In the Studio with Lori VanEtta
This Saturday we introduce you to artist Lori VanEtta!
Lori is an artist, educator, and competitive rower living in Bellingham, WA.
How did you start making art?
I have always made art because I wanted and needed to.
Art centers and calms me. I taught elementary school kids for thirty-five years and didn’t have much time to create because it was such an intense job. I compensated by integrating art into lessons, to the delight of my students and administrators. Yet, I managed to create on the weekends.
Through the years, I have dappled in many mediums and techniques. I have made jewelry, stained glass windows, thrown pots, tried mono-printing, drawn and painted. Now I have more dedicated time to create.
Why do you create and what need does it satisfy?
The reason that I create is that it is extremely interesting to see how something turns out. No matter what I envision, the end product is always somewhat unpredictable. I look at the finished piece and think, “Where did that come from?”
I never enjoyed those step by step classes where everyone makes the same thing. For me, the joy is in the difference and in letting things flow without too much over-thinking. I do think a lot about my work, in fact, my mind is obsessed with a painting until it is done. It is just that I am open to a change in direction, to happy accidents.
For years I was a realistic artist, but it began to feel like taking a photo. I love the freedom that abstract work gives me. A blank canvas is so open to possibility. I enjoy the process of making art as much as the outcome.
What is your most important artist tool?
My most important artistic tool is my brain.
It is filled with images from other artists and the ability to really stop and look. I have a brain that wants to explore and try new things. I have a brain that wants to learn and improve.
Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
I guess the only things that I can’t live without in my studio would be good light, time and lots of paint.
Creativity can be imaginative, inventive, and original. Understanding that creating artwork is a very personal choice; what inspires your creativity?
First of all, I want to thank the people who have believed in my potential. My Grandfather was my first supporter and I currently have two artist friends who give me the confidence to keep going.
Other artists inspire me. Art museums and art books fill me with ideas. My paintings are full of inspiration from Georgia O’Keefe, Gustav Klimt and other lesser known artists. I have also seen amazing art on trips. These unknown artists inspire my work.
I spent a month in Indonesia with local artists and was wowed by their dedication to art as a part of their lives. In Australia I saw Aboriginal paintings that opened my eyes. Celtic art pulls at my roots.
Inspiration is everywhere! You just need to look around. I am inspired by how young children draw and paint because they don’t follow rules. I strive to paint like them.
What is your least favorite part of your process? What is your favorite part?
I really love the entire process of creating and sharing my art.
I guess if I have to pick my least favorite part it would be taking the time to market myself so that I can sell my work. It is difficult for me to put myself out there.
My favorite part is when I meet a person who has bought a painting that makes them happy. It feels great.
Lori currently has work in our 2020 Fall Juried Exhibit!
Purchasing artwork is a great way to support the Arts and the J right now. All exhibited work for sale can be purchased and picked up curbside!
To schedule payment, just email [email protected]
Bubbling with Pleasure
acrylic on framed canvas
36″ x 36″
Taking Time to Look
acrylic on wooden panel
30″ x 22″