Lorrie FinkOakland, CA
I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute Freedom and Wildness…
~Henry David Thoreau (“Walking”)
I draw and paint from nature, using the attitude and expressiveness of botanical forms to examine human perceptions. I paint with oils, working in my Oakland studio to interpret images I’ve collected from the natural world, in locations as diverse as France, Cape Cod, the Sierra Nevada region, and my own backyard.
In my current series, Wild Things, I have depicted the indigenous and invasive plants I’ve encountered in wilderness areas, in vacant lots, and on the edges of cultivated gardens. Through color and gesture, I convey the exuberance and resilience of things that grow wildly without invitation or cultivation. Part of my task is to express the beauty I find in the uncultivated landscape, while rendering these plants as portraits, distinct and individual.
In painting both native and exotic species, I also ask: Where is a plant considered a weed? When is it welcomed in the wilderness but unwelcome in a cultivated environment? These plants embody parallels between cultural diversity and biodiversity, provoking questions about desirability, exclusivity, and valuation.
Lorrie Fink is a painter and designer who lives and works in Oakland, California. She frequently travels to locations where she records the landscape in photographs and study sketches. Working with oils, she interprets images of plant life she has observed, using the attitude and expressiveness of botanical forms to examine human perceptions.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Fink earned a B.S. in Broadcasting and Film and a Masters of Education in Media and Technology, from Boston University. From 1973 to 1974, she was an instructor of Communication Arts classes at Becker Jr. College in Worcester, MA, teaching photography, design, and television studio production.
While working in the Exhibition Design and Preparation department at the Oakland Museum in the late 1970s, Fink was first introduced to the Society of Six California Colorists, whose work inspired and influenced her desire to explore color and light through painting. She enrolled in her first painting class at UC Berkeley in 1982, and continues her paintings studies in workshops and classes at the California College of the Arts, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Truro Art Center, Kala Art Institute, and City College of San Francisco.
She has been exhibiting her paintings around the San Francisco Bay Area since 2003, and her work is included in private collections on the East and West coasts. Her first solo show was the 2008 exhibition Above and Below the Surface: An Atlas at the EBMUD Gallery in downtown Oakland, California. Wild Things: The Unintended Landscape at the El Cerrito City Hall Gallery was her third solo exhibition, in December 2011.