Monday, September 12, 2011


10x10 oil on wood

48x42 oil on wood

10x10 oil on wood

6x6 oil on wood

Recently I read the biography of R.A. Blakelock called, The Unknown Night. I thought it was written better than most biographies and it held my interest. You probably wonder why  I mention this book. I will get to that. Blakelock painting career lasted through the Hudson River School period,  the Luminist period, onto the Tonalist and even  till the time of the Ashcan School, quite a progression of art. He is best know for his moonlit landscapes and his struggle with schizophrenia.
What struck me most was his freedom. He, like George Inness, did whatever it took to create the feeling/image in his head. He scratched, scored, and wiped. He varnished between layers (like Maxwell Parrish) and even used a silver underpainting. He is a restorer's nightmare and that is why you often can't see his paintings listed in a museum's inventory.
Blakelock, Landscape at  Moonlight (oil)
 Still you wonder why I mention this. Freedom. For some crazy reason Blakelock has set my mind free. Therefore as long as it is archivally sound I will try it. You can see some of my recent explorations. Textured gesso, pastel underneath with liquin on top, pastel on top of oil, scratching, and rubbed in color are a few methods I am trying now. I am trying to find a way to create the vibration I desire...that Rothko like vibration, but from my heart.

Stop any persnickity behavior. Embrace the process.


Caroline said...

Your paintings are so beautiful Loriann, I especially love the soft edges fused with delicate colour and packed with atmosphere. Interesting to read about how Blakelock inspired you. His work looks quite magical doesn't it.

Donna T said...

I always admire the soft atmosphere in your work, Loriann. Somehow it's very expressive. I look forward to seeing your work with an added sense of freedom; it can only help you express yourself even more.

Janelle Goodwin said...

This was such an inspiring post, Loriann. I love the idea of exploring with a sense of abandoning the rules. And your paintings continue to evolve in beautiful, mysterious ways. I noticed that one of these is 48x42. Wow, I've never painted that big. I bet it's gorgeous in person!

Anonymous said...

Hi Loriann,

These are absolutely stunning paintings!
How do like working on a larger surface?
What type of wood are using and how do you prepare it?
"Stop any persnickety behavior. Embrace the process"
Truly these are words to remember when one is painting.


SamArtDog said...

You've called me out. I'm horrified to admit that I'm guilty of "persnickety behavior", but I am. The last 3 pastels have succumbed to the Great Persnick. It's the worst sort of straightjacket. By comparison, schizophrenia might be a sort of awful freedom.

Your 48x42 is quite grand.

loriann signori said...

Hi Caroline!!
Thanks so much about my paintings. I always liked Blakelock's nocturnes, even though I knew nothing about him. After reading the book I was amazed at how much thinking it really made me do. I guess you never know.

Hi Donna, my NY friend! How is it up there? How was your move? Thanks about the way I create atmosphere. It's my obsession.

Hi Janelle!
Once you know the rules you can't help but want to leave them behind, test the limits.I see we think alike. That big one is coming along. There are a few others in the beginning stages in that size range. I am really enjoying BIG. thanks about the post.

loriann signori said...

Hi NJ!

I always love your questions.

1. I LOVE working big. It's so freeing!
2.I am using big pieces of birch that I buy from the lumber store. I glue on a wood cradle to the back. On the front I use an alkyd gesso. (that's what I am really liking now...but in a year, we'll see!)
Yes, yes, the persnickety behavior has got to stop!!!!

loriann signori said...

Sam, oh Sam, I didn't think it was you too! I guess it's just too darn easy to be persnickety! The Great Persnick is a total straightjacket. You always make me laugh with your words. Let's put that GP to rest! paint on!

Casey Klahn said...

Your oils are stunning. Bravo.

loriann signori said...

Thanks so Casey! I still LOVE pastels, but leave them for outdoors now.

Sarah said...

all of what you do is what makes your work resonate with me. It vibrates with light, color and energy.

loriann signori said...

Thanks so much Sarah! What a nice thing to say!

Jala Pfaff said...

That group of paintings is so beautiful and looks amazing together.

loriann signori said...

Thanks Jala!!

Kelly Marszycki said...

wonderful blog entry -- totally agree that one needs to "wrest out" the painting (Helen Frankenthaler) in any way we can! Maxfield Parrish also used stippling/stencil brushes and mirrors to create those awesome reflected waters -- whatever it takes!