Laurie McGaw, illustrator of Avram's Gift (watercolor on board) and Escape in Time (oil on muslin), is well known for her vibrant portraits of such renowned figures as jazz artists Oscar Peterson and Gene Di Novi and film director Norman Jewison. She is also known for her award-winning illustrated books, such as Polar the Titanic Bear, nominated for a Governor General’s Award, and African Princess. Portraiture has been featured on many collectors' coins that she has designed for the Royal Canadian Mint, including the 2007 proof silver dollar, a $300 gold coin series celebrating the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, a number of commemorative coins celebrating milestones in the lives of the British royal family, and the coin honoring Alice Munro's 2013 Nobel Prize.
A graduate of The Ontario College of Art & Design (now OCAD University), and a former instructor there, Laurie continues to teach: she conducts portrait painting workshops biannually and teaches master classes to small groups throughout the year. The focus of her work is portraiture. Whether in commissioned works, illustrations, or historical paintings, her love is painting people. Laurie McGaw’s work has been featured in books, magazines, and private and corporate collections for over 30 years. People are drawn to her work because of her ability to reveal the sitter’s inner qualities with warmth and respect.