Every picture tells a story … in Lori Scarlatos’ world. Her paintings, drawings, and sculptures weave impressionistic snapshots of stories unfolding: Seagulls scanning the rocky shores of Maine for a tasty morsel. Sitting by a peaceful shore while scanning the latest copy of Mad Magazine. A dreamy moment of peace, lying under a tree and gazing up through the leaves.
Lori’s work is a study in contrasts. Technically, her art juxtaposes cool vs. warm, dark vs. light, area vs. line. Her oil paintings are classical in style, using chiaroscuro to define the composition, heightened with a post-impressionistic palette. Her watercolors are more immediate, using broad strokes of bright colors to depict what is in front of her. She sketches her compositions in lemon yellow so that her paintings are not muddied by pencil lines; instead, a faint glow appears to emanate from the figures. When she does add lines to the watercolors, it is in gouache: richly saturated lines that dance across the forms and tie the figures to their surroundings.
Lori's stories are driven by the world around her. Her plein air landscapes frequently feature people and animals within those spaces. Persistently drawing everyone she meets in a sketchbook she carries everywhere, Lori works to capture impressions of their gesture and expression with economy of line. Recently her work has focused on portraits, where she seeks to portray the multidimensional nature of people’s — and animals’ — personalities. The pastry chef, who happens to sport bright red dreadlocks. The wild, impulsive artist contemplating her craft. The energetic puppy pausing to check in with her master. In the end, whoever we think they are at first, they have another side that is well worth knowing.