Upon returning from the Azores, she described this experience in another Lusitania article as “a feast for all the senses” and she had several public lectures about her involvement in the initiative. This trip moved her in many ways. Maria rediscovered a love for fado music, which she often listens to, while she paints. The music, her photographs and memories of the Azores inspired a series of Portuguese themed works. Her Portuguese themed series began with a painting entitled “Saudades de Portugal” where she painted my friend and I in traditional Minho Portuguese costumes, and other larger paintings including one of the fishing boats on the shores of Madeira Island and another of a sunset scene and a port wine boat.
Following this, she began a series of smaller illustrated paintings conveying various impressions of her favourite scenes from the Azores. Some of these paintings have been shown locally, at an exhibit in Kitimat, B.C. and at the Portugal day celebrations in San Jose, California. The majority were produced for her exhibition at Bristol College, in Fall River, MA, entitled “Janelas da Alma- Sonhos de Portugal”. A highlight of Maria’s career was during the year following the Azores invitation where she received the 2006 Copa Award for Arts and Culture for outstanding Canadian and Portuguese achievement the arts. She accepted it along with other awards recipients such as fashion designer Arthur Mendonça, singer/songwriter Nelly Furtado and professor Victor M.P. Da Rosa.
Presently, Maria has been concentrating on a series of painting of dancers. Her models include flamenco, modern, theatrical and ballet dancers. She is working towards several local exhibitions and collaborating on a project with a sculptor, painter, photographer and videographer.
Currently their exhibit is showing at the Victoria Arts Connection -a dance studio and gallery in Victoria- for the months of April and May. There will be future showings based on the same theme in other gallery venues in Victoria as new works are produced. Maria also has another Portuguese themed series in the works. Although she is keeping quiet about publicly releasing the details just yet, I personally am very excited to see the progress as the idea involved is very close to her heart and I predict will be a great contribution to the Portuguese culture.
I am thankful for her guidance and support all these years along with my father’s as they have been instrumental in encouraging my sister (fashion designer/illustrator Corinna Jasmine Miranda Lawrence- Andersen) and I to pursue careers in the arts.
This article was written as a surprise for my mother and I hope that she likes it!
To see her work and/or to contact Maria Miranda Lawrence, please visit her website at: http://www.mirandalawrence.com
Paintings from Top to Bottom of Article:
Image 1: Personal Collection – Photograph of Maria Miranda at age 20
Image 2: “Unhurried times – Mamã e avó Miranda nas Amoreiras” Acrylic on Canvas (16″x20″)
Image 3: “Awaiting the dreams – À espera do sonho” Acrylic on Canvas (36″x48″)
Image 4: “Azorean girls – Um barco na linha dos teus olhos” Oil Painting on Canvas (24″x30″)
Image 5: “Saudades de Portugal” Oil Painting on Canvas (36″x48″)
Image 6: “A Still Moment” Oil Portrait (16″x20″)
Image 7: “Barco Rebelo” Acrylic on Canvas (5′ x 7′)
Kara Miranda Lawrence is a recent graduate from Emily Carr University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She specializes in animation, modeling and design. She also holds diplomas from Capilano University’s Digital Animation program and Camosun College’s Visual Arts program. Growing up in an artistically stimulating environment, Kara developed her talent in music, dance, writing and visual art and finds animation to be the perfect medium to combine all these forms. With Kara’s debut film Oriana under her belt, she plans to continue creating films and refining her animation skills through future professional collaborations.