Time to Paint, Timelessly — Impressionism by Lori Pittenger

flowers floral bush fruition season time pittenger impressionism painting landscape

Fruit, flowers, and paintings bloom at their right time. Fruition, original oil painting by Lori Pittenger of Ellensburg, WA

 

Do you remember when you last thoroughly, completely, and absolutely lost track of time?

When was it that you were so absorbed in the task at hand, so utterly involved in what you were doing, so deeply immersed in the moment, that you looked up and were surprised to find that hours flew by in what you thought were minutes?

flowers floral landscape lilace purple season time pittenger impressionism

Every Good and Perfect Gift, original oil painting by Lori Pittenger

For Lori Pittenger, that would be . . . yesterday. Or even this afternoon. The Ellensburg, WA, painter is so untrammeled by time that when she sits at her easel, paintbrush or palette knife in hand, she enters a state of such intensity that she is physically tired, and yet energized, when she is done.

“I love pouring myself into something to express myself and ‘feel,’ always listening to music and painting for hours at a time,” Pittenger says. “I lose myself in it.”

Taking Time to See

Inspired by landscapes, by concentratedly looking and seeing the colors and light in nature, Pittenger works two to three days straight to take a painting from first brush stroke to last. The process of being present in the painting process, she explains, begins with the first few strokes of paint on the canvas.

“After I have loaded my palette, I take a deep breath and know that I am beginning a journey in which I will lose all sense of time and what is going on around me.

“I have committed in my mind to devote an uninterrupted time to focus on what I am creating, really seeing the scene evolving as if I am in the scene: mixing the paint, feeling the brush in my hand, the sound it makes as it strokes the canvas, even the smell of the paint.”

golden beets vegetables produce pittenger impressionism painting

Golden Beets, impressionism original oil painting by Lori Pittenger

The View Stays the Same, and Changes, with Time

She works in a spacious room in her family’s ranch house where large windows overlook the pastures of Kittitas Valley and its surrounding mountains. There is a sense of peace and well being, integrated with an inherent excitement derived from a view that stays the same, yet changes with weather and seasons. She looks up to look out. When she tires at the easel, she steps away from the painting and returns with fresh eyes. Throughout the process, she photographs the work in progress, especially as it nears completion.

“I view the photo, and it almost always every time reveals something that I hadn’t seen before.

“Sometimes it’s a little something to blend out or fix, but often it’s something surprising or magical that happened unintentionally — like a little glow glimmer or shape that makes me smile with wonder.

“Being fully present while painting opens not only my eyes, but also my mind, to really seeing.”

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Lavish Sunrise, original oil painting landscape with water by Lori Pittenger of Ellensburg, WA.

When Pittenger isn’t intently reviewing her own work, she curates the paintings of others. An artist member of Fine Art America, the world’s largest online art marketplace, Pittenger manages the Impressionism group, which receives hundreds of submissions every week submitted by its more than 500 members. It is her job to winnow those numbers down while giving all members an opportunity to be featured, and arrange the varied artwork into a pleasing gallery wall for visitors and potential buyers to peruse. She also advises members on everything from how to crop images to watching out for copyright infringement. In her “spare” time, she hosts contests on the site.

A Time of Concentration

It makes for a long, concentrated day. But every hour of it, every minute, packs intensity and movement, as does the art that Pittenger creates.

“My paintings always have a deeper meaning that flows out as I am composing and painting,” she says.

“The title and thoughts about life that I get from each artwork fall into place as I finish each piece, and I love writing about them.”

Her day begins and ends with art, she observes. It makes for an excellent sunrise, and sunset.

“Art touches the soul, creates a mood and expresses often what words cannot.”

Wenaha GalleryLori Pittenger is the featured Art Event at Wenaha Gallery from November 3 through December 31, 2020.

Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail art@wenaha.com. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at www.wenaha.com.

 

Virtue woman candle nostalgic religious perceptive james christensen

Stay Perceptive — Virtue by James Christensen

Virtue woman candle nostalgic religious perceptive james christensen

One candle does not give much light, but a perceptive person doesn’t need floodlights to see. Virtue, limited edition giclee canvas by James Christensen

A perceptive person is not easily fooled.

There is an old saying about people seeing but never perceiving, hearing but never understanding. Like many old sayings, it’s worth contemplating: these old sayings become part of our cultural heritage for a reason. And while many of them aren’t as witty or sharp as a social media meme, they’re deeper, more profound. It takes some thinking to get to where they’re pointing.

A perceptive person is not satisfied with a simple table or chart, a snapshot, a listing out of “facts” — especially when these elements are interpreted for them. A perceptive person asks questions, seeks understanding, and knows enough about themselves and the world around them to not belittle intuition.

“Something about this just doesn’t feel right,” is their starting point. And rather than allow themselves to be browbeaten into mental submission, they pursue the matter. Perceptive people are the bane of dictators, emperors, and totalitarian regimes.

Perception is a Virtue

The artwork, Virtue by James Christensen, shows a young woman in a dark room with a candle. Although the flame does not give much light, it casts enough to dispel total darkness, to show movement in the shadows, to create a glow around her immediate presence. She stands still and silent — not frantically rushing about, not panting with fear, not darting forward so quickly that she snuffs the flame. To get the full good from the flame, from this limited light that she has, she knows she needs to remain still.

Like many perceptive people, she is in no hurry, does not readily acquiesce. Rather, she is unrelentingly patient, steady, even obstinate. She may not have the power of a prince, but she knows how to use the power of her mind.

Stay Perceptive — Take Time to Question, Wonder, Doubt, and Consider

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Virtue by James Christensen. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by James Christensen are at this link.

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