Today we’d like to introduce you to C. J. Lori.
C. J. we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I have always wanted to be an artist and have always made art. Although I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, the only writing I was interested in doing was creative writing. I figured if I was going to make no money in my career, I would rather struggle as a painter than writer.
I married my college sweetheart who believed in my artwork and eventually I started painting full time. This was an amazing gift, and I tried to pay it forward by taking a lead role volunteering in organizations that benefited other artists. I spent many years with the Women’s Caucus for Art, and currently serve as Vice President and Exhibitions Chair of Galatea Fine Art in Boston. These roles gave me the added benefit of being able to connect with a community of artists. Since I am self-taught and my studio is in a section of my home, my artistic practice is quite solitary.
I have been painting and showing my work for many years in galleries and museums, mostly in the New England area, plus New York and Chicago.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
For me, painting is a form of communication through which I convey my experience so that the viewer will see what I see and feel what I feel. I exaggerate or distort color, form and composition to emphasize sensations that are often contradictory: clarity and mystery, excitement and sorrow, beauty and decay.
I paint a landscape as a metaphoric portrait in which we can see ourselves. Branches have the quality of arms, a tree trunk recalls the twist of a torso, the bark suggests eyes and mouths of faces. Drawing connections between human features and the elements of landscape – rocks, trees, clouds, water – has always been central to my artistic practice. It both satisfies my imagination and expresses my desire that we see ourselves not as separate from, but as part of the living world around us.
I work in oil paint, applying many layers and often using tiny brushes for fine detail. Intricacy appeals to me viscerally, and it parallels the complexities I am trying to capture and express in my work. I strive to simultaneously embrace the beauty and horror that surrounds us.
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
I think my advice for struggling artists is to accept that this is not a field geared to making you money. Most artists have to find other ways, often in unrelated fields, to make ends meet. If you don’t need to be an artist, don’t. If you do need to be one, then be brave, surge forward, and give it your all,
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
August 29 through September 11: my work and other artists represented by 13 Forest Gallery will be in Provincetown, MA at 444 Commercial Street. June of 2019: Solo exhibition at Galatea Fine Art, 460 B Harrison Ave., Boston. Website: www.cjlori.com
- Address: Beacon Street, Brookline, MA
- Website: www.cjlori.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008004405444
Photos by Robert Zinck