Anatomy-inspired artist shares talent

By Yollette Merritt
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Laurel Doyle, a third year California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) visual performing arts (VPA) student has an interesting story to share as her personal health and relatively unique anatomy has impacted her choice of art subject.

Her art focuses on human anatomy, which interested Doyle from a young age when she was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease. According to Doyle, it has never held her back. Her interest deepened when it was later discovered she had three kidneys. They are “all functioning and healthy,” states Doyle, “…that really got me interested in anatomy. We don’t know if it’s hereditary or if I just needed some more kidney power!”

Anatomy-inspired artist shares talent
Photo of artist Laurel Doyle.

Born and raised in Marin County just north of San Francisco, she grew up in a family of artists. “Both of my parents are artists and have always been very supportive of me in everything I do, especially art,” states Doyle. “They both specialize in computer graphics. My dad does landscapes in either oil, or pastel, along with water colors for a more whimsical landscape. My mother is an expert in crochet, and has recently started creating porcelain bowls and plates.”

Surrounded by art and artists proved to be fertile ground for the direction her life would take. “Living in a house of artists, I was never short on supplies and mediums to try. I’ve always done art when and where I can! Shoes, canvases, walls, pants, chairs, doors, shutters etc. Art has always been my outlet, and it’s always been fun! I love being able to create a hard copy of something that only I saw and being able to share it with people,” states Doyle. “Art has always played a big role in my life. Taking up most of my time (happily) it never seems to feel like I’ve wasted a minute. Along with water polo, nature documentaries, and being in nature, art truly is something I will never be tired of.”

Not yet fully decided on her vocational choices, but “looking forward, I would love to be a kindergarten teacher” comments Doyle. “I would be able to use my creativity to really help kids and make education enjoyable, along with having my summers off for traveling and art.”

When asked about an artist who has given inspiration to her work, “I’ve always loved Roger Dean’s artwork on the ‘Yes’ album covers. It’s always brought such wonder and excitement to me. I admire his work because he had his style, his passion, and didn’t let others change it,” responds Doyle.

Doyle has developed her own style in acrylic, quills, and india ink and has branded her art on Instagram and Etsy as Third Kidney Designs.

Anatomy-inspired artist shares talent
The Kidneys Within, by artist Laurel Doyle

Having three kidneys is relatively uncommon. It usually means that one of the developing kidneys were split into two prior to birth during the first trimester. Termed “duplex kidneys” the phenomena occurs in an estimated one percent of the population, and is usually only discovered by accident as it rarely causes symptoms.

One of Doyle’s paintings “The Kidneys Within” scientifically portrays what her three kidneys look like. She chose purple because of the depth the color can relay. Her artist statement includes the following: “With a love of color Laurel incorporates bright textures and vivid colors on every painting she creates. Along with acrylic backgrounds, she uses pen and ink to capture the shadow and depth of the shapes of our lives. Though we all have hearts, not all use them how they should.”

Anatomy-inspired artist shares talent
Hendrix, by artist Laurel Doyle

Another painting is titled “Hendrix”. “Though everyone has a heart they don’t always use it,” Doyle states. “I love this piece because the orange and red background really pulls the emotion of love and passion throughout the heart, along with the black line work”. She has had two opportunities to share her work in art shows: one in high school, and her most recent was the Monterey Peninsula Open Studio Tours. “It was so much fun and really revamped my love for sharing art,” states Doyle.

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