Scenic sketching

Cam Lawrence, student and sketcher 

Lawrence sketches scenic landscapes, capturing their beauty and liveliness in his drawings. 
Supplied by Cam Lawrence

Cameron Lawrence doesn’t just draw nature, his art comes from an attempt to internalize and come closer to the beauty of the Northern Ontario landscape he often encounters. 

While many students might argue that their notebook doodles approach the level of art, Lawrence’s sketches of scenes of nature are truly note-worthy. Most of Lawrence’s artwork consists of small pictures of trees, rocks and lakes, scenes he spends his time travelling through. 

According to Lawrence, Sci ’17, with the development of cameras, his art is less concerned with capturing a view and more with how it makes him feel. 

Originally from Toronto, Lawrence spends his summers at his cottage in Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, canoe tripping and planting trees. He’s also a student in mechanical engineering, with no formal training in any art form. 

“If I’m travelling light, backpacking or something, I like sketching with pens and watercolor because it’s super light and portable … I do really enjoy doing acrylic paintings though,” Lawrence said in an interview via Facebook Messenger. He also mentioned that his sketchbook is a travelogue of sorts, which shows all the places he’s been. 

With the subject matter he focuses on, Lawrence said that he’s inspired by the Group of Seven mainly through what they chose to paint, but he doesn’t feel he produces similar work in terms of style. Another influence of his are his fellow artists who share their work on Instagram because it has shown him the importance of trying a myriad of styles.  

The Group of Seven are important in understanding what Lawrence is trying to do by sketching whatever scene he feels compelled to depict. Talking about their influence on him, Lawrence said he’s “inspired by their approach to art, as a vessel to take them deep into the backcountry into seldom explored areas.” 

“I’m mostly inspired by being outdoors and getting the opportunity to spend time in the beautiful places that I feel compelled to capture” he said. 

Lawrence often posts pictures of sketches over the places they represent on Instagram, images that have the effect of seeing the world through his eyes. 

His pursuits extend into digital media as well but he still connects it back to his roots. “I’m doing the graphics work for the commerce and engineering environmental conference … pretty excited to see where that takes me,” Lawrence said. 

In terms of his future, he joked that it’s pretty up in the air at the moment. He has applied to a Building Sciences Master’s program which he hopes will allow him to combine his background in engineering with creating sustainable design. 

Although a talented artist, he said that he doesn’t want to just be a painter after school, a path his father before him went down. The elder Lawrence, an artist and an architect, encouraged his son in his sketches, which Lawrence has been doing as long as he can remember. 

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