky, Rodney Dangerfield, David Bowie)
1986: CBC TV: Episode of Street Legal, as courtroom artist

Associations

Presently listed in the Canadian Who’s Who

2000-02: Member of the Portrait Society of America Inc.

2001: Chair, Headwaters Studio Tour; member for 10 years

2000 to the present: Member of the Hills of Headwaters Tourism Association

1996 -2005: Member of CANSCAIP

Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers

1992 to the present: Founding Member of the Dufferin Arts Council

1978 to the present: Founding Member of CAPIC

Work History

1978-to the present: Artist and illustrator, specializing in portraiture and book llustration
1977-78: Illustrator at TDF Artists Ltd., Canada’s largest advertising art studio, at the time
1974-75: Layout artist and production coordinator for Chatelaine Magazine
1972-74: Layout artist at The Canadian Magazine
1970-72: Layout artist at McGaw-Jordan Ltd. /Artists and Lithographers

Education

1984: Studied with renowned American portrait painter Daniel Greene, North Salem, NY
1983: Studied Art History in Italy; York University program (Toronto)
1975-77: The Ontario College of Art & Design; graduated with honors
1966-70: Graduated from a commercial art program, Thistletown Collegiate Institute

Working Methods

“To create a portrait, I start by meeting the subject in his or her own environment to discuss ideas and settle on size and medium. This initial discussion also serves as a time to get a sense of the sitter’s personality. At the next meeting, I usually produce a study, either in charcoal, chalk, or oil, depending on the time allowed. The pose is then chosen and we make arrangements for future sittings. I paint the portrait either in the client’s home/office or in my studio, or both. I take photographs and use them as reference for the finishing stages of the portrait. I have created portraits entirely from life (with up to eight sittings), but often, with time constraints, there are about three sittings; the balance is finished with the use of the photographs.”

Juries

2005: Artflight; The Canada Aviation Museum, Ottawa; annual art exhibition
2000: The Governor General’s Awards, Ottawa (Children’s Books)
1985: The National Magazine Awards, Toronto

Speaking Engagements

2005: Packaging Your Imagination, Victoria College, U of T, sponsored by
The Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers
2000: Tour of the North: Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith, and Norman Wells
Libraries and schools; supported by the Canada Council
1994 to the present: Numerous presentations to schoolchildren throughout Ontario
1994 to the present: Presentations/workshops to various local arts groups