Beauty In All Seasons and Stages: Artist Laura Poulette on Her "Be Better" Coloring Page for The Me, Without

Meaow House Studio

Beauty In All Seasons and Stages

Artist Laura Poulette on Her "Be Better" Graphic for The Me, Without

I don’t remember how I first found artist Laura Poulette of Meadow House Studio. If fairies are real and they’re fluttering around unseen, I ask one to please soar to the friend or stranger who shared or hashtagged or what-have-you’d Laura’s work into my space, and give them a gentle sweet peck for me.

Because in Laura’s delicate study of nature, I’ve been given an escape from my own urban jungle. Her delicate letter J sits on my desk. I’ve gifted her prints to close friends. My older sister and I each have her advent calendar, so to celebrate the season while not geographically near. I find calm in her work. And for that I am thankful.

And so I was thrilled when Laura was available to design for me a coloring page exclusive to The Me, Without. Continuing with the sentence — “I can only be better tomorrow if I act today” — that jumped out at writer Jacqueline Alnes (who watercolored bookmarks for me!), Laura’s stunning work combines acorns, butterflies, fungi, feathers, and more. You get to download it when you preorder the book. And if you meet me at an event, I just might give you a lovely print on card stock.

I was curious as to Laura’s process of creating the coloring page, and so she wonderfully answered some questions for me. I’m moved by her answers, and this experience.

Thank you all for joining us on this journey.

You Are Loved courtesy Laura Poulette

You Are Loved courtesy Laura Poulette

What is it about local botanicals that continually inspires you creatively?

Studying the plants and trees that inhabit the land my family also lives on has become the most important inspiration for my work as a full time artist. I am no botanist, but over several years, I've gradually learned the names and characteristics of many many plant friends. I'm lucky enough to have undertaken this study in the mountains of Appalachia, one of the most biologically diverse regions of the planet! I draw and paint fresh, in-season plant specimens, which forces me to find beauty in all seasons and stages of plant life-an appealing challenge. In the past I've struggled with seasonal depression and I've found that to be significantly lessened since I've begun the practice of year round nature observation and painting. My favorite paintings tend to come from plants found during the Fall and Winter. 

You choose words like love, peace, joy, earth, etc. for your pieces, and then also focus on nature through the seasons. How do you feel these two themes are intimately connected?

I tend to represent words with my paintings that I want to manifest more of in the world-I think we'd all be better off with more love, more peace, more joy! I want to draw people's awareness to the wonders of nature in every season.

What was the experience of creating the "Be Better" coloring graphic like for you? How did you choose which creatures and botanicals you felt would be right for these words?

While drawing the "Be Better" coloring graphic, I focused on forms I thought would be fun for the person using the image to color in. I know of your love for bird watching, hence the feathers. I also incorporated my most favorite motifs-sort of a "greatest hits" of my nature drawings-to infuse the piece with joyful, nature based healing energy.

Do you have any advice for those filling it with color on how to make the experience one of calm, meditation, and joy?

I would say while working on coloring this image to please yourself! Let go of any unhelpful judgement or ideas about what it "should" look like. Use the materials, colors and techniques that suit you. 

As the book The Me, Without is about lightening our load by removing a habit that doesn't serve us well, is there a habit that you have that you might contemplate pausing for a while?

Yes, I'd like to let go of the habit of the negative self talk I tell myself. I hope that by challenging these negative ideas, their power will lessen. I imagine I'll feel lighter and more authentically myself without those tired, old false thoughts in my mind! I'm going to commit to this practice for this Winter.

Jacqueline Raposo