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Often called a poet with a paintbrush, fine artist and humanitarian Laurie Elizabeth McKinley has dedicated her life to observing, documenting, and participating in the human experience.   She has traveled the globe her entire life, compelled to observe and photograph the stories of vanishing cultures with compassion and humanity. She translates these increasingly rare images onto canvas- capturing the unforgettable experience and subtle beauty, so that she might share them with the world and hopefully inspire change to protect diversity and the environment.


Laurie Elizabeth paints in all genres, especially enjoying en plein air in villages throughout the world and capturing that very special “first feeling” -- the mystery of the moment, the chi, the magic.


Her inspirations are notable Russian masters, like Ilya Repin, Valentin Sorov and Nicholai Fechin. She has studied at the Repin Institute, Florence Academy and Fechin Museum. For the past five years, she has studied, painted, and traveled with the masterful Chinese artist, Jove Wang.


Laurie Elizabeth’s work has been exhibited and collected internationally, hanging in private and corporate collections in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, India, Canada, and Mexico. She has been exhibited twice at the UN in Geneva. Recently, she had award-winning exhibits, winning best in show in Santa Barbara; Xian, China; Lyon, France, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.  In 2018, Laurie has won an Honorable Mention in the 3rd Annual Waterscapes Competition from Fusion Art Palm Springs and has been invited to the juried New Orleans Art Association 2018 National Show. She is exhibiting in multiple shows at Santa Barbara Fine Art


Laurie Elizabeth lives with her husband, Mark, in Santa Barbara, California. She is active with Human Rights Watch, Landmine Survivors Network, and Acres of Love. She holds degrees from the Art Center College of Design and the University of Southern California.


National Association of Women Artists


Oil Painters of America


California Art Club

National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society


American Artists

Professional League

American Impressionist Society Inc.



Associate Artist Member Show

The American Artists Professional League

April 2023


Gold Medal Exhibition - Delights and Shadows

California Art League

January 2022

Art and Nature

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

November 2021

Western Regional Juried Exhibition

Oil Painters Of America

October 2021

Renewal and Rebirth Online Exhibit

California Art Club

April 2021

Small Works and Beyond

National Association of Women Artists

September 2020

2nd Place Award for Serenity

Sunrises and Sunsets Juried Competition

Fusion Art

April 2020

Honorable Mention for Serenity

5th Annual Artist’s Choice Exhibition

Fusion Art

March 2020

Grand Visions: We Are Here

National Association of Women Artists

February 2020

Honorable Mention for Gratitude

Artist of the Year Competition

Circle Foundation for the Arts

January 2020

Honorable Mention Award for Gratitude  

Artist of the Year Competition

Circle Foundation for the Arts

January 2020

National Oil & Acrylic Painters' Society Online International Fall 2019 Exhibit


December 2019

Flowers and Gardens Online Exhibition


August 2019

North Lake Tahoe Plein Air Open

North Tahoe Arts

June 2019

Oceans and Coastlines

Santa Barbara Fine Arts

June 1 - July 27, 2019​

Women Celebrating Creativity

National Association of Women Artists

February 1 -  May 29, 2019

Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, 122nd Annual Open Exhibition

National Arts Club

Jan 8-25, 2019

Honorable Mention for Summer Play (Santa Barbara)

4th Annual Figures and Faces Art Exhibition

Fusion Art Palm Springs

November 2018

California Vineyards Exhibition

Santa Barbara Fine Art

Oct. 4 -Dec. 4, 2018

New Orleans Art Association 2018 National Show

October 3-27, 2018

Viva Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Fine Art

August 2 - October 4, 2018

Honorable Mention for Serenity

3rd Annual Waterscapes Competition

Fusion Art Palm Springs

September 2018

Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Art Walk

Sept. 22-23rd, 2018

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