Going ModPublished on November 26, 2007

  • Laura Mindorff’s silk-screen paintings – which, like this Twiggy image, can be custom-ordered for size and colour combinations – range in price from $4 to $300 and can be purchased online at www.modartwork.com. Photo by Darren Brown

Searching for a way to add a hit of bright colour and cool to your home? Check out this modern and affordable take on stylish art pieces.

Just a few years ago, ginger-haired Laura Mindorff hadn't picked up a paintbrush with any kind of serious intent. But then, she explains, something inside her clicked. "Out of nowhere I decided I wanted to start painting," says the graphics design firm production manager and self-taught artist who now runs Mindorff Original Designs, otherwise known as MOD Artwork, from her Barrhaven abode. "I always really liked colour and coordination, so I took a couple canvases and went to work."

The 30-year-old began cool-hunting compelling images on the Internet, focusing on the fertile, funk-filled meccas of London and Paris. After holding a couple informal art shows at her house featuring original paintings, and playing to rave reviews from friends and family, the mother of three knew she'd hit on something good. "I try to research what's trendy," Laura says of her work, and her ideas range from depictions of Twiggy and the Dalai Lama to postmodern and fractal-esque designs. They've even been featured on the Debbie Travis television show, From the Ground Up.

But where Laura really shines is in the sheer adaptability of her artwork. "I think where I put my unique touch on things is with the colour combinations," she says, adding any of her pieces can be custom-ordered to spec. "I take an actual photograph and digitize it in a graphic design program, and then I paint it from there. "So you can pick your design, pick your colours and pick your size," Laura says. "All of my designs are hand-painted, and you can order them either as an original painting or as a print."

She even produces a line of weather-resistant canvas pieces for patio décor, which she says were a hit at this past summer's Art in the Park event in the Glebe.

As for the future? Laura says she'd love to stretch her designs into a series of home décor items including shower curtains, rugs, lampshades and pillows - all featuring her trademark customization, of course. "Sometimes people fall in love with a colour scheme before a design," she smiles.

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