Lori Sokoluk Art


We just celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving this past weekend.  In terms of my artwork, I am exceedingly thankful for:

  1. A very creative, supportive husband who almost always replies "Great! Go!" when I say "I'm going to the studio". How lucky am I? Through him, I am also part of a music community that welcomes and inspires me.
  2. My studio - a safe, lovely space in which to create. I have been very fortunate to have had this space for 6.5 years now. The owner and manager appreciate artists. People know where to find me, and I have windows on a high traffic route in which to display my work. 
  3. My teachers. Especially my high school art teacher, Gregg Johnson, who was the first ‘artist’ I ever met, and who started me on my way. And Suzanne Northcott, who more recently created the environment in which I was able to experience a breakthrough to my own true voice.
  4. My years living in Boston and New York City. So much visual stimuli and access to amazing galleries and museums! Talk about 'feeding the well'.
  5. The support and friendship of wonderful artist friends in my community now. You inspire me, challenge me, mentor me, make me laugh and let me cry. Whether it's business advice, new discoveries when I come in to the shared studio, or hand-painted postcards in the mail, I truly love and value each one of you.

Last week I did a live painting event for the Lookout Society annual benefit gala. I truly believe this organization does great work, and the event is always great fun. I enjoy seeing the artists and supporters from previous years. 

Do you donate your artwork to charitable causes? If so, why and how?


Artists and musicians are frequently asked to donate their work. The scenarios can range from invitations to hang your work or perform for free ("for the exposure") to high calibre auctions where the artist receives 50% of the sale price. 


Here are some things to consider when asked to donate your work:

  • Is it a cause you strongly believe in?
  • Is it a recognized charity that will give you a tax receipt for the retail value of your work?
  • Can you set a minimum price (important if you have collectors, so you don’t devalue your work)
  • Are the people at the charity event likely to be art buyers outside of the event?
  • Will you get some publicity out of the event, other than the right to talk about it in your own blog?
  • Will the work be safely displayed safely and well-lit? 
  • Donating pieces that you consider of lesser calibre may clear some space in your studio, but doesn't represent your work well.

If you are in a postion to be asking artists to donate work, I respectfully ask you to think about the situation from our perspective. 

For myself, I limit myself to two donations per year. If request number 3 comes in, I respectfully decline. No further explanation is required. If I think I might like to donate to their cause in the future, I ask them to contact me in the new year. 

What are your thoughts on donating your work?

H’Arts for the Homeless

Thursday Oct 2nd, 2014

6-9:30pm (doors at 5:30pm)

This Thursday, I’ll be joining 7 other artists for a magical gala evening of entertainment including the chance to watch us creating paintings in front of your very eyes!  Mild heckling permitted : )  You can still get tickets. The event will fund Lookout Society’s essential services and programs.


The organizers, In The House, create a magical evening. The last two years, Jon Shaw and I tied for the top-dollar-earning pieces. He’s not participating this year, so it’s my chance to take the lead in contributing to this great organization!  Come have a ball, and maybe bid on my painting! 

The event is happening at The Imperial, 319 Main Street, Vancouver BC. Valet parking is available. Tickets are $60.

Do you ever donate your artwork for charity? If so, why, and how?

Here's something that's inspring one of the new paintings on my easel. I'll let you know how it comes out! I'm starting to get ready for a show at the Gibson's Public Art Gallery in the April. I've tentatively titled the series "Precious Things Hidden In The Earth".


Sometimes when I’m working really hard, it’s great to find something that just makes me smile!!

These giant pencil crayons in the forest are by Helsinki-based Artist Jonna Pohjalainen.

I refuse to believe that summer is over, but there is a decided shift in the feeling this past week. It's cooler and a bit rainy, and everywhere but here in Vancouver, students are going back to school. 


I always feel a renewed sense of discipline at this time of year. I spent part of the Labour Day weekend cleaning my studio, putting everything back in its place. Now when I walk in to my workspace, I'm ready to work. I've got a number of things on the go:


Art Classes Start Sep 8th:  

"Dipping Into Watercolors" - a four-morning workshop for absolute beginners or those wanting to strengthen their basic watercolor skills. All materials provided. Starts Monday Sep 8th at Creekside Community Centre. There is another 2-day session starting Sep 18th at Hillcrest Community Centre.


"Wow These Are Watercolors?!!" -a four-week course in watercolor, mixed media, and creative process starting Tues Sep 16th at Creekside Community Centre.


Check my website for more information and links to register.


New Work:

I'm digging in to a new series of work about things hidden beneath the earth. Drop by for First Saturday Open Studios to get an early glimpse, or check out the exhibit at Gibsons Public Art Gallery in April 2015.


I look forward to seeing you in the studio or in class! 

Last week, I wrote about favourite tools. This week, I’ll show you some of mine. I do use a variety of media and tools in my work, but 80% of my acrylic paintings are done with the same two brushes, and 99% of my watercolors with the same 3 brushes. Several I’ve used for over 10 years, and they are all still in excellent condition.


From left to right, my favorites are:

For watercolors:

  • 3/4” flat (this one says ‘series 2850 Japan’, but no brand. I’ve had this brush for 20 years!!)
  • 2” thin flat (Nobel 7110 China)
  • #8 round synthetic (Robert Simmons “Expressions” E85, but I also like Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold Synthetic/Sable blend)
  • CJAS Fritch Scrubber (from Cheap Joe’s Art Supplies out of the States)

For acrylics:

  • Princeton Art & Brush Co. 6300 series #12 angled bright
  • Opus Mezzo series 1/2” angled bright
  • Princeton Art & Brush Co. 6200 series #16 and #4 filbert

I’ll share tips for the care of your brushes in an upcoming post.

My father taught me a lot about tools. As a child, I would often open one of the drawers in his shop and we would go through all the tools nestled therein. We would admire the feel of each in the hand, and describe its use. When I left home to go to school, I asked for a toolbox of my own. I learned the value of having the right tool for the job. I also learned to take care of my tools.


As a painter, I truly treasure my favorite tools. I use two brushes for 80% of my acrylic painting. I’ve had them for 10 years, and they are still in excellent condition (more on caring for your brushes in an upcoming post).


Do you need the right tool, or can you pick up whatever is at hand and feel the creative force flow through you?


Here’s an interesting article on designers and their favourite tools.

my . artist run website