Lori Nelson . I Want To Believe

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STAY POSITIVE by Lori Nelson, Oil on wood panel with resin finish, 24 x 24 inches


Lori Nelson

Brooklyn-based artist from Utah



b. 1968, Ft. Collins, Colorado

1987-1989 Colegio Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, Spain

1990-1992 Student of Fine Arts, Brigham Young University

1993 Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Utah

2002 Painting Seminar with Connie Borup, Provence, France


Lori says: I think of my paintings almost as film-stills from really good and horrible movies that a lot of people feel strongly about for various reasons. Sometimes I link these stills up to create a larger narrative. The human story, with its layers of garbage, is my favorite read, certainly, and possibly my favorite movie.

R.Olivares says: I don't have words enough to describe this wonderful artist. Just enjoy this fantastic interview. I enjoyed listening to Childish Gambino. Good morning dreamers!.


What is your biggest source of inspiration?

I am inspired by the underdog, the “weirdo”, the loser, and by adolescents. I have been inspired by my own kids and their friends for many years.


When was the first moment you decided you wanted to be an artist? 

I cannot remember the first moment. I cannot remember NOT being an artist. I do remember my teacher telling my parents that I would get better grades if I stopped drawing in class….


Painting is your primary medium, but do you work in other mediums or explore other styles?

I like to work with cardboard actually. I really enjoy making political protest signs at the moment.


 Char, 2015, 12 x 12 inches. Oil on wood, resin finish


If you could work with another artist, who would it be? / who is your favorite artist?

I really love Alex Katz. He never let the “Art World” decide if he would do art. His work is so honest and full of love. 


Is there any particular music you tend to listen to while working?

Lately, I’ve been really enjoying Childish Gambino’s most recent album. But usually, I listen to public radio all day.


What is your ideal day?

Often I leave NYC to stay in an abandoned house we bought in the woods. We cleaned it and cared for it and now I have a place where I can wake up, see the deer from my window, drink a little coffee, and then paint without seeing another person until I fall asleep under the darkest sky possible, still wearing my painting clothes. But then after a week of that, I go back to the city and love seeing all the beautiful diverse faces and work in a studio building surrounded by other artists. In the city, I fall asleep looking at a tiny, sparkling piece of Manhattan out my window.


Soul Twin, 2016 Oil on Panel, Resin Finish 24 x 30 inches. 


Can you tell us a bit about your process, from concept to creation?

Usually, my work is a response to something my children are experiencing. I think of a concept and what metaphors would work. I make a pencil or computer sketch/study. When I feel secure about the composition, I transfer the study onto a wooden panel and then start the fun work of layering and layering thin glazed oil paint.


Who is your role model?

I would like to be as disciplined and productive as my dear artist friend, Tara McPherson. She is an art machine!


If you could do anything, what would it be?

I’m doing what I love.


Stupid Hair. Part of the ongoing Cryptotweens series 8 x 8 inches Oil on wood, resin finish 



What’s one of your deepest values or most important topics to you, and how do you communicate that with your art?

I always want to elevate the “little guy”. I want people to realize that the monstrous aspect they hate about themselves is the very most exciting interesting thing, but only if they own it!


How has your art changed throughout your life? 

My art has followed my life-line, thematically. I used to paint about love and relationships, then about motherhood, and now about my children.


THE BACKWARD HEART, Oil on wood panel with resin finish, 16 x 20 inches



What is your dream project?

I would love to paint a multi-paneled piece where the panels can be interchanged to create different narratives.


What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Ignore other people. Listen to your own voice.



Thanks Lori for the interview. We really appreciate it.








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