Portrait of an Artist: Lorn Curry
Through his still life oil paintings, North Vancouver-based artist Lorn Curry explores diverse subjects with what he calls “touches of a chef's perspective”.
His pieces have the ability to lure the viewer in by the use of deep hues and a touch of shading—often on a perfectly cooked vegetable.
One day, he'll be painting objects commonly found in a kitchen, and another day Southwestern landscapes. It all depends how the inspiration strikes him.
“I love to hike in the fall," says Curry, a culinary school graduate. "Some of the best landscapes that capture the right colours of light and iconic imagery happen at that time in the Southwest. I love the Pacific Northwest too, but what happens with the lighting and colours of the landscape in the Southwest is something completely different."
Curry is captivated by still life painting because through it he is able to deepen his exploration into the artistic essentials, including colour, form, composition, and light. Deciding where to place the objects in the painting is crucial, as he designs these works to direct viewers' eyes through them to what he believes is important.
Referencing a recent post on his blog, Curry thoughtfully responds to my question about what art means to him: “There’s no single answer to that vexing question, but for my money, I think one of the things art is, is the expression of human passion and creativity made real.”
Drawing on his desire for still life works, his art certainly captures the idea that his art imitates life, which is ultimately imitating art.
Curry finds that his paintings have expanded beyond the boundary of a frame and that the “connecting thread” is his use of light versus shadow. As acknowledged in Curry’s works, the nature and definition of still life has changed since its distinct genre emerged in Western painting in the late 16th century.
However, while he draws on similar styles from this genre, he illuminates his works by playing on dramatic light and shadow patterns. He says he’s able to pick up some of the interesting, abstract patterns that take place by placing spotlights in specific areas of his works—and sometimes light becoming the subject of the piece.
When Curry isn’t playing around with the negative space in his current still life or Southwestern landscape paintings in his North Vancouver studio, he looks ahead at shifting toward urban landscape subjects.
He looks forward to capturing a series on trains in Vancouver’s East Side, and to focusing on the Memorial Bridge where he can play up the warm tones and light with the reddish-coloured boxcars. Until then, he continues to play a strong role in the Vancouver art community as a skillful oil painter and on-going art activist through social media outlets.