Lori Sokoluk Art

I've been fascinated with drawing and painting for years. Here are two of my pieces. Both are on paper. ‘Loci’ was created using marker, graphite, and crayon. In ‘Calligraphic Figures’ I’ve painted a black ground and figures using acrylic paint. Are they drawings or paintings?


1  Loci (24”x18”, mixed media on paper, sold)

2  Calligraphic Figures (24”x18”, acrylic paint on paper, $200, available at time of posting)


Often, a drawing is defined as "a picture or diagram made with a pencil, pen, or crayon rather than paint, especially one drawn in monochrome". I prefer the Victoria and Albert Museum’s definition of a drawing as the “[representation] of objects or forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines”.


In contrast, painting has been defined as “a picture or other artistic composition created by applying paints to a surface such as canvas”


So is Loci a drawing and Figures a painting?  Does it matter?


What about the work of Brice Marden and Julie Mehretu? Drawings or paintings?

I think drawing and painting is a continuum. 

Most people would agree that the image at top left is a drawing, and the one at bottom right is a painting. But what about the ones in between? I think the joy is in the contrast and balance of line or mark-making vs larger areas or shapes.


Top Row:

Chicago sketch (approx 8”x6”, pencil on paper, NFS)

PortTown 9 (36”x36”, mixed media on canvas, $2850, available at time of posting)

PaintDraw 3 (24”x18”, mixed media on paper, $200, available at time of posting)

Figure sketch (approx 8”x8”, watercolor and ink on paper, NFS)


Bottom Row:

Entering Unknown Territory 3 (approx 10”x8”, mixed media on paper, $100, available at time of posting)

Hot Pink Cold Shoulder (36”x24”, acrylic and metallic leaf on canvas, $1520, available at time of posting)


The Echo of a Landscape (16”x16”, mixed media on canvas, $600, available at time of posting)


Crying On The Inside (12”x12”, oil on canvas, $350, available at time of posting)



I've been following the work of Vancouver-area artist Jane Kenyon for a number of years. This week, I attended her solo show "Yielding to Transience" at the Ferry Building Art Gallery in West Vancouver, BC. 


Exhibit:  April 26 - May 15, 2016

Meet the Artist: Saturday April 30th, 2-3pm

Workshop: "Travel Memoirs" Sunday May 1st  2-5pm  Call 604-925-7270 to register.


A few years ago, Jane stepped back from a very accomplished career as a fibre artist to focus on painting. I've watched her subtle, complex, expressive work evolve and had the joyful experience of attending an artist residency with her earlier this year. The mastery in these works belies the fact that this show is the first public exhibit of her paintings.


One of the happy surprises about starting my new series was rediscovering how much I love drawing.

PortTown 3 (36"x54", mixed media on canvas, $3840, available at time of posting)

Whether the drawn mark is veiled and obscured, as is the piece above, or the main event like in this one (PortTown 9, mixed media on canvas, 36”x36”, $2850, available at time of post), I love the drawn mark. It feels good to deposit the mark on the canvas, paper or mylar. It feels good to smear it or see it drip.


Here are a few of my favourite quotes about drawing:


"A drawing is simply a line going for a walk."

Paul Klee 


"Drawing is putting a line (a)round an idea."

Henry Matisse 


"Drawing takes time. A line has time in it"

David Hockney 


"When I make my drawings... the path traced by my pencil on the sheet of paper is, to some extent, analogous to the gesture of a man groping his way in the darkness." Alberto Giacometti


“Drawing keeps the eye fresh, the mind alive, and the intuition nimble.” 

Timothy Nero


"Drawing is the discipline by which I constantly discover the world."

Frederick Franck


"Drawing is one of the best ways to meditate, while staying connected to the world around us."

Elsha Leventis


"Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer, and clearer still. The image is passing through you in a physiological way, into your brain, into your memory - where it stays - it's transmitted by your hands.” 

Martin Gayford, A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney 


I invite you to check back for more posts on drawing and sketching.

After last weekend's open studio and Pop-Up Art Sale, I've had a week away from creating work. I've been:

  • hanging an exhibit and attending the opening
  • visiting a prospective venue for displaying my art
  • catching up on bookkeeping and doing tax prep
  • writing thank you notes to new clients
  • updating my social media channels and website


Yesterday I was back in the studio, starting 2 new canvases in my PortTown series.


Here are a few tips for facing down that fear of the blank canvas and getting going on a new piece:

  • Put on a coat of gesso or tinted/textured ground. This gets you moving your brush on the canvas and helps get the energy moving. 
  • If something has worked for you in the past, use it again. I am mid-series, so I know I'll put in some drips and sweeps of color that will largely but not entirely be buried by the rest of the work. Applying a transparent layer of quinacradone gold or similar is a tried-and-true technique as well. Let bits of it peek through your finished painting for a sense of 'glow'.
  • Put on some great music and dance around. I'm serious : )
  • Tack up 3 sheets of large paper (24"x30" minimum) and do some gestural drawing with charcoal or paint. These don't have to have anything to do with the piece you are going to produce on the adjacent canvas. They can get you revved up, especially if combined with music as noted above!
  • Put up 2-3 canvases so you can work on several with similar feel and color palette at the same time. This way you can keep moving from one to another instead of getting bogged down. It also keeps any one of them from being too precious.


How do you begin a new piece? Do you ever feel intimidated by the blank canvas?

My new work will be on exhibit this month:


"Industrial Dreamscapes"

Britannia Art Gallery

1661 Napier Street, Vancouver BC

I will be in attendance at the opening reception

Wed April 6th     6:30-8:30 pm


The work will be on exhibit through April 29th.


I love participating in open studio events. 


My studio will be open this Saturday April 2nd noon-5pm for First Saturday Open Studios. This event sees artists in different neighbourhoods around Vancouver open their studios to the public. Check their website to see who is open this month. 


This is a special month for my studio as it is our official public celebration of our new studio. Come see me and my studio mates in our new space in the historic Strathcona neighbourhood in Vancouver, BC.


I’ll be having a one-time only Pop-Up Art Sale - 50% off on selected paintings. Preview some of the pieces that are on sale until 9pm Sunday April 3rd only.


I’ll also have an Art Materials Garage Sale featuring great prices on art books, canvases and panels, frames, matboard, and more. Bring your loonies and toonies.



Bring your friends and drop in for coffee and a chat about art. I’ll also be doing the final bits of preparation for my upcoming exhibition.



 Open studio days are great for a number of reasons:

  • they are an unintimidating way to see how art happens
  • opportunity to talk to the artists about their process or inspirations
  • have a leisurely look at their work with no pressure to buy
  • the events are usually free
  • you can pop in for 15 minutes, or an hour

Make a date with a couple of friends to have brunch and a few studio visits, or visit first then head to one of the cool brewery pubs or restaurants in the neighbourhood.



If you can’t make it this Saturday, there are eight more First Saturdays in 2016, and in November I will be participating in Vancouver’s mega-open studio event, the Eastside Culture Crawl, which draws tens of thousands of studio visits over 4 days. It’s the 20th anniversary this year, so look for upcoming news about all kinds of art-related programming coming up. 

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate the opening of my new studio! 


If you missed it, there is another opportunity to come visit:



Saturday April 2nd  from noon to 5pm  


Sunday April 3rd  from 2 to 5pm


My studio will be open for First Saturday Open Studios.


Redsokil Arts

800 Keefer Street, Vancouver

(door is around the corner on Hawkes)


* * * * *


I’ll also be featuring a couple of special events:


Pop-Up Art Sale 

50% off paintings framed behind glass (and others)

Landscapes, florals, abstracts.

You can preview some of the pieces here.


Art Materials Garage Sale

Great deals on art books, canvases, panels,

frames, mat board, and other art materials.



For many of you who are familiar with my highly colored paintings, you may be surprised that I sometimes indulge in a limited palette. That may sound like an oxymoron, but it does feel very special. The narrow color range lends a sense of elegance, and I love the way that drawn marks integrate easily with painted areas.

  1. PortTown 2 (36”x24”, mixed media on canvas, $1520, available at time of posting)
  2. PortTown 9 (in progress) (36”x36”, mixed media on canvas, $2860)
  3. Black Pool 5 (18”x12”, mixed media on paper, $400, available at time of posting)


My recent PortTown series features a very limited palette of creams, whites, greyed blues and greens. This series was inspired by the shifting colors viewed from my temporary studio facing the port of Vancouver. You can read more about it here.

Pieces from this series will be on exhibit at Britannia Art Gallery, Vancouver in April. 


The piece on the right is from an earlier series entitled “Black Pool”. See more of this series here


You can read more about my love of blacks here and here


Do you love working in black and white, or does that feel restrictive? Does your joy come from the freedom to use every crayon in the box? 

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