Voices of Experience - An Interview with Kim Lordier
Voices of Experience
Kim Lordier's rich and vibrant pastels evoke the dramatic light and landscape of the paintings of the early California Impressionists. Her work has been placed in museum collections and has received awards across the country in juried exhibitions and at plein air events. Her notable resumé includes signature membership in the California Art Club, the Pastel Society of America and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. She has been named a Distinguished Pastelist by the Pastel Society of the West Coast.
LIke many artists, Lordier began drawing as a child, continuing to draw and paint animal portraits in high school and while a student at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She credits her parents for their support and encouragement of her creativity. She wrote to us about her growth as an artist and the evolution of her luminous pastels.
I was fortunate to attend the Academy, where I received a BFA in 1989, in Illustration. However, looking back, I wasted a lot of time not believing in my creativity and feeling intimidated by the amazingly talented and driven students. It wasn’t until I was exposed to the early California Impressionists through an exhibition at the Oakland Museum, and watched an artist give a plein air demonstration in 2001, that I really found a personal inner drive to create.
The Gift of Time 30 x 40" Pastel
Before painting full-time, Lordier spent years as a flight attendant, but continued to paint animal portraits to help support her competitive horseback riding. We asked her if her travels influenced her love of the landscape and her painting today.
What sparks your interest and fires your imagination when you are choosing a subject to paint?
The monochromatic underpainting was created by using a hard pastel, NuPastel, to sketch in my design, then filling a bit more of the dark shapes with a light glazing of pigment. I then took a large hog bristle brush and some Turpenoid and melted the pigment by "painting" the shapes. If you look closely, you can see my brush strokes mimic the gesture of the shapes I am creating. This is important to help create a painterly look to my pastel strokes when I start to apply color. This particular piece is an exploration in color for me. My reference was taken in the daytime, but I wanted to play with color, see how far I can push it and still have a believable experience for the viewer, and maybe evoke an emotion or memory. I was motivated to paint the rhythms of the Point Lobos Monterey Cypress trees for a solo show that just opened last week (July 2020) at Rieser Fine Art in Carmel, California.
I love painting in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska, Washington, and Maine. I have not painted out of the country— there is so much to do and see here. I’ve been quite lucky so far traveling with my pastel box. I always take it as a carry on. My travel box, an All-in-One-Easel made by Stephen Sauter of Kittery Maine, has traveled with me since 2003 or '4, and has even been carried up to timber line in the Eastern Sierras on the back of a mule.
Lastly, what single piece of advice would you give a beginning pastelist?
To see more of Kim Lordier's work,
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Filled with inspirational examples by the masters of nightime painting, this little book is sure to fire up your creative energies. Never tried painting at night? We show you how it's done with a step-by-step-oil demo and a tale of night painting in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes is a 7 x 7" PDF download with 40 pages of text and images. It includes a gallery of paintings by masters of the nocturne, information to inspire and encourage you in your plein air nocturne painting, an illustrated step-by-step demo and tips for working in pastel and oil. Also available in a softcover edition. Check out the tools and other products that we use in our own art and travels in The Artist's Road Store. We only offer things for sale that we enthusiastically believe in.