I had the pleasure of meeting Lori Connors when I went out to Cayley to chat, shoot and prepare for my last blog, but I came away so overwhelmed by the two ladies (Estelle & Lori) creating their art in an old church that I had to ask Lori to meet me again so I could pry deeper into her history. I realize now why I didn’t feel I had got a good handle on her story – she is a private person who has difficulty in putting herself into the limelight. The bio she shared with me is all of a paragraph long! But as I was to quickly learn, there is much more to the lady and the artist.
Lori was born and raised in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan but has been a resident of Nanton for the past 42 years. Saskatchewan’s loss is Alberta’s gain!
It was as a student in Thevent College that she was first introduced to the work of the old masters as the halls of the school were lined with reproductions of their works. It was there also that she was given her first paintbrush and a love affair was born.
Like so many members of the art society, Lori set aside her love of painting for “paid” employment and the demands of motherhood. Also, like many members, as those demands on her time lessened, she rekindled her love of creating works of art.
Lori has studied the medium of oils and acrylics in numerous art workshops. She cites one of the most important lessons learned, delivered by notable Canadian artist Robert Genn when he said - “better 10% underdone than 10% overdone”. Those are certainly valuable words of wisdom as most artists struggle with knowing when a work is complete. Or as another instructor (Doug Swinton) is known to say “it’s time to start stopping”. It’s easy to kill a good work by overworking it but these words of wisdom resonate with Lori and have saved her creations from that awful fate. In addition to her ongoing studies in oil Lori studied Interior Design at Mount Royal College, which may have influenced her confident use of bold colours.
Although equally accomplished using an impressionistic style she has found her true artistic voice using a more abstract style. I found myself feeling images within her works as she truly has a way of portraying the impression of her subject in an abstract form.
As the mandate of the Nanton Art Society, of which Lori is also a member, is to assist their members in becoming better artists - they invite “professional” artists to their meetings to work with their members on a monthly basis. Lori enjoys this ongoing opportunity to develop her talent. She credits her good friend Estelle Selin with mentoring her as she grows in her art.
As a member of A.C.A.C.A. Lori was the recipient of a number of awards, most notably The Martha Houston Award. She does not affiliate herself with a gallery so your only opportunity to see her works on display is limited. One of the best opportunities would be at High River Art Society Shows and Sales or occasional shows such as the Rotary I Love Art Fund Raiser where you will find this most recently completed work by Lori Connors.