Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Practicing my Scales

tonight I will go paint a head, like I do just about every Wednesday. When I paint heads, it is not about being a portrait painter, but about learning to control paint. Like practicing my scales. Am not trying to make art when I do it, but it helps me when I am making art. Which I have not done much of since Rick got sick. Or even longer, actually. When my brother died and daughter had a stroke, it really threw me off. I was really just getting back when Rick got sick. I paint heads, and plein-air and other studies now, so that later, when I am ready to paint- I might still know how. I would like to say that I will be ready soon. These dark days of autumn make me think that there is hardly a point. But I know that I am a painter, it is all I have ever known for sure about me. So, I will be back someday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Almost a Year

It has been almost a year since my dear husband passed away. He was a young, healthy, talented, handsome man, and our marriage was a happy one. Together since 1985, he was my best friend and more. He was only sick for a bit over a month, and died of and aggressive peripheral t cell lymphoma on January 31. This year has been consumed with dealing with that, and moving to a smaller house. I have been painting heads on Wednesdays, and a little here and there. Once settled, I will get busy.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Growing Up

I have been many things. A daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, party girl, grandma, teacher.... the list is long. The list for most of us is long. But I have always said that I am a mother like my eyes are the color that they are. It is not what I AM. What I am, the only thing that I have ever known for sure, is a painter.

These days I am in learning mode. Again. A place that I expect to visit now and then to for the rest of my life. It is what I love and hate about being an artist. One minute feeling so sure about my work- the next, recognizing an area that I can improve. I love the learning though, and I am improving.

I have been painting heads with Bill Schneider on Wednesday nights, drawing the figure with the Division Street Drawing group on Thursday nights and teaching beginning painting at The Studio School of Art in McHenry on Mondays (where I learn a lot). I have had models in the studio, both nude and clothed. I took a 7 week life sculpture class and a few workshops since my last posts (has it really been more than a year?!). I am working through Faragasso's figure book and 2 Leffel books right now. Doing daily paint sketches and have completed a few new bar paintings. Last week I went to a 12 hour life drawing marathon at the Palette and Chisel.

Other than a few things on facebook, I haven't been sharing what I am up to because I am feeling shy these days. But if you come by the studio, I will be happy to show you what I am up to.

Much Love, Lori Kiergaard

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I have not disappeared, just doing a really crappy job of blogging. I am painting though, and as always, working on my skills. I have hired my oldest daughter several times lately for modeling to practice painting heads. Wednesday nights are either life drawing or portrait painting- two great but conflicting opportunities to work with a model. I have been working on the usual still life studies and am readying a bike trailer and french easel for some plein-air work, need to do more "research" on my belly up series. All this, along with teaching beginning painting to adults at two area schools keeps me learning. If you are interested in taking my class, let me know. Hope you are all well!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Charis 24x21

Greetings from the confines of a January basement. I have been studying quietly, holding my breath for spring. This is my most recent commission, Charis is a beautiful dog and I was honored to be able to represent her for posterity. The clients are pleased and so am I.
Hoping that your winter is going well, and that the light returns soon. Love, Lori

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New website for me.

Have spent much of this holiday week designing a new site for myself. My last design needed a redesign about 5 minutes after it was done, and it has been up for a few years- so this was long over due. It was hard to decide which paintings to use, so I chose a small selection of my favorites.

Check it out:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

a quiet afternoon post

Greetings from the confines of the best studio in the world. Not really, but a girl can dream. :)

It is so great to be able to paint at night and not worry about bats or trouble makers showing up- not to mention those noisy ghosts! Even though I have been here for a year, the studio is only half way finished. The pool table has been gone for a while now, but the piano is only half way out of here. Working on some storage solutions, first, a way to safely store large paintings, which we have not completely figured out. Rick and I did design a wonderful table for the studio, and I am looking forward to building it as soon as these holidays are over. The table was actually my design that Rick was able to realize with the help of his 3d building expertise. It offers a large 4x8 foot work surface that, at 39 inches, is a little taller than traditional counter height. Three more table tops under the first one offer plenty of flat file storage. There is no hurry though, I can work in it just fine like it is.

I have been playing with mediums and learning a lot. Playing with color and learning more. New studio loves: arches oil paper, the beautiful panels I found at utrecht.

Anyway, I really wanted to say "Happy Holidays" to all of my friends. Love, Lori

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Today I am looking out my kitchen window at the rainy and grey ugly November sky, there is a squirrel furiously digging and the last of the fallen leaves soggy and sad.. we all know that the dark months are on the way. It is a time for contemplation, doing more of what works, less of the stuff that doesn't. I am working on a redo of my whole website, also working with a beautiful model, doing paint study after study. Attending life drawing, teaching a little bit.

I have always known that I would never get to the end of this journey. For me, learning to paint runs parallel to learning to live. And when ever I think that I have it, that I get it, that am even getting good at it, I am challenged again. I wont give up. Especially because there is so much joy in the work.

Anyway, my sweet husband has this painting in his office, so he made this for me. That is not really his office wall or lighting, it is all faked. He does beautiful work! Now I just need to finish that new website!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back and better.

Rick and I got home from our vacation the other day to a quiet house. Our trip was fantastic, we went to Burning Man again, for the second and last time. It is a wonderful adventure that I recommend for almost everyone, especially if you love Art. As a painter, sometimes I think that I understand Art at least enough to solidify a few opinions about it. Going to a place like Burning Man will shake up your ideas, cause you to reconsider what you might think that you know. Art is everywhere in this temporary city where creativity is not only encouraged, but expected. You will find someone's creation in every place you look. From the costumes, the cars, the AMAZING sculptures and even poems and pictures in the porta potties. It is the creative living that I find the most inspiring- reminding me of when I was young and refused to live by society's rules. We took lots of pictures of the sights, but it is not easy to document the actual experience. I somehow remembered to take this picture:
I am inspired with new ideas about beauty, changed and ready to get back to work. We drove and took the airstream, (like a turtle, we carried our house with us) and stopped at several state and national parks on the way there and back. Floated in the Great Salt Lake, camped at Yellowstone, saw Rushmore and the Badlands. Can hardly wait for our next trip!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mai Tai anyone?

Another in my belly up series. 36x24 Oil on linen on panel.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Today the world was so beautiful while I drove an hour out of town to pick up a tent. I think that I need to spend more time painting plein air, especially this time of year when the day lasts so long and the textures of the wild flowers and trees are just thrilling. And there is something else that is sensed, and I wonder if I could capture that feeling of time that has passed through a place. Like a ghost. a gorgeous golden hour ghost. So I sat in my breezeway and sewed up an awning for the airstream. which will be nice when we camp. Today was full of joy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gosh, what happened to the internet?

I think that facebook has scattered us all to the wind and it has become so hard to keep up with it, especially now that it is summer. Painting in the studio, but I miss the old pre-facebook forum days when there was a small group of folks checking in on each other. The online world has exploded and is just out of control, I think. Maybe I will try to spend more time here on my blog. Talking to myself. :-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

This is the third in my belly up series. 20x30 oil on panel.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Perfect Series for Summer! (the research is fun)

Still picking away with this, while putting a new floor in the airstream, planting flowers AND pestering daughter to go get a job. I am also already on to the next one.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Belly Up 20x30 on a beautiful birch panel

Monday, January 16, 2012

Guys Having Drinks

30x30 Oil on a beautiful Birch Panel.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Best time ever!

It is almost Thanksgiving... you know that I love it. Turkey and corn and pie! This year is exciting because all of my kids will be here. They have all been here before, of course, but this is the first time that even my baby had to travel to make it to the table.

I am busy preparing already. And also ripping out the ceiling of the basement to move my studio home. . . . clearing away distractions and buckling down.

will try my best to remember to post a picture or three.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Finally, something that I like!

I finally have something to share.
Been painting a lot of crap this year. :-)

This is 30x30 oil on Birch Panel. The panel is isolated with shellac- and my original plan was to have the wood showing through. But, I didn't like it, felt it was a bit gimmicky- so painted the whole thing.

Feeling over the hump- already moving on to the next one.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What a summer!

There have not been many paintings.

I did paint, and go to the studio almost every day, but I have nothing to share here. I made piles of studies, and a few large messes. My dear friend John would say that this is a good thing. He says that this frustration and disapproval of my own work will be followed by a huge breakthrough. I hope so.

In preparation, I made a trip to Des Plains, to Owl Lumber and picked up some nice birch plywood. I have been busy with shellac and rabbit skin glue, and have several panels ready to go. My dilemma and one thing holding me up, is size. I love to paint big, but my studio is crowded with large unsold pieces. So, I am going a bit smaller. I have a few 20x30 pieces that will probably get paint first.

I have to apologize for the state of my blog. Between all of the deaths, Autumn's stroke, the many losses from every direction. I have been distracted for a few years now. I have really had a hard time moving on. So...

Rick and I went to Burning Man a few weeks ago. It was one of the greatest experiences ever.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

First Friday

They used the one image of last years work, but I will be filling the Lobby of the LLAP with some new paintings too and portrait samples. Johanna is a fantastic artist and teacher, so you wont want to miss her show. The NAAC show will be here too, as well as some crazy installation piece in the upstairs rooms of the mansion.
Come see.

Friday, May 6, 2011

First Friday

Tonight was a lovely First Friday at the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park. I had my studio open, and had a nice bunch of folks stopping in to discuss taking classes and commission art work.

This is a nice little study that I did a few weeks ago as a demo at a local grade school. Usually these demos end up as burn pile material. I find that talking and answering questions does not really go too well with good painting- but I am kind of happy with this one. It was a lot of fun painting with the kids- who really wanted to eat the models. :-) I hope to do it again!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Excuse the shadow at the top. I finished this one last month.

"Adam" 23x23 Charcoal

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Drawing of Norma

Taking commissions, of course.  Finishing up a painting today, to.

I am having so much fun with these portraits. Let me know if you want to imortalize someone you love.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Working from home

It is really coming down outside, with more on the way.  So yesterday I cancelled today's class and brought home my work. One WIP drawing and a large painting that is on the home stretch. I also have some webwork for two projects to keep me busy.  If you are looking for me at the studio, shoot me an email or call and I will make my way over there.   This is a great time for commissioning charcoal drawings.  Stay warm, friends. :-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year, welcome 2011

Can not even believe another year has passed!  This next year promises to be a big year of changes and adventures.


I have a large painting on the easel and a few drawings going too. New Classes are starting too. I am teaching out of my own studio, Creative Artistry and in McHenry at The Studio Art School.  Send me a note if you would like to come and paint with me.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Learning More About Charcoal

Went and hung out with some of my online artist friends in October. Gathered from all over the country in a small Missouri town- a few more days with Graydon Parrish. I really enjoyed all of the company, and was able to put aside what I thought that I knew and really learn some new things. Since that time, I have been drawing a lot using my family as models. I figure that way, I will have something good when I get through learning. Have done my middle two kids and working on my oldest child and youngest dog. Really am loving turning form and thinking about form in new ways.

These are going to look amazing when they are matted and placed in nice gold leaf frames. Since I would like to do a few more, I am taking a limited number of portrait commissions using this method, a much less expensive alternative to the painted portrait. There is still time if you would like to give a portrait for a Christmas gift, contact me. Gift Certificates are also available.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What a summer!

Today I am home working on my poor neglected website. Have had family around all summer it seems, and have hardly been to the studio for the last few weeks.

This has been the most glorious summer in years. Nice and hot- lots of rain, so green that it is almost blue.

Over the next few days will be gallery visits and marketing then back to the studio and back to work. I promise!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

6 days

It is hard to believe that this 6 year old idea will finally be out there in 6 days.

Blinding light began with 6 still life paintings created in 2004 and 2005 for the NYC "Representing Reality" show. It really came together through a series of lake paintings, hallway paintings, and even a few city scapes- all with one common thread, light so bright that you might want to reach for your sun glasses. The new large paintings created this last year are still just the beginning.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oh my poor neglected blog.

Stupid facebook has taken me from you... Or not as I am spending so much less time online these days. Not intentionally, just life that has crept up on me these last few years.

And besides that, I have a solo show just around the corner- less than two weeks away, and I am painting my butt off trying to get ready. I can not wait to show you my new work. I will be filling the Sage Gallery and also the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park Lobby. More information here. See you there!

Sage Gallery
401 Country Club Road
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The grey is lifting.

I saw a fly buzz by the other day. The snow was still on the ground, it was the kind of fly that Rick calls a zombie fly because they are still kind of stunned to be awake and act like the flying dead. I don't call them zombies, I call them promises of spring. I know, they are flies! But, this has been two back to back extraordinarily long winters with barely a warm day in between. Even flies look good to us now. Happy Spring, my friends!

I have 7 pieces in the LLAP Resident artist show. These three are in the Dole gallery, there are three in the Sage gallery and one in the lobby. They will be hanging all month, so stop by. If you give me a call and let me know that you are coming, I will meet you there. :-)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thinking outloud.

OK, so while I am here. this is totally thinking out loud, or just dumping my thoughts out and trying to make sense of them here, publicly. Not saying that my views are correct and not sure if I am qualified to even say a word about Art with a capital A, but this is my blog, so I will say what I want. :-)

While I work through the why of MY painting, I have been going to the Art Institute a lot lately. Once and sometimes twice a week for the past few months. Checking out the new modern wing- trying to get it. OH, there is plenty there to love, I am not saying that there isn't- but there is a whole lot that sure seems like a bunch of the emperors new clothes to me.

And I am learning. Over the years I thought that Cy Twombly was possibly the worst artist to ever be put in a museum. The recent Cy Twombly show was actually an eye opener. Not that I am a fan, but seeing his work all together like that gave me a better understanding. And while not my cup of tea, actually very beautiful all together.

Thankfully they have changed the exhibits some and removed the loud clown on the toilet videos that made standing in the Gerhard Richter room impossible. (!!!) Even though Gerhard has really bridged the gap between modern and traditional, I bet he would have been pissed to hear that obnoxious clown while looking at his beautiful paintings.

You know, there is so much to consider. Like the really wonderful room, possibly the best room in the museum, over looking the incredible Millenium Park that holds nothing but 6 white panels. It makes me mad every time that I see that, like that room was stolen from some hard working painter. Even though have been in a thousand discussions about why that is art, and have even heard some good arguments for it, I struggle to accept it. I'm thinking that I could go stand there forever and not change my mind.

And who cares? It is like you can not challenge it anyway- else be labeled an enemy of art, closed minded or stupid.

Hard as I try to keep an open mind, still I get so opinionated about it... Which is why I keep going back, because if there is something to it, I will find it.

I do understand and enjoy some of the color field paintings, and think that they are easier to bitch about than to create. Much of the modern art is quite beautiful. But the piles of trash? The length of sausage casings? the three poles? I am really not interested in a gimmick or tricks, but there also needs to be something more than just old dead technique, and I feel like I am getting closer to that thing. (or maybe had too much coffee)

There will always be artists taking the easy way out by doing nothing, which IMHO is actually preferable to those who settle on exploiting others, for example, a mediocre painter exploiting the bravery of a fallen policeman, fireman or our troops to make up for missing skills. No one would dare criticize your compositions or color when you paint your own self with their glory.

Like I said, I am unqualified, and very possibly wrong. I do know that for the rest of my life I will be learning how to paint, and a huge part of that is always learning/considering/growing into what to paint. Who knows where this journey will take me, but I am pretty confident that it will not be to show empty canvas, a can of shit or to a whole career built on exploiting other people's accomplishments.

Grey January Greetings!

I am getting emails about my poor neglected blog. I am sorry, I will try to do better.

Many of you know it has been a time for us here, we have had real world life pushing this blog to the back burner. There was a birth a college graduation and several other really good things. But there were also the several deaths and the care of my adult daughter. So, while I have been in the studio working- blogging has not been high on the priority list.

Anyway, I am working hard- focusing my direction, painting, reading, thinking and growing. Really growing- and I see an exciting new direction forming in my sketchbooks.

Anyway- thanks for the nudge to post, and stop by the real world anytime and visit.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Working toward my Spring solo show...

Hello friends,
I am working hard toward my May show. This is what is on my easel today- a work in progress, in case you were wondering- I am still here :-) My blog updates have been slow, but work is progressing at a good speed.

Not shown are a few portraits in the works as well as a portrait bust that I am working on in terracotta.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Driving Light

Just finished this- 36x48, oil on canvas. Pardon the glare.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Still among the living.

I have not completely forgotten my blog- it has just been a time these past months.

After my brother died in December I had a hard time coming up for air. And just as I was starting to, (a few days after my last post here) my daughter had a stroke, which landed her in a coma on full life support. Lots of stories to get her to here, but the bottom line is that she is going to be OK. We all will.

One of these days this blog will be updated properly, but for now I leave you with this picture of what I am working on right now.

XO Lori

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer Reflections

I miss my blog- and my studio, and I promise to be back soon.

It is that time of year when the family has grabbed my attention. With a son home from college and a daughter making a long awaited visit home. There has been time with my brother's widow, and a trip to Florida to rescue his airstream from the swamp. And there is another death on the horizon as my Father-in-Law is living out his last few days of fighting with cancer. So much going on that it is hard to get to the studio.

I have been attending a sculpture class- so at least there is a little bit of creation going on.

Stop by the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park to see the lobby where my new paintings will be hanging for the month of August- and I will be sure to be back in the studio before too long.

Love, Lori

Friday, June 12, 2009


We were lucky enough to have a robin's nest right out side our kitchen window this year. Delighted that we could enjoy our coffee and watch the good parents raise their family. I had no idea that the father robin was so involved- and this dad was a great one, chasing off the squirrels and the sparrows. standing nervously near the eggs so mom could run off for a moment. And feeding the kids giant june bugs and worms. So much fun to watch. This is our baby robin- he fell out of his nest a few days before they were ready to fly away so Norma picked him up and put him in a hanging planter placed a little under the nest, (there was no room IN the nest) and she hand fed him worms for a couple of days. We were standing there watching when "Albert" finally flew away. This picture was taken a few minutes after his first flight.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Smack-dab in the middle of everything.

Sometimes it feels like I live in the middle of everything. I regularly see, (and feel equally at home with), both sky scrapers and corn fields. Art museums and galleries fancy city restaurants and farm stands. I like small towns and Love big cities.

Never a suburbanite, I do sometimes feel lost at sea here in the badlands of big box stores where I have never fit in.

But if I look- I can still find light, even if we do have twisted it all up with our crap.

This painting "Old Strip Mall" is 36x48 oil on canvas.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Today is a nice day for making frames.

Sure, I know that it is Memorial Day- but it is kind of cold- so we stayed home and made some frames.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Modern Wing Member's Preview

The flowers in Chicago were so glorious- even on the gloomy day- it was thrilling to be on Michigan Avenue. Bravo Chicago!
I saw the new wing on a rainy Wednesday, a preview for the members. I have been looking forward to it for months and was not disappointed. Click on any of these images for a closer look.

The thing that I really love about the opening of the Modern Wing is the space that is left on the other side in the non modern wings. But I do plan to spend a lot of time here this summer.

The building is OK- mostly boring and reminds me of an empty IKEA store. But they were not done with the floors, so maybe I will like it better when that is done.