Laura Butterworth is a ‘plein air’ watercolor illustrator and book artist from Kennebunk, Maine. Plein air refers to location and most of her work is done outside, viewing the people, animals, birds and plants as she paints. A notebook sketch begins the process, a photo captures the details, the 12 colors are created from a simple watercolor tray, the outlines laid out on heavy paper stock and finally, the painting is finished inside,out of the wind. Lush lady slipper orchids, sweet native Woodcock, hard shell lobster, dew covered blueberries lure the collectors and art connoisseurs into a connection with a location that extends their curiosity into a further exploration of the lifestyle of the Kennebunks. Laura is fascinated by the people of southern Maine and has created a show called Other Nice People, based on the piece by that name owned by the Brick Store Museum. “Covid arrived here in March 2020. William and I retreated indoors for several weeks and created this art which reflects the people we love. We wanted to leave a memory of the joy of our community, what people wore, their pets and animals, their grocery bags and the space in front of New Morning Natural Foods”.
William Walker (1959-2022), Laura’s partner of 12 years, was her muse and mentor. “William had a curiosity and an open hearted way about him that attracted people. We sketched and wrote about many of our public interactions and we gave out Other Nice People stickers to those with whom we had good encounters”. William and Laura traveled regularly through the National Parks, taking long road trips with their rooftop tent, capturing their memories with sketches, journals and photography. Another Day In Da Hood, Atlantic To Pacific And Back, Northern Maine Journey and most recently Nomadic are yet unpublished illustrated books.
Laura grew up in Asheville, NC in a family that spent time together outside. She attended Catawba College in Salisbury, NC and graduated in 1984 with a BA in English and creative writing. William grew up in inner city Philadelphia and served in the Airforce.
Published works include the Activity Calendar for Youth: a perpetual idea day-by-day with 70 illustrations and 270 social media free ideas. An interactive art exhibit Other Nice People: the illustrations of Laura Butterworth and William Walker runs from June 6th thru July 9th 2023 at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, Maine.