Lori del Mar

Jan 27, 2011
Lori Del Mar is one of our Makers Muse Award recipients. She is a talented and accomplished artist living and working in Northern California. Her work aims to provide opportunities for the viewer to slow down and participate in a conscious moment of perceptual awareness through the sensory experience of her paintings. It’s a pleasure to feature her here this week.

To see more of Lori’s work please visit her websites here and here.


Kindle Project ‘Proust’ Questionnaire with Lori Del Mar

Evening Potion, Two Panel Duet, 12" x 27" (total, installed), 2011

Evening Potion, Two Panel Duet, 12″ x 27″ (total, installed), 2011

We have developed our own version of the Proust Questionnaire, which was popularized by Marcel Proust who believed that answering this series of questions would reveal the true nature of the participant.  We have taken his favorite series of questions and altered them in order to learn more about our grantees, partners and individuals that inspire us.  We have asked our participants to answer these questions in one sentence or less. These answers by no means define each individual or the work they do, but they do give us a little glimmer into the people that are making truly impactful changes in their various fields. Here is an excerpt of Lori’s responses.

Restoration, 22″ x 10″, 2011

What phrase best describes your work?

What is a challenge for you in your work?
Surface quality…It’s a constant negotiation towards an ideal.

What is your favorite part of the art world?
Which “art world?”

When and where did you feel most fulfilled in your work?
Right now

What is one thing you wish the general public knew about your work?
Nothing…I want that to be open, and prefer not to influence their experience.

What is the quality you most admire in your colleagues?
I love when someone is present, and also: wit and individualism which I think comes with being fully present.

What words do you live by?
be here now allow flow thrive

If funding were no object what would you create?
Films and books and also some type of physical environments (fully enveloping sensory-type installations).

Would you describe your work as political?
No and yes.

Street art or museums? Should art be institutionalized?
I like street art, and I also enjoy museums, but I’m not so keen on the word “should” in any context.


The Chronicles of Being

by Lori Del Mar

For the past few years my painting has been focused on exploring ideas of perceptual awareness.

I am interested in the subject of “seeing”. This includes an active inquiry of how and what I perceive in my own day-to-day experience.  This aspect merges with a keen interest in the subject of the viewer, particularly the viewer’s willing attentive participation in looking at the work.

Realm, 21″ x 18″, 2010

The current body of work in the making is titled The Chronicles of Being.  It encompasses several series and/or sequences of works, as well as individual pieces.  Congruently, a monograph of the same title is also underway.

It’s difficult to say which is leading which…  the paintings or the book.  This is possibly the point.  I’m in love with how the book in and of itself is providing another element of creative process that then feeds back into making the paintings.

Collectively, the paintings recount a perspective of noted experience and sense-memory.  The criteria:  Beauty.  By “beauty”, I mean sentient moments of being-ness.  These are the resplendent moments that might be described as phenomenological or even ineffable.  These are moments in feeling a heightened awareness of true being.

Filter Series Installation, Radiance: Light, Space & Perception, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

I’m using a vocabulary of color, light, space and rhythm as a visual language to communicate the essence of a memory, a sensation, and or a thought.   The paintings mark and make tangible these moments in time.  Simultaneously, the paintings also create new moments through collaboration with the viewer and the viewer’s experience.

The works offer a space of discovery and reflection.  As such the paintings request (and thus reward) ample time given in their experience.  They shift, much like a freshly darkened room shifts, after a paused moment for optical adjustment.  Their subtle modulations of dynamic pigment relationships invite the viewer to relinquish any immediate visual expectation – often evoking a question of uncertainty as to what is actually being seen/perceived.

At first glance, the paintings may read as subtle fields of silence.  As time is given for the eye to adjust, submerged transitions of color and form begin to emerge. In this sense, the works are experientially time-based.  Their seemingly visual absence performs much like a whisper, compelling sustained participation into an intimate, sensory encounter.

My vision for the book form of The Chronicles of Being is that it can serve as an arena (like the paintings) for engaging a viewer in concepts of time, beauty and awareness.  Right now, I’m planning to include writings from my studio journal, and from other artists, poets, writers and philosophers who I find have inspired my process and continue to support my inquiry around time and perception.

As I mentioned earlier, many of the works are in sequence or series.  In this format the paintings become fragments relating to and informing one another.  In a recent studio session, I noticed an underlying thread in the works:  many pieces read as film-like narratives, appearing like fragmented memory clips or linear swatches of time.  I believe this quality in book form would further punctuate a poetic sense of moving through memory and time.   I find that very exciting.

My timeline for concluding the body of paintings is in late spring, or possibly early summer, and I hope to hand off the monograph for print at around the same time.  The process and participation for this project is a daily act of perceptual participation.  It is one that I love, and one that continues to unfold, reveal, challenge and reward.

Lori del Mar

January 2011