Since most people see Laura as an organizer of the market, she actually gets very little attention for the beautiful art she creates. In addition to all of the time she volunteers to making the market a huge success, she is equally hard at work as a participating artist. She is known for her dried flower arrangements; however, this year she is using her leaves and blooms in an entirely new way!
In Laura's words:
Everywhere I go I am always looking for flowers or leaves to collect for my artwork. Last fall, I made my daughter pull over in downtown Athens so I could pick up fallen Gingko leaves off of the sidewalk, and yes in the curb of the street. She acted like she didn’t know who I was! This past summer, I lugged two big bundles of fresh lavender all the way home from the Great Northwest. The smell was intoxicating and the entire airplane was the better for it!
I have been creating artwork with my pressed foliage for the past ten years now. I love to grow things, and this is my way of making the beauty of the garden last a little longer. It has been very therapeutic for me especially during the hard times of my life.
I also like to leaf-print just about any surface that I can think of. This year I came across some so-soft organic cotton fabric, and a friend of mine supplied me with a whole roll of rich-green silk. So, I did what comes natural to me and leaf-printed the fabric and then sewed them into scarves. I have plenty of fabric left over so if have a special leaf you would like printed on a scarf – just let me know!
Laura Bowen is a resident of Madison County and co-founder and co-coordinator of the Madison County Artist Market. She lives on a farm with her husband, two children, seven cows, one horse, five cats, three dogs and one crazy goat.