As a Contemporary American Impressionist, what interests me is rarely any specific subject unto itself. Instead I see color harmony, rhythms, patterns, and strong shapes. Weaving in and out, the world at 60 mph, life in real view, this is how I paint. It is fascinating seeing this way. My art engages its viewers, like passers by who have to stop and move in more closely. The work invites them to find their own answers, like following clues to a mystery, and they can become an artist themselves, even if only for a brief time.
Recognized for her expressive brushwork, contemporary compositions, and intelligent use of color, Nashville Tennessee native, Lori Putnam paints small to medium-sized works en plein air and creates large paintings in her studio.
Putnam grew up in the Tennessee countryside. With no neighbors for miles, she credits her love of the outdoors and creative spirit to those many hours spent exploring and entertaining herself as a young child. Her high school art classes became one of the first places she recognized an internal spark for drawing and painting. However, her development as an artist was not realized until much later in life, once her own children were in high school themselves. At age 35 she took up oil painting for the first time. The feel of the paint immediately ignited her love affair with the medium and she knew there was no turning back.
Prior to becoming a full-time, fine artist in 2005, Putnam owned and managed a graphic design company for 13 years. In 2008 and 2009, she and her husband, Mark sold their home and belongings and traveled to the Italian countryside to live for more than seven months with the sole purpose of the painter's self-study and artistic experimentation. A catalyst for Putnam's artistic growth, the concentrated work accomplished during that period culminated in an impressive breakthrough. Advice and support from artist friends Scott Christensen, Quang Ho, and Dawn Whitelaw, have further impacted the artist's development and success.
No stranger to hard work and dedication her work and career soared at an astounding rate, and collectors and publications have taken note. Featured in numerous issues of American Art Collector Magazine, Plein Air Magazine, Southwest Art, Fine Art Connoisseur, and Art of the West, Putnam is recognized as one of the finest American Impressionists of our time. As an Artist Faculty Demonstrator for the Annual Plein Air Convention, she shares her philosophy and painting methods with its 700 attendees annually. Her sold-out workshops are a testament to her gratitude to those who taught and nurtured her.
Lori is a member of, and has exhibited with many respected organizations including the Salmagundi Club in New York City, the Oil Painters of America, Laguna Plein air Painters Association, the California Art Club, Plein Air Artists of Colorado, and is past Vice President of the American Impressionists Society. Additionally, Lori participates annually in several invitational plein air events, winning awards in Colorado, California, Wyoming, Florida, Georgia, Maui, and Ireland. Her studio work has also received many awards — most notably from the Salmagundi Club in New York City, the Portrait Society of America, The American Impressionist's Society, and the Oil Painters of America. Latest honors for first place were given to her paintings "Up She Rises" in the All Along the Sierra Exhibition in Crockett, California, and "A Bird's Eye View" in the 2016 Forgotten Coast Plein air Invitational.
Museums including The Tucson Museum of Art, The Brinton Museum in Big Horn, Wyoming, and The Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana have sought out Putnam's works for exhibition. The High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia and the Irvine Museum in California have honored her paintings with significant prizes. Her work has been included in the Out West Art Show and Sale in Great Falls, Montana and the Heart of the West Auction in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. She has work in the permanent collection at The Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland, the Jack Warner Collection, The Strotkamp Collection, the collection of Plein Air Magazine, and in private and corporate collections, and galleries worldwide. Putnam keeps a studio in Charlotte, Tennessee.
Salmagundi Club, NYC
Oil Painters of America, Signature Member
American Impressionist Society, Signature Member, past Vice President
California Art Club, Out-of-State Artist
Laguna Plein air Painters Association, Signature Member
Portrait Society of America
Plein air Painters of the Southeast
California Plein air Painters, Signature Member
International Plein air Painters, Signature Member
The Chestnut Group, plein air painters for the land