Thursday, February 9, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Lori McNee

Days End, Encaustic, 4" x 6"
Lori McNee has been named "Twitter Powerhouse" by the Huffington Post, she is ranked as one of the Top 100 most powerful women on Twitter, and her presence on social media sites and the blogosphere is astounding so it is a wonder that Lori has not only time to paint, but has an active career selling her work through several galleries.  The social media interest and popularity came along quite by accident explains Lori, but the painting has been around since she was a child. 

Lori has always been painting, trying to capture nature on paper since she couldn't actually catch the birds that flew into her yard as a little girl.  Her drawing developed more with some guidance in high school and college, but painting was frustrating as academia pushed her towards abstraction as her preference was always traditional realism.  So, Lori pursued her interest in realism on her own, looking for artists whose work she admired and following their workshops.  Over the years, along with cultivating her studies through books and DVDs, Lori has developed her own style and following as an artist, and she still works nature as her primary subject.

Silver Creek Sunrise, Oil Panel 36" x 36"
Lori has explored many mediums over the years, working in acrylics for a while, oil painting for years and just beginning to explore encaustics.  Much of her work is nature and still life, inspired by the Dutch Masters and Tonalists, as well as many other impressionist and contemporary artists.  Her work reflects her love of nature, calm peaceful settings with small animals, and her experienced hand brings the draws the viewer into her world.

Three Wishes, encaustic, 16" x 10"
Her work requires good tools, good brushes, which she has spent quite a bit of money on over the years.  For the most part, Lori says that the natural bristle brushes, in brights, rounds and flats are the workhorses of her studio.  Even working in oils, she uses the rounds for details at the end and sometimes switches to Kolinsky sable for this work.  Lori finds that long handled brushes give her bigger strokes during the main painting and the short handled brushes are better for the fine details.  Of course, Lori recommends keeping the brushes used for one medium separate from the others, as oils and acrylics work the brushes differently, so they need different cleaning and could taint the paint if moved from one to the other.  She also recommends purchasing good tools, checking to make sure that the ferrule is secure to the handle.  "Take proper care and they will last," she explains.  Investing in good tools for the long run will mean less frustration in the painting process, having brushes that hold and move the paint as your style allows.   

To learn more about Lori and her social media tips, log on to her blog, where you can also see her links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Google Plus.  To see more of Lori's artwork or to purchase, find out more on her website

Keep Painting,
Karyn

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.