Seasoned Artist Shares Gift of Art With The Key Peninsula


Jerry Libstaff, Special to KP News

Laura Mosely is an artist/citizen of the world. She landed on the Key Peninsula for two distinct reasons: Her son and his family settled in this area and she said “there is so much more to paint here. There’s something new around every corner.”

Mosely can’t remember a time when art was not part of her consciousness. She says, “I’ve been captivated by art as far back as I can remember.” As a child in Pennsylvania, at farm auctions, she studied people who attended. “I was too shy to sketch people in person so I committed them to memory and drew them when I got home,”  she says.

Mosely received her first formal training during her last year of high school when the district hired an art teacher. She says, “I ditched study halls, band practice and whatever I could, to attend art classes.” When she graduated, she says, “I tucked a portfolio under my arm and headed to Philadelphia to become an artist.” She studied at the Stella Elkins Tyler School of Art at Temple University. The dean had studied with Rodin and had gathered international art instructors.

Mosely wanted to work as an artist and found the field rather sparse so she took a commercial art course to strengthen her portfolio. She was offered a position as an illustrator with a company that was to become Merck Pharmaceuticals. There she created drawings from research, worked in the darkroom, and often sketched in the operating room to capture the reality of her work. Her illustrations gained international exposure.

Several years later, she had an opportunity to journey to Alaska. She drove her blue Triumph TR3 across country and north to Fairbanks to join her new husband. She found clerical work there but on her second day of employment, her husband died of a heart attack. Alone, thousands of miles from home, Mosely decided to live out their dream and remained in Alaska.

She joined the local newspaper as an illustrator where she was hired to do ad layout in addition to ad sales.

In time, Mosely married again and moved to Anchorage where she worked for an Anchorage newspaper. Mosely taught art classes to youngsters to share her love with others.

After 10 years, her husband was offered a position in Saudi Arabia and Mosely moved on to her next adventure. While in Saudi, she taught art classes to Saudi women. Every six months she and her husband had a two week vacation and traveled everywhere. At 18 months, they were given a 30 day pass to return to the States. They took the scenic route home, seeing New Delhi, Hong Kong and Hawaii before coming to Seattle to see their son, who was stationed at Fort Lewis.

At the end of their three year commitment in Saudi, Mosely and her husband went to Amsterdam, rented a camper and traveled throughout Europe for two months.

When time came to return to the United States and work, they wanted someplace warm and ended in Los Angeles. There, Mosley studied Chinese brush painting with Phillis Case Bennett, who had studied at the hand of Dr. Ning Yea, an acclaimed master of the method. She also moved from advertising into real estate, “to support my painting habit.” Mosely took every class available and studied watercolor as well. After a time she was encouraged to start teaching.

As the L.A. area grew more overcrowded and polluted, Mosely and her husband decided to join their son and grandkids in Washington, but wanted the inspiration of a country setting. They found acreage on the Peninsula and settled here.

Two Waters Arts Alliance was looking for artists to provide classes for the community and Mosely volunteered. She now presents several classes each year. Mosely is versed in Chinese brush painting, pastels and watercolors. She’s won several awards for her work here and in California and her work adorns many collections. Her paintings are included in TWAA calendars.