Its all about mark making and process. I need to capture the essence of whatever I draw. I am not a painter, but I paint on my drawings.
|#212, Acrylic, Wax & Charcoal, 60 x 48|
I used to have to make all my drawing perfect, rework, overwork, until I killed it. In high school art class, one of the other students told me, “You ruin all your drawings. You overwork everything.” I never forgot that, and still I overworked them to draftsmanship perfection. It was the finished product that was important, but that is not important anymore.
In 2006, when I was 48, I went back to college to get my BA in visual arts. It was then I finally learned how to let go of my need to control, and to play. It changed my life and my mark making. I allowed myself to take risks and learned to trust the process. One of my instructors gave me my breakthrough assignment: Tape up at least a 5’ x 5’ paper, apply a wax resist medium, use thin acrylic, and paint with a 4” wide brush. I was terrified. I continued the process, combining different materials and substrates, and I was free from a tightly rendered perfection prison.
|Wild Child, Wax & Acrylic, 59 x 51|
I still like to set up vignettes and draw from life -- it’s my meditation. I like to plot out, sight and measure the image to the paper. It fulfills my need to control, but I am practicing observation skills, not to create a perfect drawing.
|Angel Caido, Pastel on Paper, 24 x 18|
|Grand Idea II, Pastel on Paper, 24 x 19|
The human form interests me the most. Gesture and form can tell a story that evokes a primal unspoken language regardless of race, class, or culture. In 2013, I created a series of drawings and large scale mixed media paintings based on a book I found at the library – Pictures From a Drawer, Prison and the Art of Portraiture by Bruce Jackson – of restored images of early 20th century prison I.D. mug shots. Like looking in a mirror, these haunting images reveal the beauty of the flaws, scars, and vulnerability of the human condition, which most of us are afraid to acknowledge.
This is Week 40 of 52 Artists in 52 Weeks. Thank you for reading and sharing Lori’s story today. You can connect with Lori on the following links: