Twins 6th Portrait: Lori Nelson’s Colors Come Alive

In the past, I’ve commented about how some artists you have to book out years in advance. The reason for this is because most artists have full schedules and cannot take on new projects with a few months notice. I bought one of Lori’s pieces four years ago and just over two years ago, scheduled a commission in 2018. Working with Lori was such a great experience, and she even worked on this piece while she made a big move. I love Lori’s work because of the colors and the world she builds around her subjects.

If you google Lori’s name or check out her Instagram feed, you will find her work to be a whole new level of pop surrealism. There is a comic book quality to the imagery, but her color palette is the heart of each of her pieces. Her use and sense of color is out of this world. Literally! Her references in her pieces match her heightened sense of color. Initially, the portrait was going to be one piece with both kids in it. My initial reaction to that idea was tainted because we had just done one single portrait in 2017 of the twins. My hope with the twins is to give alternating theme portraits each year. My request for two pieces then morphed into one of Nelson’s interchangeable pieces. As you can see from the photos and the video, the two pieces of art can be placed on either side of each other.

Seeing these two pieces come to life has was a real treat for the twins. Between social media and email updates from the artist, they have seen how the process comes from a sketch to a painting. There are so many little details in this painting that we all love. The twins love the small magical animals that each adorns them in their respective pieces. Lochlan got a little chipmunk which is perfect because he loves pointing them out whenever we see them. Margot initially had a slew of bunnies in the initial sketch. I will admit to reducing the number of bunnies. My favorite details are the cityscape and the two A-frames in the portraits. Another little treat was the addition of transistor radio which reminds me of a piece that I love in our collection by Serge Gay. Serge's painting titled Starvation in the South is another pop surrealism piece featuring radio/tv in it.

In the video, you will find all of the artists progress shots . She also included a post on Instagram showing the two portraits hanging in her studio for studio show & tell. A special treat is to see Lori’s leftover color palette paint neatly piled and organized. The colors mounded to together tell a great story about these portraits just on their own. With this portrait now completed, I am moving onto Paley’s 11th portrait.