Studio Visit: Lori Fuller

Studio Visit: Lori Fuller

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, a chat with Lori Fuller, 44, of Champaign, who also is a supervisor in the University of Illinois Office of Admissions and Records, recently chatted with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

I read where you were around nature a lot as a child. Where did you grow up?

I moved all over the state of Illinois. I was born in Pinckneyville in southern Illinois, and we probably moved five times. We always lived on a farm and played outside as kids. I've always had an appreciation for nature.

Do you paint just landscapes?

When I paint, I paint landscapes with acrylics. My drawings are a little abstract.

Did you study art?

I have an education degree, and I have taken a couple of painting classes.

How did you get into art and painting?

As a child, I took a lot of art classes through elementary and high school, mostly high school. I really developed an appreciation for art. I was always drawing and painting in my spare time. It wasn't until four or five years ago, when I was looking through our vacation photos, that I decided to paint.

Do you always paint from photographs?

Yes, from our travels. There's a series of paintings here (in the Springer Cultural Center) from the Grand Canyon. A couple from Starved Rock State Park and from Matthiessen State Park in northern Illinois. And another from Mark Twain State Park in Missouri and recent ones from North Carolina and Montana.

I'm working on a series right now from the East Glacial Park in Montana. A beautiful state park. The colors were just amazing. The East Glacial water was so beautiful. I'll never forget it. I looked at it forever.

It seems like you're attracted to mountains and waterfalls.

I think that's because I've lived in Illinois all my life. When we go on vacation, we try to go to places we haven't seen.

Have you ever painted the prairie?

No, the ones I've done from Illinois are of waterfalls and rock formations. I also have a painting here from Turkey Run.

What have been your favorite places?

Up until last summer, it was the Grand Canyon. Every vacation it becomes a new favorite. I don't know if I have one solid favorite. Bozeman, Mont., and East Glacial are our favorites of all we've been to. This summer we're headed to Mount Zion in Colorado so I'm sure that will be one of our favorites.

Did you say your husband also paints?

No, but when we go on hikes he (Jim Fuller) takes the photographs. He wouldn't admit to having an art background, but he takes amazing pictures.

Is this your first art exhibition?

No, I had one over at the Illini Union Art Gallery back in May. That was my first big art show.

Do you have a goal with your art?

Right now, I'm working on a couple of projects. One is an eBook where I'd like to show some of our travels and my paintings and animation and some drawings. It'll be a multimedia book.

My husband and I have so much fun on our travels. There's always something unexpected that happens.

One time we explored a cave in Arizona. There were people from the University of Arizona there who were doing a story on tourism and they wanted our feedback. So we were on the local news that night.

The exhibition, "Journey of a Painter," will remain on view through 5 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Springer Cultural Center, 301 N. Randolph St., C.

Topics (2):Art, People