Lori Putnam [NRA 2009]
First name: Lori ;
Middle name: ;
Last name: Putnam ;
Member: Non-resident artist member ;
Modern Impressionism stretches the boundaries with artists painting in styles ranging from near realism to almost abstraction. Putnam’s work is closer to the latter.
Recognized for her expressive brushwork, contemporary compositions, and intelligent use of color, Nashville Tennessee native, Lori Putnam paints small to medium-sized works en plein air and creates large paintings in her studio. Having painted and taught in more than 20 different countries (including Ukraine, New Zealand, Guatemala, much of Europe and the UK), she believes that works created from life help her maintain freshness in her studio paintings as well.
Putnam grew up in the Tennessee countryside. With no neighbors for miles, she credits her vision and creative spirit to those many hours spent entertaining herself as a young child. Her spark for drawing and painting began early, but her development as an artist was not realized until much later. At age 35 she began the journey to what has become a life-long commitment to art. The feel of oil paint ignited her love affair with the medium and she knew there was no turning back.
Prior to becoming a full-time, fine artist in 2005, Putnam owned a successful graphic design business for 13 years. In 2008 and 2009, she and her husband Mark sold their home and belongings and traveled to the Italian countryside. The sole purpose was personal study and artistic experimentation. The concentrated work accomplished during that 7-month period culminated in an impressive breakthrough. While she considers herself primarily self-taught, the advice and support of Scott Christensen, Quang Ho, and Dawn Whitelaw have been key to the artist’s development and success.
No stranger to hard work and dedication her career has soared. Featured in numerous issues of major magazines, Putnam is now recognized as one of the finest American Impressionists of our time. She served as an Artist Faculty Demonstrator for the Annual Plein Air Convention for six years and has been keynote speaker and guest lecturer at many other notable events in the U.S. and abroad. Museums and conferences turn to her as guest lecturer and authoritarian on many topics such as “Modern Impressionism,” “The New Color Theory,” “Contemporary Mark-Making,” and “Making a Successful Career in Today’s Art Market.” Her sold-out workshops are a testament to her teaching style and her gratitude to those who taught and nurtured her.
Lori has exhibited with many respected organizations including but not limited to the Salmagundi Club in New York City, the Oil Painters of America, Laguna Plein air Painters Association, the California Art Club, and the American Impressionists Society. Additionally, both Lori’s plein air and studio paintings have received awards too numerous to count. Some of her more recent accolades have come from the Salmagundi Club in New York City, the Portrait Society of America, The American Impressionist’s Society, the Oil Painters of America, All Along the Sierra Exhibition, National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, and the Forgotten Coast Plein air Invitational. In 2021 she took home the $15,000 Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Awards from Plein air Salon.
Putnam also serves as Vice President for Art Ambassador for a Colorful World. This global organization, founded by artist Kevin Macpherson, whose belief it is that art has the power to change the world. Through AAFCW, thousands of children in Guatemala, China, and Mexico have been served. We share joy in making the world a more colorful place and building communication across cultures; use art to engage kids in their education, to ignite their creative spark, and to unite communities; and offer scholarships to those willing and ready to become artists themselves. Lori and her husband Mark sponsor a Guatemalan girl named Julia so that she can go to school rather than work the cabbage fields.
Museums have also honored and acknowledged Putnam’s work through awards, exhibitions, or invitations to lecture. The Tucson Museum of Art, the High Museum in Atlanta, the Irvine Museum in California, The Hockaday Museum in Montana, The Custom’s House Museum in Tennessee, The Brinton Museum in Wyoming, The Academy Art Museum in Maryland, and the Booth Western Art Museum in Georgia are just a few in a continually growing list.
When not traveling to paint, teach, or lecture, Putnam works in her studio in Charlotte, Tennessee.
Digital-born document number:
Record birth date:
December 23, 2019
Last updated: June 16, 2023 at 11:19 am