Emerging Artists | Dorothy Lorenze

Creating connections

Dorothy Lorenze, Mechanical Staccato and Scotch, oil, 11 x 14.

Dorothy Lorenze, Mechanical Staccato and Scotch, oil, 11 x 14.

This story was featured in the October 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

When Dorothy Lorenze paired a salt shaker and a pepper shaker together on a sunlit windowsill, she couldn’t help but imagine a bride and groom getting ready to tie the knot. “The beautiful drapes of the curtain looked like a backdrop for their wedding,” she says, chuckling. Fittingly, Lorenze entitled her subsequent still-life painting THE HAPPY COUPLE. “I think titles are important,” she says. “I want to give people a clue about what makes me choose certain objects. I think most people want clues and enjoy them.”

Lorenze seeks interesting contrasts in color, shape, and texture when selecting objects for her still-life ensembles, frequently matching up disparate duos like a rustic copper kettle and an Oriental porcelain teapot. As she works, narrative relationships between her props emerge. “It’s really exciting when that happens,” she says. “When it turns out that it’s personally meaningful for someone else, that’s icing on the cake.” In her studio in Granite Springs, NY, Lorenze has cupboards full of vintage objects, many of which she acquired on road trips to see her children in North Carolina. To break up the long drives, she began stopping at antique shops along the way. “Just wandering through the stores, I would be swarmed by all these emotions,” she says. “It occurred to me that we all experience those feelings with certain objects. They become the shorthand that helps us relate to one another.”

Lorenze worked as a graphic designer for many years before transitioning to a fine-art career about 10 years ago. Free from the tethers of a deadline-driven schedule, she pursued her longtime interest in classical realism, taking classes through the New York Academy of Art and later with artist Todd Casey. Lorenze has since accrued numerous honors for her work, including awards from the Salmagundi Club and the American Women Artists.

Motivated by her passion for history, Lorenze also portrays poignant interior scenes within restored Colonial homes and other historic sites. Recently she completed a residency at Weir Farm, the former home and studio of 19th-century American Impressionist painter J. Alden Weir. “I’m always looking for visual imagery that has an emotional impact,” says Lorenze. “My paintings have more meaning if they satisfy me, and when they satisfy me, they satisfy others, too.” —Kim Agricola

representation
www.dorothylorenze.com

This story was featured in the October 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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