Nature. It’s been the one constant in an entire year of pandemic chaos. As people were confined to their family pods and homes, the one refuge from all the isolation was nature. Without a doubt, it offered much needed inspiration and relief to those who couldn’t gather to see their family and friends. And, it was nature that provided the peace in the midst of uncertainty to get out of our homes to explore parks, trails and creeks.
Being outdoors also meant you could talk to people from a safe distance. Parking lots and neighborhood driveways became common gathering places. Trails were constantly busy with bikers, walkers and pets. Camping, fishing and kayaking saw a surge in popularity. Local sporting goods stores sold out of tents, pools, bicycles and equipment as families actually did things together again.
Nature rebounded. Not just locally, but internationally. Fish returned to the canals of Venice, Italy. Pollution levels decreased in large cities all over the world. Even when mankind does its best to thwart nature, she returns and fixes what humans dismantle.
My painting records a moment last fall on Peoria’s Rock Island Trail. The splendor of the trees and plants along the trail enveloped the lone cyclist in a serene canopy of nature’s finest colors. Nature provides me with continuous inspiration and tranquility. It uplifts me when I’m down and has been a sanctuary throughout the pandemic.
Nature is what matters most. Without it, we fail to exist.
With a M.F.A. in Painting from Bradley University, Lori’s paintings, drawings, and mixed media artworks are created in Artsquared Studio which allow her the freedom to design without boundaries or restrictions. Most painters beg, borrow and steal from artists who have made their mark in the art world. Lori chooses to do the same, but she also captures subject matter from people, nature and the unexpected. Her preferred medium is oil, but she also works with watercolor, acrylics, mixed media, paper mache, pastel, graphite, charcoal and clay/ceramics. She prefers bright colors and more object-oriented themes, and her styles range from gestural to detailed.
Lori’s main influences include the simplistic images of Georgia O’Keeffe; Edward Hopper’s sense of isolation; and Jim Dine’s versatility. But, most of all, Wayne Thiebaud’s work inspires her like no other with his use of bold colors and technique of halation which makes the pieces he creates almost vibrate.
Lori’s work has been accepted into a number of juried art shows, including: SkyArt Peoria, Women’s Works in Woodstock, Illinois, The Peoria Art Guild Nude Attitude Show, Best of Peoria at the Waynar Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, and Best of Bradley in Junction Gallery. She has won a number of awards including Best of Show in the Peoria Art Guild Members’ Show, 2018 and 2020, and Best of Show in opaque watercolor at ICC. Her work is represented in art collections around the country.