LORI LEACHMAN: ARTIST’S STATEMENT
I have been interested in art and color all of my life. Through the years I have experimented in a variety of mediums beginning with watercolors and ceramics and eventually moving into work with acrylic and collage. In that phase of my artistic development I found that what most captivated me in art was color and texture. In the last year I enrolled in a painting class at NCCU with Beverly McIver. That class required that the students work in oil. Hence, in the last year I have begun to paint in oils. I have found that I love the lusciousness of oils and the ability to create truly rich, complex colors.
This series, “Onions Make Me Cry,” is a by-product of the NCCU class. As part of my artistic development I tasked myself with painting fruits and vegetables for all of 2009. I choose onions as a subject because purple onions exhibit rich, deep colors and all onions are characterized by wonderful texture. Moreover, the layering of onions and the ability to peel back those layers and discover something new is rather like life. The fact that onions can spice things up or sweeten things up or make you cry or all of the above reflects the life experience.
In addition, I have worked with the same basic patterning and background in order to give this series a sense of continuity. The pattern has allowed me to further experiment with color and to develop the use of light and shadow to create depth. In every painting I have given myself a task such as perfecting the stripping or creating a color scheme that evokes spring or summer, etc. Essentially, the larger challenge I gave myself was to create a body of work composed of the same basic elements in which the individual pieces evoke different feelings and reactions. It is my hope that “Onions Make Me Cry” does this for you.