The time-consuming art of scratchboard is unparalleled in its detail, allowing
Judy Larson’s seamless concealment of imagery within her subject. To view the
extraordinary hidden images within Larson’s work,
Judy Larson always knew she was going to be an artist. She was surrounded by
them as a child, and was particularly inspired by her father, a professional
illustrator. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Commercial Art
from Pacific Union College in Northern California, Judy Larson then spent the
next 17 years as a commercial artist, illustrator and art director. In 1988,
influenced by her love of nature and animals, Judy devoted her time to
wildlife art. Her primary focus in each of her paintings is the animal, with
the horse and wolf as a recurring subject.
Larson uses a clay-coated, Masonite backed art board called Claybord®. To
produce an original drawing, she paints the subject solidly with black India
ink to create a silhouette. Larson then scratches away the dried ink using
hundreds of X-Acto® blades and the result is a magnificent, lifelike image.
Once the subject has been totally scratched, it is a finished black and white
illustration, ready for Larson to add color. Larson prefers a combination of
airbrush, gouache or acrylics for adding rich layers of color, with frequent
rescratching for detail.
For Judy Larson, whose underlying message is always passionately ecological,
her medium of scratchboard, as well as her "art of concealment™," allows
her "to take the viewer with me." Explains Larson, "My desire is to engage
viewers on three levels: first, by revealing the beauty of animals through
intricate detail; second, by concealing a hidden image that draws the viewer
to examine the painting more closely and through which I can tell a story; and
third, by promoting a deeper awareness of the environment on a level that will
hopefully have an impact."
Larson is extremely passionate about her love of wildlife and supports a
number of environmental endeavors. Two books have been published featuring
her work: Hidden Spirits, Search-And-Find Scenes from the American West, a
Random House children’s’ book, and The Spirit Within, a coffee table book.
Larson is a member of the Society of Animal Artists. She lives and works in
For more information, visit www.judylarson.com