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Dragonfly Art and Change

Illustration of black and white papercut collage dragonfly flying over lily pads and lotus flowers

On one of my trips to Wisconsin I laid on a hammock and looked up at many dragonflies zipping around at a fast pace to catch insects.  I see them on ponds and watched them gliding over the water and resting on lily pads while canoeing in northern Wisconsin.

The dragonfly is a symbol of changing direction in your life.  This piece was commissioned by someone who’s mother was going through a major life change.  Here is the finished commission piece I completed in 2015.

dragonfly papercut collage with green lily pads and pink lotus flowers over blue water
Dragonfly, Mixed Media, 2015

Clients responded to this piece so much that I went on to edit it and change the colors and composition digitally to create two more pieces:


To purchase prints, please visit my shop.

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Happy New Year & Many Thanks!!

I want to let you all know how grateful I am for you! So many of you have supported my art for years, and even decades. It’s been a year of so many fantastic opportunities. Thank you for the help, support and encouragement!!

Artist Laura Lynne standing next to Soar mural for domestic voilence

Thank you to Oak Park Area Arts Council for the mini mural work by the CTA Green Line!

Thank you to Water Street Studios, Batavia Woman’s Club, and The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley for choosing me to do the
“Soar” mural for the Activate the Alley Project!

Thank you to the anonymous person who recommended me for the Artist in Residence program at the DuPage Children’s Museum in 2020!

Thank you to my monthly Patreon patrons: Diane, Christina, Lito, Liz, and Tony!

Thank you to everyone who purchased art this year at Alley Art Fest, Ravenswood Art Walk, Firefly, Artisan Collective Markets, Winterfest, Art Bar Milwaukee, Aurora ArtBar, Miskatonic Brewery, Artist Alley Pop-Up, NSUC Art Fair, on Etsy or my website!

Special thanks to Ruth Harken and my aunt who have encouraged me since I was a child artist.

Thank you to my Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother-in-law, Mother-in-laws and Father-in-laws, my husband and son!

I’m feeling so grateful! Happy New Year! May you have a healthy, happy and prosperous year! Please share one of your accomplishments in the comments.

-Laura Lynne

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Mural for Domestic Violence Awareness

Mural illustration art for domestic violence awareness

I can’t tell you how excited I was to be chosen for this project, and then again to be chosen to create an artwork for Mutual Ground, a domestic violence shelter and education non-profit. Dani Hollis, Executive Director of Water Street Studios, had an idea to have local artists collaborate with local non-profits to create awareness of their services in the community. This mural was created for Mutual Ground, funded by Batavia Woman’s Club, and hangs at Water Street Studios through a busy pedestrian walkway.

A Little About the Concept:

The ideas I talked about with Mutual Ground were going from isolation to community (isolation represented by the solitary house and community represented by the birds and butterflies) inspired by reading “Beth’s” story from their summer 2019 newsletter. Beth says “[Mutual Ground] was the best thing that has happened to me and my kids. I thought I was the only one, but I found out a lot of people go through this.” Mutual Ground talks about going from dark to light represented by a gradient in the background colors. The swallow is a symbol of hope, butterflies are a symbol of change and life. I put tears/raindrops coming from the closed blinds on the house windows. Purple is the color for domestic violence awareness so that color was included in the clouds and bird. Lace was included on the clouds and the on the bird to represent the behaviors that are passes down from generation to generation like grandma’s wedding dress or grandpa’s watch (some of the shapes on the feathers like hands on a watch). Cynthia Kieckhefer, of Batavia Woman’s Club, when I was donating a piece for this year’s auction, told me about an organization that helps people with the legal aspects of leaving their homes and marriages. Their symbol is a phoenix, which I love, as a symbol of rebirth and renewal. The swallow/phoenix rises out of the fire, aware and healed now, and transforms their life and the lives of their children. I hope this mural inspires people to get the help they need to break the cycle.

Mural illustration art for domestic violence awareness
“Soar”, 2019, Domestic Violence Awareness Mural for Mutual Ground

The art is also inspired by song lyrics by Brandi Carlile. Here are some of the lyrics:

I found myself an omen and I tattooed on a sign
I set my mind a wandering and I walk a broken line
You have a mind to keep me quiet
And although you can try,
Better men have hit their knees
And bigger men have died

I’m gonna raise, raise hell
There’s a story no one tells
You gotta raise, raise hell

The original art was created by painting paper and cutting it into shapes. I also use my own photography and/or public domain found images printed on archival paper. Other materials I use are archival tissue paper and acid free metallic papers. The original art will hang in the offices of Mutual Ground. The mural was created by scanning the original art then printing it on aluminum panel. (Thanks to Fast Color Print in North Aurora for the excellent work on the print!)

Press Release:

Here is a copy of the press release if you’d like to read more about the mural and this project: Batavia, IL—The kick-off of Water Street Studios’ Activate the Alley pARTnership project is here!
Mutual Ground will be the first organization to reveal their mural in a series of murals highlighting local non-profit organizations at a Mural Reveal party on Thursday, October 17th from 4:30-6:30pm at Water Street Studios. The Activate the Alley pARTnership project is in honor of Water Street Studios’ 10 Year Anniversary. Water Street Studios is pairing ten local artists with ten local nonprofit agencies to create outdoor, public art murals that illustrate the programs and services that the nonprofit offers to the community. These murals will be on display in the alley leading up to the entrance of Water Street Studios.

Mutual Ground has served our community for more than 40 years with the mission of providing education, awareness, and life-changing services that empower individuals, families, and com to end the cycle of domestic and sexual violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – the entire month of October is devoted to remembering those victims who have died, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence. According to Kathy Melone, Advancement Director at Mutual Ground, “We are thrilled to partner with Water Street Studios to promote awareness of our mission and services, and add beauty to our community. We want to make sure that everyone that needs our services knows that we are here to help, everyday of the year, free of charge. This mural will be a beautiful addition to Batavia and remind victims and survivors of domestic violence that they are not alone, and there is hope.”

The mural design was created by Laura Lynne Art. Laura Lynne is a mixed media hand cut paper artist and muralist. She uses her photographs, metallic paper, and painted papers to create boldly colored, whimsical artworks. According to Laura Lynne, “A good design, or work of art, can help people to understand a subject more deeply. It has the power to make a strong emotional impact that stays in your memory longer than words alone. My goal was to achieve that with this art.”

The mural creation for Mutual Ground was generously sponsored by the Batavia Woman’s Club. “We are honored to financially support this wonderful fusion of our nonprofit community. Water Street Studios is a shining example of innovation as it merges art with crucial nonprofits like Mutual Ground. This breathtaking mural is not just an art installation, it is a stunning symbol of what we can create together. All our efforts are magnified when we can work together to address the very real needs of human beings in our community, from our artists and Water Street Studios that supports them, to Mutual Ground addressing the needs of women and children who suffer from domestic violence. This blend of community stewardship makes us so proud. The ladies of the Batavia Woman’s Club will find themselves turning down First and Water Streets much more frequently, as we slow down to look at this beautiful mural. We are happy to say we helped create it.”, says Cynthia Kieckhefer of the Batavia Woman’s Club.

You are invited to join us at the Reveal Party on Thursday, October 17th at 4:30 p.m. We will announce the reveal of the mural with a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Batavia, Geneva, and Aurora Chambers of Commerce, followed by a cocktail party in the Dempsey Family Gallery. In addition to her contribution as the artist on the mural, Laura Lynne will be donating 40% of the proceeds of any of her artwork sales at the Mural Reveal party to Mutual Ground.

This mural is one of ten murals that will be revealed between October 2019 and August 2020. “This project was created to elevate our nonprofit community in a way never done before. At Water Street Studios we understand that our greatest asset is our artist community and we want to utilize our best resources to help lift up our fellow nonprofits,” says Danielle Hollis, Executive Director at Water Street Studios.

Purchase a print here.

Thank you so much to Dani Hollis of Water Street Studios for dreaming up this project, Kathy Melone at Mutual Ground for being an excellent contact outthe creation of the original mixed media art for the mural, to Batavia Woman’s Club and The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley for sponsoring this project. Thanks to Joe at Fast Color Print for creating the great reproduction of the original art and print for the mural.

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Wayne’s World Movie Inspired Art

Yesterday was Alley Art Festival here in Aurora, IL. It’s such a great little art fair only 1.5 miles from our house. It’s one of my favorite things about downtown Aurora and favorite days of the year when I get to meet art lovers living in my community and hang out with my favorite local artists! Of course I had to have some Aurora inspired art, which to me being a non-native Auroran, meant something Wayne’s World movie inspired.

During the 2017 25th Anniversary celebrations of the movie in downtown Aurora, the local gallery and custom frame shop, If These Walls Could Talk, hosted a poster design contest. Mine didn’t win, but sold. Plus, I did get a cool photo of Tia Carrere in front of my design!

Tia Carrere at If These Walls Could Talk Custom Framing and Gallery in Aurora, IL.

Below is a design based on the poster that I had for sale at the festival. I’m thinking I might add in a photo of Aurora in the background too. What do you think?

Wayne's World Car Art Print
Party On Aurora Wayne’s World Art Print

Here is a link to buy the print.

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Oak Park Mini Mural of Turtle Astronomer with Be Noble Quote

When my friends moved to Oak Park from Milwaukee shortly after college I visited them and saw this long “Wall of Murals” by the Green Line L. I thought, “It would be so cool to have a painting there someday!” 14-ish years later, here I am painting one!

Part of the “Wall of Murals” along the Oak Park CTA Green Line L Bridge

Thank you to the Oak Park Area Arts Council for this opportunity! The people of Oak Park and the businesses were very supportive while I was painting. The address for this mural is approximately 719 South Blvd, Oak Park, Illinois. (It’s two murals away from the one of Val if you want to check it out.) By the way, it was amazing how many people stopped to see the mural that was in honor of Val of Val’s Halla Records. She must have been quite a person!

Finished Turtle Astronomer with Vintage Telescope and Be Noble Quote

The design is based on a series of artworks I did in 2014. Read more about the inspiration for the design design here.

The design for this mural is available for purchase as a signed Archival Fine Art Reproduction. Click here to purchase.

Oak Park Mini Mural Turtle Telescope with Quote Print
Turtle Astronomer with Be Noble Quote Fine Art Print
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Dear Jerry

Dear Jerry Saltz, I read your Instagram post about singing “Jolene”. Well, I’m not in school any longer, graduation was a LONG time ago, but I thought I’d try it anyway with a little twist. Here are the lyrics I wrote sung to the tune of “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. (For those of you who don’t know, Jerry Saltz is a very famous art critic in New York.)

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry
I’m beggin’ for a positive critique
Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry
Please give me a positive critique

My corporate jobs were excruciating
My anxiety was elevating
Art ‘s the only job for me, Jerry.

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry
I’m beggin’ for a positive critique
Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry
Please give me a positive critique

My husband’s patience is running out
No matter how I cry and pout
Art ‘s the only job for me, Jerry
I had to sing this song for you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to say, Jerry

The wallpaper is peeling off
The basement leaks in many spots
It’s raining and I’m goin’ down to mop
Now, I’m grateful for my mild success
I sometimes even get a check
But it’s not enough to pay my share of bills

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry
I’m beggin’ for a positive critique
Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry
Please give me a positive critique

Jerry, Jerry, Jerr-eee-eee-ee

Here is the link to the video of me singing acapella:

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Vertical Mural Plans

Hello! I wanted to share with you some mural plans for tall, vertical walls and some good news! The Astronomer Turtle plan was picked for one of the 2019 Oak Park Mini Murals! I’m really excited to start working on this design and quote. It has been one of my most popular prints as the originals are in a private collection.

artwork for a mini mural in Oak Park, IL. Astronomer turtle with vintage telescope and Serbian proverb.
Astronomer Turtle with Proverb is the design chosen for one of the 2019 Oak Park Mini Murals
Mural Plan for vertical wall of a blue sun, hills and flowers
Tall, Vertical Design of “Scarlet Begonias”. This design can be adjusted to be even taller, if necessary.
Blue and purple dragonfly with water lillies and lotus flowers for tall vertical wall
Dragonfly mural design for tall, vertical wall. This design can also be adapted to be even more vertical.
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Bloom Where You’re Planted Quote Art and Public Mural

Utility Box Mural with flowers and Bloom Where You Are Planted Quote

I chose the “Bloom Where You Are Planted” design for the utility box mural in downtown Aurora as a message of love and hope for the community. There are so many people working to make Aurora a better place to live, and it seems to be working. The downtown has changed dramatically since we’ve moved here in 2008. The musicals at the Paramount are incredible, the new murals have really brightened and livened up the city. Public areas are being remodeled and some excellent restaurants and coffee shops have moved into downtown. Beautiful butterfly gardens dress up the streets. Aurora Downtown, city workers and volunteers help to host fun free events, like First Fridays, Alley Art Fest, and others. I hope my mural has added to the positivity going on in downtown Aurora and that we see even more growth and roots here.

Bloom Where You're Planted Quote Wall Art in Navy Blue and Pink
Bloom Where You’re Planted, Color Altered Archival Print Reproduction
Buy a print here.

Over ten years ago I moved to Aurora, IL from Milwaukee, WI. I had lived in Wisconsin for 30 years before moving to Aurora, owned a home, had a good job, and felt very connected to my community. Aurora is growing on me, however, there are many things I miss terribly from my previous home state – the nature, lakes, parks left mainly in their natural state, and living closer to my family and friends. So, I made the art to remind myself to be present and thankful for what I have – to work on making our home a nice place to live, planting a literal garden, and to work on making friends and connections here.

Utility Box Mural with flowers and Bloom Where You Are Planted Quote
Bloom Where You’re Planted Mural in Downtown Aurora Illinois, 116 W New York St

If you are interested in a mural indoors or out, please contact me to arrange your free consultation today.

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Grateful Dead Lyrics Inspired Art

Grateful Dead lyrics can be so beautiful, mysterious and with lovely nature references.  The piece below was inspired by the song, Ripple, written by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia.  Here are some of the lyrics:

“If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?…
Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow
Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again…”
grateful dead song lyric inspired art poster design of ripple, harp with no strings, trippy hippie artwork by artist Laura Lynne
Ripple #2, 2018, Digitally Altered Mixed Media Papercut Collage


Often, I’ll digitally alter my art to create a few different color versions for prints.  The original hand cut paper collage was light green and white, but I really like how the red and light blue one turned out.  (Sometimes I like the digitally colored versions better than the original!)

Grateful Dead Fan Art based on ripple song lyrics with ripple, musical bars, harp with no strings
Ripple #2, 2018, Digitally Altered Mixed Media Papercut Collage

Prints are available in my shop.  All prints are archival, printed with ink on 100% cotton fine art paper.  They are open edition because they are giclee prints AND it would suck if my favorite musicians only released 200 copies of their songs.  I would never do that to you.  🙂

Also, check out my Scarlet Begonias lyric inspired piece and Dark Star inspired art here.


Thank you so much for visiting!

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Creativity Hierarchy of Needs

Yoga and Love help to make room for great creativity. T-shirt design and philosophy

Giving this working artist bit a try, I have a lot of time to think all day now that my baby is in full day kindergarten…  I’m also reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  It has led me to thinking about how to sustain creativity and health.  What do we need to do to refuel our creative tank, be healthy and a productive art maker?

I think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and what he wrote about being your best self.  He studied famous people in history, like Abraham Lincoln, to find out what they did to become fully actualized human beings.  Maslow found that we need first to have our physiological needs met, then safety, love/belonging, esteem and only then can we have self-actualization and reach our highest potential.

Yoga, also, is a system for self-actualization.  It helps your mind, body and spirit be the healthiest it can be.  It helps your body to sit or stand comfortably for long periods of time while writing, painting, drawing or playing music.  If I were to create a hierarchy for creativity, it would look something like the one below.

Laura Lynne Art's Version of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

I feel so very lucky to have my basic needs, or bottom tier, met (thanks to my dear husband, his employer, and living within our means) and wish everyone in the world had theirs met too.  How amazing would our world be if everyone was walking around with a full belly, a peaceful mind, and had the capacity to work on their creative projects?

For the sake of design, I simplified my little hierarchy to this:

Yoga and Love help to make room for great creativity. T-shirt design and philosophy
Laura Lynne Art Hierarchy of Needs Based on Maslow’s Psychology

Here is the papercut work in progress:

Papercut work in progress
Hierarchy of Needs Papercut Work in Progress


To find out more about Maslow and see his hierarchy, click here.