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Lorraine Potocki

I always wanted to be an artist and was my happiest when I was drawing. Even as a child, I was capturing my life experiences, like my brother practising his accordion lessons (which I know he absolutely hated).

And, it was this very same brother who encouraged me to go to college. That big step would later open doors for me in local ad agencies than in major corporations. Who would have thought that this kid from Trenton, NJ would be sought after by corporate recruiters, relocated several times, and travelling throughout the US and abroad?

When that chapter in my life concluded, the next was ready to begin. It was time to tell the story of my life through my art and I began my business, Florida Pastels LLC.

With all that is happening in the world today, it has elevated my sense of awareness of some of the ordinary things in life that you might easily overlook. I’m never without my iPhone ready to capture those moments that might become a painting. It could be that sunlit empty park bench that hasn’t seen its usual visitors, or the father and son walking side by side with fishing poles in hand reminiscent of days when life seemed so much simpler.

I enjoy working in both pastel and acrylic but have recently concentrated more on my body of work in pastel. It’s important to every subject I paint to give it the respect it deserves and show the viewer what I saw and feel what I felt.

Most of my paintings begin very abstractly beginning with the large shapes, then smaller shapes within them, always looking for the light that tells the story of what urged me to paint this in the first place. Because of my foundation of working in acrylic, primarily abstractly, I often under paint my pastels. I also often use black UArt paper which immediately establishes the dark darks.

My head begins to sort out the technical elements of composition knowing it’s important to leave out as much as to put in. Less is more. Without emotion, the painting can remain technically sound. That’s when my heart takes over. How did I feel when I stopped to take the photo reference for this painting? Was I surprised, saddened, delighted so much so that I couldn’t wait to express that emotion in my next painting?

All of my life experiences up to this point prepared me for this day. In the creative process, time stands still. The scary and uncertain things in life can be put aside for a while. It’s only me, my story, and the need to paint it into life.

Potocki is on the faculty of the Dunedin Fine Art Center.

Find more at Lorraine Potocki. Many of these Originals are available or can be created in any size as giclee. Contact the artist or My Favorite Art Place about having her work included in your project. She gladly welcomes commissions.