Thursday, February 28, 2008


Every day someone will stop by my studio and say something like "I really wish that I could paint, I can barely make stick figures." It seems that many people think that either you can or you can not create. But anyone can learn to paint, there is no magic in it.

No one would ever sit their child down at a new piano and expect him to play beautiful music without having many lessons and a lot of practicing. It is the same with painting. There are lessons to organize the practicing. There are rules to learn and learn how to break. Drawing, composition, value and color. Techniques and Methods, materials. It can all be learned, but must be practiced. And like the piano, if you take the lessons and follow through with practice, you can learn to play.

Then somewhere along the line you get to the hard part. Deciding what to paint. And that is something that you need to dig inside for.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


“Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house... let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness.”

~Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Economics of a Studio

It is snowing again tonight. We are supposed to get another 7 inches or so. The snow cover has stayed around all winter, something that does not happen every year, and it is so dark..... we are quite tired of it here.

So maybe it is just part of my winter funkiness- but I am thinking that even though it is a great time for painters educationally, it is a crappy time for painters economically. People are not buying paintings when they are having a hard time paying to heat their homes, put gasoline in their cars and keeping groceries around. The uncertain economic future makes the purchase of art seem frivolous.

Everyone tells me the same thing, that sales are down. I know that I sure would like to sell a few more paintings then I do. With studio rent and the cost of materials, it is getting harder and harder to make ends meet.

No answers on the horizon- I suspect that the economy will get worse before it gets better. But March is around the corner- that always cheers me up.

Love, Lori

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2 Million Minutes

2 Million Minutes, a documentary that my husband worked on last year is suddenly riding a wave of media attention. Tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 20, on Good Morning America, they will be discussing the film. Rick did the opening titles.

learn more about the film here.

Monday Evening Post (actually Tuesday Morning :-)

I finally got back to the studio tonight. Some family obligations have kept me away for close to a week, until yesterday when I went in and prepared a stack of panels. Today was presidents day, a day off of school, so I hung out at home.

Tonight I got to play in the paint with a student, trying out different glazing techniques. Fun fun fun. And it went well, student left excited to do more experimenting. I have not been using a grisaille for several years now, though I used to. Getting out the books and reading the many ways to do one thing. Showing how I did it, and how others do it- squeezing out paint and trying things out- that is the fun part of learning with others. While we are learning, it feels just like goofing around.

The rest of the week will be all studio all the time.

Hope all is well with you, and have a great week!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Sending up prayers for my friends in DeKalb.

DeKalb is my hometown- I was born there and my family (some of the first settlers) was there for 6 generations before me. I moved away when I was 30. It is weird to think that something so horrible could happen in a place that for most of my life was the center of the universe. Actually, it is unthinkable that it happens any place at any time.

So sad.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New City Walk

I stayed late at the studio tonight and finished this one up. I think that it is done.

24x24- Oil on Canvas on Panel. I love the way that it looks like paint. :-)

Like hope but different

This one follows "Yes we Can", posted below.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Learn with me.

If you are interested in hanging out in my studio, painting and learning together- send me an email and I will give you the details.

I have a great space- good coffee and plenty of easels. I love to learn about painting, and love to share what I am learning.

Join me on the journey to master oil painting.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Chicago Series

Chicago keeps calling me back- there is more to explore here.

This is a detail of my new work in progress- part of my ongoing cityscape series. It is one corner of the whole- which will be 24x24 oil on canvas on panel.

Of course I will post the whole thing when it is finished.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

12 to 14 inches of snow!

If you live where it snows- you know that when you look out at the driveway that needs shoveling of the foot and a half of snow- the weather man will come on and say that you got 3 inches. The way that they measure snowfall is different than the way that you measure it (with snow shovel and back muscles). The schools here are closed for 12 to 14 inches of snow expected. That might look like 3 feet of snow on the driveway.

So I am staying home from the studio today- not because I can not get there now, but more worried about getting home later. The way that the parking is at the studio, I can imagine myself getting plowed in and stuck there.

I do have a few panels here to sketch out- so work to keep me busy. My computer is still sort of hanging on. But the Apple Store Genius Bar guys don't hold out much hope for it lasting very long.

Yesterday I did a nice painting of a teapot from life. Good exercise- but forgot to get a picture. I am still working on my 2008 self portrait and another Norma painting. Neither are finished- but here they are so far, (t does not look like it, but they are both the same size, 24" square).

Stay warm, friends.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Soon- Super Tuesday!

This is the first time in my adult voting life that Illinois voters have any voice at all in the primary election. I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.


I sit here in the middle of a computer meltdown. As a mac user, I am not very used to this problem, (in 10 years of mac usage- this has never happened to me) but I downloaded a corrupt printer driver today and my computer is now deleting itself (!). I am typing this post as I back up what is left in preparation for a disk repair. Dang, I needed my computer tonight too!

It really is funny how we get when we have computer problems. It can get as ugly as road rage, though I have mostly learned to go to "that Zen place" when confronted with both traffic and computer slowdowns.

So while I wait for the back up, I thought that I would chatter away here about how ego can get in the way of everything.

I was thinking today about Rob's garbage cans. There are two of them, sitting at the door of his studio. One marked "ego" and the other marked "performance anxiety". Both are supposed to be deposited before approaching the easel. Rob Howard is a great teacher and a great painter too. His instruction to remove ego and performance anxiety from the studio is great advice*.

Easier said than done.

If we let it, our ego can really get in the way. How can we grow if we are busy protecting ourself from failure. How can we grow if we fool ourselves that we know it all? And if we are not growing, are we really artists? I'm just asking.

I am not suggesting that I am able to deposit my ego every time, but it helps a lot when I can do it. And the paintings that are created with an ego on the brush are always ugly.

* Actually, all of Rob's art advice is good advice.