Lori Putnam


“I often create small preliminary sketches and studies on location in pencil, gouache, or oil. While some of these are completed works in themselves, that is not my primary goal. Gathering information about a place’s specific flora and fauna, atmosphere, light, and harmonic color palettes provides me with the resource material I need to create large paintings in the studio. Turning away from photo references, I paint large oil paintings using only these intimate studies, my memories, and my soul. I am captivated by interlocking shapes, color harmony, and precisely related tones. When seen up close, my paintings are abstract marks of color that only come into focus as the work is viewed from farther away. Working in a modern impressionist style of thick and thin, energetic brush strokes, my paintings are best appreciated when viewed in person.”

Abbreviated Biography
Lori Putnam (b. 1962) began painting professionally in her mid-30s. The feel of the paint immediately ignited her love affair with the medium and she knew there was no turning back. Putnam has studied with the country’s best. No stranger to hard work and dedication, she learned sound, foundational principles, which subsequently allowed her to explore her own artistic path. When viewed in a photograph, her work may appear tightly rendered. But upon seeing it in person, viewers are instantly engaged by thick, expressive paint. Putnam is rarely interested in any specific subject. Like a magnet, she is immediately attracted to natural harmonies, rhythms, and patterns. She believes it is important to draw the viewer in, then let them explore her paintings. They become artists themselves for a brief moment and begin to see the world in a different way. Putnam grew up in the Tennessee countryside. With no neighbors for miles, she credits her love of the outdoors and creative spirit to those many hours spent by herself as a young child. Her high school art classes became one of the first places she recognized an internal spark for drawing and painting. Prior to becoming a full-time, fine artist in 2005, Putnam owned and managed a graphic design company for 13 years. In 2008 and 2009, she and her Mark husband sold their home and belongings and traveled to the Italian countryside to live for more than seven months with the sole purpose of the painter’s self-study and artistic experimentation. A catalyst for Putnam’s artistic growth, the concentrated work accomplished during that period culminated in an impressive breakthrough.

Putnam has been featured in numerous issues of Western Art Collector, American Art Collector Magazine, Plein Air Magazine, Southwest Art, Fine Art Connoisseur, and Art of the West. She is a member of many respected organizations including the Salmagundi Club in New York City, the Oil Painters of America, the Portrait Society of America, and the California Art Club. Her paintings have received top awards in exhibitions associated with each of these organizations, as well as dozens of invitational events and exhibitions. In 2019 she accepted an appointment as Vice President of Art Ambassador for a Colorful World, and travels to work with children in less advantaged areas of the world. These experiences shed light on what it really means to be an artist. Putnam says, “It is finally clear to me, why I am here on the Earth. Bringing joy and laughter in the midst of the most horrific of circumstances is the true reason I have been blessed with such opportunity.” Museums, including The Tucson Museum of Art, The Brinton Museum in Big Horn, Wyoming, The Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana, Custom’s House Museum, Clarksville, Tennessee, The High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, the Irvine Museum in California, and The Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland have sought out Putnam’s works for awards, exhibitions, and/or permanent collection. The latest to add her work to their collection is the Irvine Museum in California.

Lori Putnam paints small to medium-sized works en plein air and creates large paintings in her studio in Charlotte, Tennessee.

Exhibitions and Awards
The Booth Western Art Museum Auction and Quick Draw, Cartersville, GA
Oil Painters of America 32nd National Juried Exhibition, Rick Reinert Fine Art, Charleston, SC
American Impressionist Society Small Works Exhibition, The District Gallery, Knoxville, TN
Alden Bryan Memorial Prize, Salmagundi Club New York 193rd Annual Members’ Show
Oil Painters of America Master Exhibition, Illume Gallery West, Philipsburg, MT
Kleitsch Signature Showcase Invitational, Laguna Beach, CA
The Granite Group Exhibition, Folsom, CA
American Impressionist Society National Juried Exhibition, Somerville Manning Gallery, Greenville, DE
Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional, Beverly McNeil Gallery, Birmingham, AL
The Almenara Collection Prize, Córdoba, Spain

Best Architecture Award, Paint the Town, Dickson, Awarded by Robert T. Marvin
Western Art Collector Award, American Women Artists, Breaking Through: The Rise of Women Artists, Customs
House Museum, Clarksville, TN
Meyer Vogl Gallery, Works on Paper Group Exhibition, Charleston, SC

$15,000 Grand Prize Annual Plein air Salon Competition
People’s Choice Award, Plein air Salon Annual Award
Oil Painters of America Salon Exhibition, Cityscape Award of Excellence Awarded by Charles Young Walls
American Women Artists’ Spring Online Showcase, 3rd Place
January Bold Brush Competition, 3rd Place
1st Place, Best Floral, Plein air Salon Competition, August 2021 Awarded by Diane Waterhouse

1st Place Overall, Plein air Salon Competition, November 2020 Awarded by Cynthia McBride
1st Place Overall, Plein air Salon Competition, October 2020 Awarded by Karen Hewitt
Sibling Rivalry, Two-person exhibition: Lori Putnam and James Richards, Meyer Vogl Gallery, Charleston, SC
Oil Painters of America 30th National Juried Exhibition, RS Hanna Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX, 2020
Oil Painters of America Juried Salon Show, 2020
American Impressionist Society 21st National Juried Exhibition, Illume Gallery of Fine Art, St. George, UT
California Art Club 109th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition
Salmagundi Club New York Annual Members’ Show
Oil Painters of America Wet Paint Competition, Award of Excellence Awarded by John Pototschnik
Customs House Museum Wonders of the West Exhibition, Clarksville, TN
NOAPS Spring International Online Exhibition, Best Use of Light and Color Awarded by Del-Bourre Bach

Professional Associations, Current
Art Ambassador for a Colorful World, Vice President
American Women Artists, Associate with Distinction
Oil Painters of America, Signature Member
Salmagundi Club NYC
Laguna Plein air Painters Association, Signature Member
American Impressionist Society, Signature Member, Past Vice President, and Show Chair
California Plein air painters, Signature member
National Oil and Acrylic Painters Association, Signature Member
Portrait Society of America
International Plein Air Painters, Signature Member
California Art Club, Out-of-State Artist
The Chestnut Group, plein air painters for the Land

American Art Collector, “Artist Focus,” April 2023
Plein air Magazine, “The Keys to Painting in High Key,” April/May 2022
The Tennessean, “LeQuire Gallery Exhibition Showcases Beauty of Tennessee Seasons,” Nov. 1, 2021
Plein air Magazine, “Gardens and Green Spaces,” April/May 2021
Plein air Magazine Cover, Annual Salon Winners Revealed, July 2021
International Artist Magazine, “Indoors & Outdoors,” April/May 2021
Plein air Today, A Contrived Cop Out, April 2021
American Art Collector and Western Art Collector, “Winterlands,” February/March 2021
Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, Priorities: Her Home is in Her Studio, July 2021
Plein air Magazine, “Boats, Harbors, and Waterfronts,” August/September 2020
Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, “The Timeless Appeal of Horses,” August 2020
Plein air Magazine, “Lessons from a Traveling Painter, June/July 2019

Artwork to be Showcased