Lori Sokoluk Art

Happy New Year to you all! I'm back after a holiday hiatus from blogging. I have been busy in my studio over the past month, so look for upcoming posts on what I've been up to there. 2014 was a good art year for me, and I feel like I'm rolling into 2015 full steam ahead!


Art and Inspiration: 

I started the year off with one of the largest paintings I've done, the three-and-a-half by six foot "Aeons II". It was exhibited a couple of times. 


Over the year, I had work in five exhibitions, including a two-person show called "Form and Place" at Britannia Art Gallery.  It was a lovely culmination of sharing studio space with Veronica Aimone before she consolidated her studio and production space in another location. 


I've started working on a new major series of work called "Precious Things Hidden In The Earth". Those of you who visited my studio may have seen these works as they are developing. They will be exhibited as part of an Art Azo Group show called "Gold Runs Through It" at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery in April 2015.

I also spent a lot of time looking at art this year, and getting inspired. Highlights include exhibits of work by Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Jane Cardiff, Lawren Harris, Jock Macdonald, Langdon Mackenzie, Ed Burtynsky, Janna Watson and a trip to Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa soaking in some big-city culture. I also spent a lot of time looking at Joan Mitchell's work online and in print.



2014 was also a year of community building and contribution.


I've consistently shared inspriations, painting tips, and information about art events in weekly blog posts since the spring, and will continue to do so. 


2014 saw a resurgence of teaching, including a workshop at Venus Art Studios in Palm Desert CA, 5 weeks with the Riverside Art Circle, as well as my regular classes at Vancouver community centres and free demos for Opus and various artist groups. It was also a lot of fun to judge the Opus Plein Air Painting Challenge! The new year is shaping up to be just as busy in this regard. Classes start January 9th, 19, 22nd, ...  


As usual, many charities look to artists for paintings to auction as part of their fundraising efforts. This year I supported two major charities: I painted a child's chair for the Vancouver Go-Gos (associated with the Dr. Stephen Lewis Foundation) and participated for the fourth year in the H'Arts For The Homeless gala for the Lookout Society.


I continued to be active on the Board of Directors for the Eastside Culture Crawl Society. I completely support their mission of transforming community through visual arts!  


In addition, I participate in First Saturday Open Studios, a growing circle of Vancouver artists that open their studios monthly. Drop in for a visit!


It can be lonely in the studio! Art Azo Group was formed this year by a small group of West Coast artists to mentor, exhibit and otherwise support each other. I like and respect these artists and their work, and look forward to strengthening our connection. Our first exhibit together is in April at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery!


Thank you for you interest and support over the past year, and I'm looking forward to creating strong work and strong connections in 2015!

Thanks to the over 40 people who responded to my request and suggested names for this recent painting of mine! The majority of suggestions spoke about storms, ice and snow, dragons, and peacocks.


In the end, I awarded $50 credit towards purchase of art and also added two $40 prizes for painting names that I love as well. My husband, Kevin Elaschuk, gets an honorable mention (“I guess it would be nepotism if I won?”;  “Yes, it would”).


Thanks to Linda for the winning title: "Base Camp".

I love the reference to being out in the landscape, and I can see the glowing, lantern-lit tent in the focal point. “Base Camp” also connotates a jumping-off point, possibly the eve of a challenging journey or trek. That has personal resonance for me just now : )


Thanks also to Rain for “Dragon’s Breath” and Meghan for “Virga Drop”. Virga, I now know, is precipitation that evaporates before it reaches the ground. While I didn’t select these names for this particular painting, I can see paintings forming in my mind’s eye when I think of them. Watch for them!


Honorable mention goes out to Kevin for “23 Skidoo” and to the anonymous suggestion “Birds Only Play Golf On The Precipice”.

Check out this recent post about the importance of naming and how I go about it.

Thanks again for all your suggestions!

Thanks to the 800+ people who visited my studio as part of this year's EastSide Culture CrawlI truly appreciate your support and comments. Thanks to Esther Rausenberg (Executive Director), Jodi Ponto (Admin) and the Crawl Board for all their hard work. Thanks to the friends who came to say hello, often bearing refreshments. Thanks to Ian MacLeod for stopping in and for the photo!


For those of you who submitted an idea for my 'Name This Painting' contest, I'll review the ideas over the upcoming week and post the winners here.


Keep in mind that original art is happening all over the city all year long.  A great way to carry the inspiration throughout the year is to visit artists' studios on First Saturday Open Studios. This is a grass-roots, growing event where artists choose to open their studios to the public from noon-5pm on the first Saturday of each month. If I am in town, I usually put out my sign and work in the studio for the day. It's nice to have a visit/coffee/chat with people throughout the day.

Back in the studio tomorrow!

I love giving my paintings titles. Sometimes, in fact, the title comes before the painting! However, I haven't yet found the perfect title for this recent piece.


Suggest a name that I love by the end of December, you'll win $50 off the price of the painting of your choice! 


Drop in at my studio for the Eastside Culture Crawl, or drop me a line with your suggestions!


Do you title your paintings?  Do you love or hate "Untitled"?


I love titling my paintings, and I'm always just slightly disappointed when I see a piece that I'm really drawn to, only to find it 'untitled'. Titles provide a bit of magic, and a small 'way in' for people to get a sense of what inspired the artist. 

However, I know painters whom I truly respect and whose work I love who never title, or only number their output. Some see it as a way of not influencing the viewer. Others are so inspired by color and form, that words are not pertinent. For others it may be a mechanistic inspiration, or even perhaps a bit of pretention - a way to hold themselves aloof from the viewer. It may be a simple matter of the artist being a visual person who struggles with words!

How do I title my work?

Sometimes a phrase pops into my head, often in that liminal time just before sleep or after waking. My 'Soul Container' series (1) was like this. I woke with this phrase, and I was sure it was from some famous poem or piece of literature. Within the limits of my research skills, it doesn't seem to be...


More often, I work with an idea in mind, and the title clarifies itself as I work. 

Sometimes the idea is broad, and infuses a series of work, sometime over years. 'Sea Creatures' (2) is such a series.  Inspired by a trip to Bamfield several years ago, I love their forms and colours. Are they sea creatures? Flowers? Microscopic beings? Alien lifeforms? I love the ambiguity!

My 'Velvet Cloak West Coast' series (3) includes over two dozen paintings, often with very similar compositions. My focus here was on capturing that softness that is so much a part of our Canadian west coast moss and fog and drizzle.



It's often pieces like the one at the top of this article that give me trouble with a title.  I was inspired by the form and color. It may end up being the seed of a series, but that hasn't made itself known to me yet!  So help me out, and win $50 towards one of my paintings!*  

*$50 to be applied to a purchase by January 31, 2015.


In honor of the day...





Group Exhibit Opens Tonight 6-8pm!


Pieced Together

November 5 - December 7, 2014

East Vancouver Cultural Centre

1895 Venables (at Victoria Drive), Vancouver

In the spirit of the theme, the image above is a clue, a tiny piece of the painting that is included in the show. If you get my newsletter, you received another clue yesterday. See if you can find it without looking at the wall tags!

This juried group show looks at collage and assemblage from a contemporary perspective. There are a number of really cool, and big, pieces in this preview show for the Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver's massive open studio event that's happening November 20th to 23rd. Come see the exhibit and drop in to my studio during the Crawl. Looking forward to seeing you!

Lots of opportunities coming up to visit my studio and see my newest work.

My studio will be open for First Saturdays on November 1st. Drop in between noon and 5pm. 1895 Powell Street (at the north end of Victoria Drive in Vancouver). 

Also, hold the dates for this year's Eastside Culture Crawl.

400 studios. 4 days. Completely free!

Thurs Nov 20th and Friday Nov 21st from 5-10pm

Sat Nov 22nd and Sun Nov 23rd from 11am-6pm

I've got a room full of new paintings, and am working on a new series for a show in the spring! I'm looking forward to your comments and feedback. I'll also have some small pieces available from $40 and up. Great stocking stuffer ideas!

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

There are a few days left to catch the exhibit of Gordon Smith paintings at Equinox Gallery.

I've never had the honor to meet Gordon Smith, but by all accounts he is an engaged, passionate, generous man. I love the range of his work, from the underbrush-tangle-reflection paintings like the one he's done for Canada House in London, to the Black Paintings that come out of his experiences in the Second World War, to new pieces experimenting with photographic and digital images under paint. He's a Vancouver art icon.


I highly recommend going to see the current exhibit at Equinox Gallery's cool warehouse space. It's hugely inspiring to see all the work that Gordon has produced in the past year and half. The man is in his mid-90's!! Black Dog Publishing has also produced a lovely monograph of his work.


Here's a lovely article from last year on his evolution and spirit. 

The exhibit closes Oct 25th. Go see the show, and tell me which pieces are your favourites!  

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