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 Milda (Florence) Laukkanen  (1923 - 2012)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: watercolor and acrylic painting, serigraphs, teaching

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
''Bend in the River,'' 1947
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
(Florence) Milda Laukkanen (1923-2012) was an accomplished artist in Modesto, CA, winning national recognition for her work in watercolors, acrylics, and graphics. She used her mastery of the wet-in-wet watercolor technique to create moods and evoke emotional reactions. Her work might feature the day-dreaming quality of a cool blue sky, the bursting life in a sunny vineyard or the almond orchard outside her studio, the natural beauty of her parents’ native Finland, or the melancholy of the close of a summer day.

Laukkanen’s work is part of public and private collections in the United States and Europe. She participated in group exhibits throughout the United States, plus many local shows and her work received more than 70 awards. One of her award-winning serigraph prints was chosen as the cover design for a worldwide publication five years in a row. She received two best of show awards: at the Pratt Institute of Art & Design (New York) and another at the local level. She received 1st place awards in the East Bay Watercolor Society Show and in the National League of American Pen Women’s (NLAPW) California North State Elimination Contest in Santa Cruz.

She was active in the Central California Art League (CCAL) where she served as President and was the Gallery Director for two years. She taught classes for children and adults at the CCAL Gallery. She worked in the after school enrichment program of the Modesto elementary schools and with both the Hughson and Manteca School of Arts.

Laukkanen was listed in California Graphics 1974. She was accepted to Watercolor USA in 1975, resulting in her paintings being exhibited at the Muse-Art Rental and Sales Gallery in Springfield, MO. One of her sky paintings was purchased by the Central California Art League for the City of Modesto’s permanent art collection.

She painted on location, as well as in her impressive studio where she worked from sketches and photographs made during her travels at home and abroad, as well as from memory. Her range of expression was from finely detailed realism to impressionistic. She achieved a distinctively individual and recognizable style that carried through all of her work.

Interested in art and painting as a child in Berkeley, CA, Laukkanen took art in high school, but didn’t get the opportunity for further training, aside from working as a drafter during World War II. After moving to Modesto in 1956 with her husband Walter, she didn’t give up on her dream of becoming an artist.

During the 15 years she worked as a church secretary, she studied for several years with Veva Porter, then with Esther Williams, John Gregorich, and Dan Petersen—teachers and artists at Modesto Junior College. She also studied with such prominent artists as Richard Yip, Ruth Ann Goold, Ron Sugars, Dean Packer, Stan Wacholz, Jim Estey, Ann Foote, Robert Wood, and Gerald Brommer.

After battling Parkinson’s Disease for many years, Laukkanen was sadly forced to stop painting.

Written and submitted by John Woodward, who wrote of going through family belongings "I have been able to piece together the following information about Milda, based on my own knowledge, her obituary, and printed information from her various shows. "


These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Milda F. Laukkanen is currently a resident of Modesto, CA.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.
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