Laurie Parker to speak at Evans Memorial Library

By Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – Evans Memorial Library will hold its monthly “booklunch” on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at noon.

Starkville native and well-known artist/writer Laurie Parker will be guest speaker. She will discuss her newest book “Garden Alphabet,” which for adults is an A to Z celebration of everything garden, and for children is an engaging and educational introduction to the wonders of gardening.

Parker not only writes books, but she also illustrates her books. “Garden Alphabet” is an “I Spy” type of book with hidden pictures for each beautiful illustration.

Parker is a self-taught artist. For several years, she supported herself by making and selling pins and cards. The pins are made through a collage proces-cutting with scissors and gluing, which is the way Laurie creates illustrations for her books. An epoxy coat makes the lightweight pins look like enamel. She continues to make pins, decorations, and decoupage canvases, but only sells them at art shows, festivals, home shows, and holiday markets such as Celebration Village in Tupelo.

She was admitted as a member of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi in 1995.

This talented individual is a l985 Hall of Fame graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in elementary education. She taught four years before deciding it was not the career for her. She returned to Mississippi State to the school of engineering. Even though she maintained a 4.0 average in that discipline, she decided to focus on her true calling — art.

“Garden Alphabet” is her 12th book. She began her writing career with “Everywhere in Mississippi.”

Describing her latest book, she says, “The part I enjoy most about gardening essentially is art. It’s design, composition, color and just creating something out of nothing.”

It is obvious she is very passionate about gardening. Her illustrations for the book required 800 hours over a nine-week timeframe. She states that the writing takes relatively little time compared to the artwork.

The ability to write in metered rhyme became evident when Laurie was a child, and she takes great care to insure her words will be read with a smooth cadence. She dislikes rhyme without meter and makes certain she does not construct sentences in an awkward, unnatural order just to achieve rhyme.

Several local garden clubs plan to attend the booklunch, and the public is invited to attend. A box lunch will be available for $6.