“My world is a constant dance of color, light, texture, form, and the ever-shifting balance between them; it seduces me and compels me to paint. Wildlife artist Robert Bateman’s said, “Art is the celebration of the thing you are painting.” This resonates with me, as each of my paintings is a celebration of that dance, that balance. It is a visceral connection to the spark of a life or the exploration of the profound beauty in the ordinary. It is an expression of my delight in what I’ve discovered about the thing I am painting, and an invitation to the viewer to cut in on the dance….”
Growing up in rural Connecticut surrounded by the lush New England countryside, Lorraine found her passion for art at an early age. She cultivated a love for color, nature and animals – and a particular fondness for birds – while exploring the hills and valleys in her hometown of Burlington. As her love and understanding of her surroundings grew, so did her desire to capture them in drawings and, later, paintings.
One of her earliest memories is of sitting by the window, fat crayons and paper in hand, waiting for her oldest brother to come home from school and show her how to draw things. From houses to horses, everything she felt a connection to became her subject matter, and art became her passion.
When she was 6 or 7 years old, Lorraine had a chance encounter with a professional artist. While helping her mother fold the family’s clothes at the local laundromat, Lorraine watched through the window as the artist moved large canvasses between his van and the staircase leading to his studio above the storefronts. She went out and struck up a conversation with him – no doubt telling him that she, too, was an artist – and was invited to see his studio. She and her mother accepted the invitation and climbed the narrow, steep staircase to the building’s top floor.
The studio was a large, open room with very high ceilings. Light streamed in through the windows lining both sides of the room. Two easels stood as sentinels and the smell of linseed oil and thinner hung heavily in the air.
”I can still remember the feelings that washed over me as I stepped across the threshold that day. Every sight, every sound, every smell crept into my very bones and it felt like I had just discovered the place where magic was made. I remember thinking, “I want THIS!”
From that moment on, she knew who she was – an Artist – and the serious work of practice, practice and more practice began.
As Lorraine continued through school and later turned to raising a family, she persisted in her art work, taking commissions and selling her art through small shops. When necessary, she worked in emergency medical services and direct care to help with expenses, but she continued reading all she could, attending occasional art courses, and above all else, practicing her drawing and painting daily.
When Lorraine moved to Clearwater, Florida in 1994, she found herself in a colorful, tropical paradise. Now literally surrounded by the birds she loved so much, her art took on new focus and importance. She began a quest to better understand and more skillfully use color in her art as a way to convey her excitement for her subjects.
“I discovered there is a delicate dance when mixing color. I became fascinated with its nuances – how it changes in different light and how it is affected by the colors around it. For me it’s seductive.”
She discovered the books of Michael Wilcox of the Michael Wilcox School of Colour fame, and around the same time, began studying with Tampa artist Mark Menendez. She attended workshops with both locally and internationally known artists.
In 2011, Lorraine opened Art Trysts Studio in Clearwater with three other artists. Predominantly a working studio space, she also holds weekly classes. Lorraine is an active member of the art community. She holds signature memberships and has held Board positions in various art organizations. She is Past President of the Professional Association of Visual Artists, and is co-chairperson for the two large art shows the group produces yearly.
Lorraine has received a number of awards for her work including a First Place award from the International Society of Acrylic Painters – Florida chapter and a Merit Award for Wall Art in the Boutique of the highly regarded 42nd Annual Art Festival Beth-El, an invitational show. Most recently she was selected as a finalist from over 5900 entries in the 2016 Artist Magazine Annual Art Competition. Her works have been included in “AcrylicWorks 2: Radical Breakthroughs” and “Art Journey Animals: A Collection of Inspiring Contemporary Masterworks” both by Jamie Markel at North Light Books, and on the cover of “Journeys to Abstraction 2” by Sue St. John. Just recently “Storm Watch” was selected for inclusion in “AcrylicWorks 5: Bold Values by Jamie Markel, slated for publication by North Light Books in May 2018.
The current focus of Lorraine's work is to capture and share the excitement she feels for her subjects. Through her series, “The Birds of Paradise” and “Beach Beauties”, she invites viewers to experience her love of the brightly colored birds that inhabit the Florida coastline.
-Art Trysts – Founding member
-PAVA (Professional Association of Visual Artists)-Past President
-American Women Artists
-ISAP-Florida (Int'l Soc. of Acrylic Painters – Florida Chapter)- Signature Member
-ISAP – Signature Member
-Florida Watercolor Society
-Dunedin Fine Art Center
-Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art
-Miniature Art Society of Florida
-Creative Artists' Guild
Recent Exhibits and Awards:
– The Artist's Magazine 33rd Annual Art Competition, Finalist, "Wingman II", 2016
– "Feathers & Fur" Solo Exhibit, Aging Well Center Gallery, The Long Center, Clearwater, FL 2016
– 41st Annual International Miniature Art Show, Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL, 2016
– "The Birds of Paradise" Solo Exhibit, Rotary Centennial Nature Center, Honeymoon Island State Park, 2015
– 42nd Annual Art Festival Beth-El, (Invitational) Temple Beth-El, St. Petersburg, FL, 2015
*Merit Award, Wall Art, Boutique
– PAVA Annual Members' Exhibit, Osceola Gallery, Clearwater Library, Clearwater, FL 2014
*Honorable Mention for "Waiting Game"
– 41st Annual Art Festival Beth-El, (Invitational) Temple Beth-El, St. Petersburg, FL, 2014
– 39th Annual International Miniature Art Show Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL, 2014
– 8th Annual ISAP-FL Juried Exhibition Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, 2013
*ISAP-FL (First Place) Award
– Pinellas Park Art Society Florida and Mayor's Choice Exhibit, 2013
*First Place and People's Choice
– 7th Annual ISAP-FL Juried Exhibition, November '12
*Anti-Pesto and Bright Award for 'Detonate'
– 'Lorrealism: Every Picture Tells a Story' Allegorical Works, Solo Exhibit, Blue Dahlia Marketplace Gallery, Clearwater, FL 2012
– 6th Annual ISAP-FL Juried Exhibition, November '11
– 'Abstract & Allegory: Works by Donna Frost and Lorraine Ulen', Stirling Art Studios & Gallery, Dunedin, FL, November 2011
– PAVA Annual Members' Exhibit, Beach Art Center, Indian Rocks Beach, FL, October 2011
*Honorable Mention for 'Bruce's Onions'
– Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL: Art Trysts Exhibit, March – May 2011
– 2010 Florida Watercolor Society Juried Non-Signature Member Online Show
– 3rd Annual ISAP Online International Open Juried Exhibition, November '10
*Honorable Mention for 'Blues'
– 5th Annual ISAP-FL Juried Exhibition, December '10
*AOE Merchandise/Certificate Award for 'Blues'
– Studio 1212 Art Gallery, '10-10-10@10' 40th Anniversary Art Show and Boutique
– 39th Annual Florida Watercolor Society Juried Exhibit, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Sept- Nov '10
– 4th Annual ISAP-Florida Juried Exhibition, November '09,
*Erma J. Thomas Memorial Award for 'Tempus Fugit'
– 2nd ISAP Open Online International Juried Show, November '09
– Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL: PAVA Member's Exhibit, June '09
– Studio 1212 Art Gallery, 'Another Day in Paradise', Featured Artist, May '09
– Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL: Studio 1212 Exhibit, March – May '09
– “AcrylicWorks 5: Bold Values”, North Light Books, "Storm Watch", 2018
– The Artists Magazine – 33rd Annual Art Competition, Finalist, "Wingman II", 2016
– "Art Journey Animals: A Collection of Inspiring Contemporary Masterworks", North Light Books, "Interlude (Bengali), 2017
– “A Walk Into Abstracts 2” by Sue St. John, "Balance" and "Tempus Fugit", 2014, Cover
– “AcrylicWorks 2: Radical Breakthroughs”, North Light Books, "Interlude (Bengali)", 2015
-Xanadu Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
-Soleil Galleria, Dunedin, FL (past)
-Largo Art Association Member's Exhibit, October 2010