about mark

mark laurie

Mark offered the first nude & boudoir photography studio in Calgary and remains the best. His imaginative portraits expand beyond the typical “lingerie and satin sheets” boudoir. Mark’s creatively passionate presentation of women has earned him the honour of being the most awarded photographer in his niche in Canada. Possibly North America.


Body Painted Women – The Ultimate in Personal Expression!

Body Painted Women – The Ultimate in Personal Expression!

The first ochre-rich pigment brushed onto human skin around 100,000 years ago. This was the raw, basic start of body painting art. Tribal rituals and war paint were the first expressive use. You have probably seen remote tribal cultures still practising painting at this level. 

Today, in places like Calgary, Canada, it has become part of the boudoir photography explosion. Painting the nude female form has evolved into a vibrant mode of personal expression, expressive for both the subject and the painter.

While it began as organic paints that all changed in 1933. Burlesque Dancer Sally Rand took the stage naked while Max Factor Sr. painted her with his new  makeup. She was arrested 4 times that day. 

The grand entrance of body paint was shocking for the times.

Body painting has moved beyond being shocking and is in stride with the times. It’s a dynamic artistry that allows individuals to express themselves in ways that are both powerful and playful. The colours are brighter, and the designs range from dreamy strokes to intricate details. The themes can be as diverse as the wearers themselves.

Tribal designs, echoing ancient power and mystery, remain popular. They resonate deeply with wearers, often evoking a sense of ancestral strength. “The moment the tribal paint touches my skin, I feel an incredible surge of empowerment,” shared Stacy, amazed at the transformative effect.

Carol’s memorable experience surprised her. Adorned only in body paint, deep in conversation with a friend, they left the hotel where she was painted. A city block later a warm breeze on her body reminded her she was nude. Startled, she found herself in the middle of the mid-day rush.  But the bustling lunchtime crowd barely glanced at her; none noticed she was nude. 

The painted outfit was that convincing. Amused at the lack of reception, we did a fashion-looking photo shoot as the crowd walked past.  This experience highlighted the surreal quality of body paint, blurring the lines between art and reality.

The Process of Body Painting Creation:

1. **Planning:** Discussions with clients help tailor each design to their vision.

2. **Booking:** Securing a date for the transformation.

3. **Collaboration:** The painter and client finalize the design, ensuring it resonates deeply.

4. **Photography Session:** Starts with standard portraits before the painting begins.

5. **Painting Begins:** The body painter brings the concept to life over 2 to 4 hours.

6. **Body Paint Photo Session:** The client steps into a set crafted to complement their painted persona.

7. **Reveal:** Client returns to select her breathtaking images of the vibrant body art.

Different artists showcase different styles.

Lucie Brouillard, a world champion in body painting, works with precision and speed, her sweeping style evident in the art she creates.

This will show you how fast and good she is. At the Body Painting World Cup, teams of up to 3 painters can work together on one piece. The fixed time to finish is the same for all. Lucie, working alone, created the best art for the trophy win. She is fast and creative. 

Melody, our studio’s primary body painter, is not just an artist. She mentors, teaches, and is a wholesale paint supplier. She has such a creative mind, taking advantage of each curve of a woman’s body for her art. Shape and size just mean a different canvas. 

Often, she paints with her skilled daughter; it is like observing a hive mind in action, each stroke contributing to a stunning collective vision.

At my studio, we host ‘paint jams’ where local painters unleash their creativity without constraints, collaborating and inspiring one another in a festive atmosphere. This environment allows for the exploration of elaborate concepts, sometimes taking up to 8 hours to perfect, resulting in artwork so detailed it could be mistaken for a tattoo.

Usually, painters have clients dictating the time and design. In my space, they can create the design of their hearts and take as much time as they need to create it. 

The use of black light can transform the painted art, giving it an ethereal glow that contrasts sharply with its appearance under normal lighting. This dual perception adds a layer of magic to the artwork. Black Light paintings can take on a ghostly appearance. 

Painting realistic lingerie is popular, creating illusions so lifelike they confound the observer. 

Animal transformations are a very popular second skin. Turn into a tiger, fox, or even a montage of critters. It is especially effective when it is full body, from head to toe, front and back—even working the hair into the design.

Theresa’s experience as a tiger was not just visually stunning but also playful and engaging for her family. Her young children were awe-struck, insisting she come to the dinner table while painted. Her husband, for totally different reasons, was also enamoured by her art. This just proves how body art can transform personal interactions.

Using a fluid silver and gold metal-like paint, the body turns into a living sculpture, mesmerizing and slightly surreal. It can be worn for hours. 

One unexplored concept I’m eager to tackle is illusion painting, which creates optical illusions so convincing they defy reality. I love the complexity of these. One approach is “painting” a woman into the scene; she becomes nearly invisible, somewhat like a chameleon.

Body painting is more than an art form; it’s a journey into imagination, where the canvas is your skin and the possibilities are limitless.

Where would your imagination take you?

And one more thing. Body Paint art does not end with the body painting. I take it to the extreme art level with Twisted Pixel.
In my Twisted Pixel series, I explore the abstract energy of body paint by manipulating images into vibrant, kinetic artworks, available on my website, MarkLaurieArt.com.