Plein Air Painting News > We’re excited to share with you the news that Lori Putnam has published a beautiful collection of her works in a book titled “Lori Putnam, So Far.” The following is from the Preface, in her own words. Enjoy!
From “Lori Putnam, So Far”
by Lori Putnam, on plein air painting & more
It has taken a long time to pull all of this together. I am glad it did. The title “Lori Putnam, So Far” came to me after I had been working as a full-time artist for the relatively short period of 15 years. It is more appropriate now. I am further along in my career and artistic development.
The phrase “so far” has several distinct, yet open-ended, meanings. First, I have traveled a very long way from a small house on a dirt road in Middle Tennessee to paint in dozens of towns across the United States and the world. However, more important to me, is how far my work has come “up to this point.”
When I jumped into painting in 1997, I felt as if I was drowning in the wake of the contemporary artists whose work I began to recognize and admire. Even though we were of the same generation, I was years of study behind most of them. Starting to paint in my mid-30s I felt a sense of urgency. Coupled with natural enthusiasm, my dedication to learning, growing, and “catching up” meant working day and night. I set personal goals: to gain approval from my teachers, to exhibit with them, and to earn their respect. I have pushed myself more in art than in any previous profession for personal satisfaction.
The most significant difference between this vocation and my previous work is that it takes as long as it takes. You cannot rush learning to paint. All you can do is your best on any given day. Getting “up-to-speed” is an unknown factor. As the old saying goes, “The more you know, the more you know what you don’t know.” Painting is a life-long pursuit — one I am happy to embrace. ~Lori Putnam
“It may seem as though Lori has moved quickly from being a skilled painter to an artist finding her own point of view,” says Dawn E. Whitelaw in the book’s Foreword. “This transformation has happened due to the “miracles” of hard work and determination. Her paintings are the product of experimentation and play, not formula.
“She is not just a slightly different version of other painters, but is uniquely herself. You see this in the choices she makes about chroma, key, and composition. Oh… did I mention subject matter? Lori’s paintings are not limited to particular favored subject matter. You certainly will not be bored as she takes you on her journey. She finds something to paint everywhere. You would expect spectacular views as she travels to New Zealand or to England’s coast, but she is finding extraordinary compositions nearby in Charlotte, Tennessee, or down a back alley in Florida. This is because her real subjects are shapes and color/value relationships.
“The title of the book is ‘So Far.’ I can’t wait to see what comes next.”