Explore Laurel Burch Art Themes

"As I grow, so grows my passion to dream, and as I dream, I paint.
Myths emerge, beings come to life, kindred spirits connect."  – Laurel Burch

Laurel’s prolific career gave birth to hundreds of mythical animals, ethereal birds, and figures that capture the soul of humanity—all portrayed in a rainbow of brilliant colors and accented with silver and gold. Whole themes emerge from her fertile imagination with powerful and moving results—every image she dreams up is rooted in her respect and reverence for all living things.


"Mysterious, elusive, and beautiful, the exotic cats of faraway lands have intrigued me endlessly. Out of this fascination comes an array of my own cat spirits, otherworldly, and always with human eyes.” Fanciful and thoroughly charming, Laurel’s wild cats communicate the universal language she speaks fluently — the language of the heart. She was often photographed with jungle cats at her treasured friend Tippi Hedren’s wild cat sanctuary Shambala, which is Sanskrit for a meeting place of peace and harmony for all beings.



"My favorite messengers of goodwill, painted purely to bring bright spirit and delight." Fanciful, imaginative, and boldly charming, Laurel's vivid, vibrant cats burst with the lively energy and good spirit of their creator. While her fans naturally believe that Laurel must have owned many cats, in fact she never did. Nevertheless, her love for fantastic felines and their whimsical personalities inspired endless variations of cat whimsy and wisdom sparkling behind indigo eyes, purple tails, and brilliant rainbow bodies.


“The boundless mystery of the ocean intrigues and inspires me endlessly." Laurel created her own fantastical sea creatures and mythopoetic beings like Mikayla, the sea goddess whose hair becomes an ocean filled with exotic sea stallions, phosphorous fish, and rainbow-hued flowers amongst golden crested waves. The designs are soulful Mediterranean blues and deep indigos, merged with magentas, purples and teals, in a way that can only be found in the mystical world of Laurel’s vivid imagination.


“Every time I lay the eyes of my soul upon a horse, I feel the wind in my hair and the earth beneath my feet. They set my imagination free.”  Born from her excursions to Elk Canyon in the American Southwest, the colors of Laurel’s mythical horses vary from rustic earth tones to vibrant, brilliant rainbow hues. Above the canyon she sat, entranced by the scene below — wild mustangs running free as hooves pounded across the canyon floor — this vision inspired her to share the magic of these grand creatures with us.


“My dogs Matisse, Basso, and Dakota have licked the sweet, salty tears of my most joyous and painful occasions. In my paintings they appear (as your dogs do!) as their rainbow spirits would surely express themselves — in red and magenta, purple and teal!” Inspired by her passion for our faithful companions, Laurel’s wildly colorful paintings of exuberant canines sitting, sleeping, leaping, frolicking, and dancing in a bright spectrum of colors and patterns have captured the hearts of dog lovers everywhere.


“I created my own folkloric imagery to capture the myth and magic of our celestial worlds. May they remind us to have one foot on earth and the other in the heavens – always believing in our dreams and that possibility like the cosmos is infinite.” Painted in a brilliant color palette and emblazoned with details of shimmering silver and gold, Laurel’s radiant suns, mystical moons, great swirls of winds, and showers of luminous stars are created to shine upon ALL beings.


“From flowering gardens to flowering friendships, my paintbrush tells the story of fantasy flowers that bloom from my heart." What more universal image is there for beauty and life than flowers? A tribute to the infinite bliss of flowers, Laurel’s blossoms embrace the fullest spectrum of colors from sensuous pastels to vibrant tropical hues. From the lotus blossoms of China to the tiniest orchid of Singapore, her brilliant florals are a never-ending source of inspiration and joy.


“My birds give artistic expression to the dream of flying and the awe of all things graceful and soaring. For me, they symbolize that dreams really can take flight.” Laurel's paintings include a vast array of feathered friends: exotic jungle birds with human eyes, opulent little hummingbirds with rainbow wings and gilded feathers, mythical toucans, macaws, songbirds, lovebirds, and more are all part of her magical menagerie symbolizing transformation and the wings you must use to take your flight.


“Few people know that two of the first designs I ever took to China to create in cloisonné were a butterfly and dragonfly. I have watched wings unfold and take flight ever since.” Laurel’s personal metamorphosis gave her a great awe of these little beings and inspired her to create hundreds of versions. These ancient symbols of transformation and renewal are often paired with flowers in her paintings to remind us of our ability to transform ourselves, to let our wings unfold and take flight anew.


“Envisioning this theme, I wanted to create images celebrating the heart, soul and spirit of all women around the world ... symbols that could remind us of our connectedness to one another and express the beauty and importance of our own inner blossoming."  It is in honor of sisters, mothers, daughters, elders, and friends that Laurel’s Spirit of Womankind paintings and adornments emerged from her heart – they are Laurel’s “love songs” to all women and became some of the most beloved and treasured images of her career.


“I’m insatiably inspired by the wild animals of this world, and I imagine them in a rich and vibrant family that impossibly, exists happily together.” Laurel’s fabulous array of brilliantly colored lions, tigers, elephants, toucans, parrots, zebras, and complimentary stripes, spots, leaves, swirls, and flowers lend a contemporary and imaginative look to these paintings. Her Jungle Songs palette is rich, the patterns bold, and the animals exuberantly alive– you can practically hear the lions roar!


“Of all the purposes my art can serve, perhaps The Art of Healing can most inspire strong, loving, courageous spirits and hearts." Laurel believed that healing takes place in the heart, one soul at a time. Her own life was challenged from birth by a rare bone disease that caused her to suffer more than 100 broken bones during her lifetime. These paintings and the collections they inspired include words and phrases within the art itself intended to comfort, inspire, encourage, and support.


“The inspiration for my Global Spirit paintings came to me out of a reverence and belief in the sacredness of beings and all living things. I wanted to say, 'we are one world, together.'" Laurel's paintings in this series are each a separate song of praise, created to honor the enormous diversity among beings and transcending the boundaries between us to find a peaceful home, where we all belong. In glimpsing her magical flora, human beings, animals, and the canopy of suns, moons and stars above us, one has a sense of the world being a sanctuary and sacred place.