Laura Larabee was raised on a farm overlooking the Mississippi River near Sabula, Iowa. She completed a double major in fine art and education from Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. As an artist, Mrs. Larabee shows her work at art fairs, exhibitions, galleries and through commissions.
Regional agriculture, people, and nature are all depicted in her oil paiintings as Mrs. Larabee paints them using minute detail and clarity.
"I get my ideas from the everyday farm scenes that are so much a part of the Midwest. With my landscapes, I like to show not only the natural world, but the human influence as well. Many times I choose to show how landscapes are worked by humanity only to have it revert back to nature over time. I also portray animals as they coexist with humans and adapt to man-made surroundings. My subjects of people show their likewise close conncetion with nature, whether enjoying or working."
After Mrs. Larabee has her idea, she takes many reference photos, sketches and notes, and some props if possible, back to her studio. She then composes the paintings using her references and her imagination by doing a to-scale drawing on paper, which she then transfers to a mahogany board. The colors are built up using thin layers of oil paint, working from rough, earth tone block shapes into a smooth, detailed surface. An average painting takes 60-100 hours over a span of two months to complete.
Like everyone this year, the future is so uncertain that it's hard to find any consistency. What is consistent is art. The year started off well with me painting, "Nebraska Waystation", and starting a painting of the orchard in full bloom. Then the virus struck and like so many, I just stopped everything. The galleries and museums closed, the shows got cancelled and it was hard to sign up for new shows, when you don't know what to expect. So I painting walls - 4 rooms so far - and cleaned and cleaned. But now the urge to create is strong again - and the hope too. So this year I plan on taking advantage of the many free art courses offered, visiting virtual museums that I've never been to, and taking time off that would have been devoted to showing to painting. Hopefully this time off can be a time of growth and renewal. See you soon!
In northeast Nebraska, in heavy fog.