Riding the Rockies, 30x36, oil on linen, 2023. OPA Master Exhibition, Illume Gallery West

How did you develop your unique style?
Lori Putnam: If you keep painting, your style develops by itself, partly through experiences and influences, but mostly because of your inner character. For instance, when I first learned to paint, I worked in a realistic and tonal style. As time passed, my personality and soul began to take the reins. I advise my students to be true to themselves and to let their styles develop naturally. In fact, mine is still fine-tuning itself. It is just that now it is by tiny increments rather than such huge steps. I have a lot of ideas yet to explore. We will see where they take me.

What is the best thing about being an artist?
Lori Putnam: It is difficult to pin down one best thing. So many obvious things immediately come to mind. The simplest is just the sheer feeling of paint pulling off of a brush. But if I have to pick one thing, it may be the relationships I have made. Painting is a solitary act. However, my friendships and connections with people all over the world truly astound me. It is a blessing I would never have received if not for art.

To see more of Lori’s work, visit:


oil painting of city in pastel-like colors; bridge in the foreground, river flowing underneath
Lori Putnam, “Morning Along the Tiber,” oil on linen, 20 x 30 in., 2023. AIS National Exhibition, Somerville Manning Gallery
oil painting of closeup of mountain rage; rocks in the foreground; blue sky in background
Lori Putnam, “Spring Thaw,” oil on linen, 24 x 36 in., 2023. The Almenara Art Prize, Córdoba, Spain


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