Featured Artist – Lori Quarton

There’s no mistaking a Lori Quarton painting. Her landscapes, nature, and still life compositions capture idyllic beauty that infuses any home with a deep sense of tranquility.

The artist – who shares her Orange, California, horse ranch with husband Bill – is very much like her paintings: warm, soft spoken, and elegant. She maintains an in-home studio, but freely admits that a love of animals, flowers and natural beauty often entices her to paint in the great outdoors (a practice known as, “plein air”). According to Lori, “I’d rather be out on location painting plein air than almost anything else.”

Like the artist and her work, Lori’s in-home studio is tidy, tranquil and inviting. Supplies are neatly organized. A posed, floral still-life occupies an area by the window; easels stand at the ready. Soft, diffused light pours down from a single skylight.

Conversation is light and easy as we settle into a comfortable pair of easy chairs for our chat. When conversation turns to technique, however, this artist doesn’t horse around. Lori’s process begins with a color and value study, from which she identifies the primary light and dark areas of her subject. She blocks in the basic areas of color by finger painting – or, by using a soft cloth. She then adds middle-value shapes to her underpainting – typically, no more than 3 to 5 shapes per image. With the foundation in place, she finally switches to a brush or palette knife to refine her subject and add detail. Lori finds brushes to be best for soft, blended areas; the palette knife is best to add dimension, depth and texture. At this point, Lori offers a confession: “Sometimes (the details) just fall off the brush; other times it’s a struggle.” Struggle or not, Lori’s technique has yielded great success throughout her 30-plus-year art career.

You’ll find Lori working on new paintings in Art-A-Fair throughout the summer season. Be sure to stop by to meet this talented artist and purchase her work!

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