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.
The art shows went well this year, with good crowds and a lot of enthusiasm! My newest painting this year is "Play Date". At first this many seem a strange painting, but it has its basis in reality. We have this old crib, and it has been stored in a shed. Imagine our surprise when one day I discovered "traces" of coon not only around the crib, but in the crib! A little bit of imagination, a couple of pictures of coons around the farm, and I had a painting. I wanted to show their curiosity, yet hint at their ferocity also. I doubled the fun with fruit wallpaper. Owning an orchard, we know just how much coons love fruit. Happy viewing!