Whirligig 2017

1. a child’s toy having a whirling motion
2. merry-go-round
3. a. one that continuously whirls, moves, or changes
   b. a whirling or circling course (as of events)

This series of paintings continues to explore things that aren’t still, such as shifting light, air currents, sound waves, water, time. The new paintings explore movement, turbulence, gesture and movement of space. Whirligig seemed an appropriate term to describe these paintings and these turbulent times in our society.  

I play with figure-ground by scraping and striping so negative & positive space take turns being in the forefront. Scraping and removing paint in striped patterns alters perception and balance while revealing multiple spaces and new layers of information under the topmost layer. Each layer is a reaction or conversation with the previous layer, showing the history of revision, exploration and repetition in the painting. I frequently pour paint, and more recently, employ gestural ribbon-like brushwork & pull hand-carved squeegees across the surface simultaneously removing paint while creating linear compositions. Striping bends space and vibrates the picture plane; there is constant folding and unfolding–a cross-section of layers where some planes are parallel, some intersect.

Swirl and Roil 2017


Swirl & RoilMy paintings explore movement, turbulence, gesture as well as how space folds and moves. Layers and striping bend the two-dimensional space into a churning, vibrating composition, referencing parallel realities, topology, subatomic particles, shifting light and sound waves. I play with figure-ground, sometimes using reflective paints, mostly using scraping and striping to play with how negative & positive spaces take turns being in the forefront. I think a lot about the edges of a painting and use them to suggest environments beyond the picture plane. Movement, structure, line, color, repetition and reflection are important to the work. I frequently pour paint, and more recently, employ gestural brushwork & hand-carved squeegees to pull paint across surfaces creating linear, layered compositions. Scraping and removing paint in striped patterns alters perception and balance while revealing multiple spaces and new layers of information under the topmost layer.

Pink has become a prominent color in my new work. After the Women’s March in January, 2017, I pulled out a pink painting I’d started and abandoned in 2014. As a young student, there was a sentiment that to be taken seriously as a woman, a female artist and feminist you had to abandon feminine things and colors (pink!). I did use it here and there in my work but mostly avoided it. After the Women’s March, I embraced pink as a symbol and color of strength. I pulled out that unfinished pink painting & completed it (Swirl and Roil, pictured).


Landscape Multiverse, 2015

I look at microscopic photography and cellular structures, images of the cosmos, diagrams of topology, time/space continuum. Ideas about and visualizing parallel universes have fascinated me for decades. I’ve been inspired by rolling, striped fields and landscape of Northern CA where I live, and most recently by the landscape of rural Burgundy, France where I spent a month as an Artist In Residence. The striped landscape is language to exploit—to work with and against. The paintings’ stripes mimic landscape, but I use the marks to bend space into a churning composition, referencing multiple spaces, realities, topology, subatomic particles, shifting light, sound waves. 

Weather Report, 2012

Invisible Cities, 2009

I’m interested in random patterns, networks and self-automating systems and reinforce these explorations by mimicking that concept in my paint application. I let paint travel across wet areas creating a webbed effect, or let different mediums merge, feather into each other or totally repel one another. Patterns emerge that resemble nerve, network or tree branch designs. Thinking about cities as a type of self-automating system led me to my current series of abstract paintings that explore the concept of organized networks versus chaotic patterns.

Chance, gravity and physics control the shape, direction, and distribution of paint. The density of runs and drips builds volume and creates space much like cells or atoms. Interested in unexpected compositions, I engage various paint media to create a stable instability. I experiment with opposites: loud vs. quiet, fast vs. slow, chaos vs. order.

George Lawson writes: Exhibition 9 in the room for painting will provide many visitors to the gallery with their first in-depth look at the work of Oakland artist Lorene Anderson. Anderson works with a deft mix of casein, acrylic, ink, and mica pigments to create gravity defying imagery with a highly individuated color/light. Her paint application is intuitive though her method is grounded in an intellectual rigor. As a catalyst to creating this series of paintings, Anderson has drawn on a literary reference, Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel, Invisible Cities. She takes her titles from the cities in the book.