Lori Putnam: In Pursuit of Light

NOAPS Putnam Sicilian Roots

“Sicilian Roots”, 20×24, Oil.  Winner of Best Use of Light and Color in the NOAPS 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition.

It has been said that what makes for a good painting is not what you see, but what it makes you feel.  Without a doubt, this scene by Lori Putnam makes us feel the warmth.  With the sun behind us, we can imagine strolling up to the villa, and pausing to catch a breath.  The artist has given us this sense of warmth by the play of warm and cool colors in various degrees,  carefully placed to give us a moment to rest in the shadows.

NOAPS Putnam Close to home

“Close to Home”, oil on linen panel, 18×24, Illume Gallery of Fine Art

Coming from a career in graphic design, Lori left her own freelance business in 2005 to pursue art full time.  Since then she has studied with many artists, among them Dawn Whitelaw and Quang Ho.  She has traveled extensively for her art, and in 2008 she spent 8 months living and painting in Italy, taking time to fully absorb the lessons of her mentors.   She continues to be inspired by both contemporary artists and artists from the past, such as Scott Christensen, Carolyn Anderson, John Singer-Sargent, Sorolla and Nicolai Fechin.

NOAPS Putnam Safe Harbor

“Safe Harbor”, 30×40, oil on linen panel, Meyer Vogl Gallery

The genre that Putnam paints is not necessarily the point of her work; she is painting light.  She explores the “medium itself, using shapes, rhythm, color, patterns and pieces that weave in and out to create a painting that is, to some degree, representational.”

NOAPS Putnam More Precious than Rubies

“More Precious than Rubies”, oil on mahogany panel, 8×10 LeQuire Gallery

Putnam’s work is mainly in oil, though she also enjoys using gouache for it’s versatility.  She usually works on a panel; either with linen or gesso.  Her brushes are by Rosemary and she mainly uses Gamblin oil paint.  In the studio she tends to work with a variety of colors including: Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Indian Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Napthol Red, Brown Pink, Quinacridone Magienta, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, Payne’s Grey, Cobalt Blue, Phthalo Green, Permanent Green Light, Cadmium Green, Warm White, Radiant Blue, Radiant Turquoise, and Titanium White.  En Plein Aire, her palette is minimized to only Cadmium Yellow Light, Napthol Red, Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium White.

NOAPS PUtnam New Dawn

“New Dawn”, 12×19, oil on stretched canvas, 1225 Gallery

Her working process varies, sometimes working out thumbnail sketches, color sketches, and preliminary studies for the final painting.  En Plein Aire her work begins with a thumbnail which denotes light and shadow, from which she stains the canvas.  From there she works from large shapes to small shapes, paying attention to retain the sense of value and color.   At other times, the painting is done more loosely, painting directly from the scene.  She prefers to paint from life, and if a painting does require use of a photo, Lori feels that her life painting experience enables her to do so successfully.

Lori is a well-known instructor, often taking her students as far as New Zealand for plein air painting.  When not teaching out of town, she enjoys her own spacious studio, replete with soaring ceilings and north light.

To work hard and enjoy the work, setting aside the ego, self doubt and fear in order to make room for honest criticism and growth… that is Lori’s best advice for success.

NOAPS Putnam Low Country Boil

“Lowcountry Boil”, oil on linen panel, 16×20, Meyer Vogl Gallery

Putnam’s work is represented by Illume Gallery of Fine Art, St. George, UT; LeQuire Gallery, Nashville, TN; Jack Meier Gallery, Houston, TX; Meyer Vogl Gallery, Charleston, SC; RS Hanna Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX; and 1225 Gallery in Charlotte, TN.  To view more of Lori’s work visit www.loriputnam.com.

To see the NOAPS 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition visit www.noaps.org.

Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS President


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