Laura Bedard's Art
By Donna Letterese
Science and art are often thought of as opposites. For artist Laura Bedard, this is not the case. Bedard's works are directly influenced by her love of the sciences, and biology in particular.
Growing up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, from an early age she was exposed to aquatic plants and animals that she found inspirational. "My parents had a boat, so we were constantly out fishing, watching whales, and all that kind of stuff," Bedard reminisces. "I initially was very interested in marine biology, before later becoming interested in biology and the human body."
As a child, Bedard liked to draw. She often drew sea life, and got a great deal of attention for her work, from elementary school on. Her preferred mediums were drawing and painting. That being said, her one true love was always putting pencil to paper.
She credits a terrific art teacher she had during high school for her seriously pursing the visual arts, as this educator encouraged her to try different things. Bedard was pushed to experiment with her drawings and even to play around with graphic design. While her work was more illustrative during her childhood and teenage years, the work she has become known for as an adult has more of an abstract feel to it.
"Rather than being inspired by a particular artist, I am inspired by the human body, and the idea of micro-universes," Bedard muses. "I'm intrigued by the vastness of galaxies-- not only the ones that exist in the world, but even the microscopic galaxies that exist inside our bodies."
She thinks about the combination of cells, tissues, and eggs, that make up the human body, and how to create galaxies of her own, with the abstract forms she uses in her work. Her art has very much transformed over time. While initially interested in creating photorealistic drawings, she now leaves a great deal more up to interpretation.
It was after becoming involved with printmaking and monotypes that her style began to evolved. Bedard would layer paints with her printmaking working, and the worlds she was crafting began to take on a more abstract feel.
Her current practice involves combining printmaking and collage. She starts by using ink. After that, everything has to be left to dry for a while. Finally, she will layer acrylic paint on the ink, then wipe some off, and continue the layering, gradually building the piece up that way. She primarily works on paper using large-scale pieces that often measure up to twenty by thirty inches.
In addition to her science inspired fine artwork, Bedard has also entered the world of children's writing and illustration. Her book "My Adoption Feelings" is a work from the heart. She was very excited to co-write this project with her sister.
Bedard and her husband adopted a little boy three years ago. She had continually been searching for a book on adoption that would be good for adoptive children and parents, but had yet to find one that inspired her. As Bedard's sister is a psychologist, they realized they had the perfect opportunity to create such a book together.
"My Adoption Feelings" delves into questions that both adoptive children and parents may have, such as where do we begin, how do we start talking about what adoption is, and so on. While the two co-authored the book, Bedard did the illustrations.
She has drawn charming and cute characters, which will be able to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. "I wanted the art in this book to appeal to children, as well as not intimidate them," Bedard points out. "With simple, happy illustrations, children reading the book who relate to it will also be confident enough to try and draw those characters themselves."
Bedard is thrilled to be able to bond with her own son over the book. She is also pleased that it has been very well-received by adoptive children and parents alike, as well as adoption agencies.
She is looking forward to the next installment in this series. "My sister and I want to do a follow-up book," Bedard smiles. "We're thinking about a book that will address questions regarding a child's Birth Mom, which is something that parents, children, and an adoption agency all have to deal with." They are in the early process of creating this next work.
Fine art wise, Bedard has three large-scale pieces she is focusing on finishing at the present. She encourages anyone interested in updates on her work to follow along on her website and Instagram. Overall, Bedard is very excited to get the ball rolling on her next "My Adoption Feelings" book, as well as is working with a gallery in the future.
To see more of Laura Bedard's work, please go to: www.LauraBedard.com.
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