5 Quick Questions with Lori Mehta

 This week we are getting to know more about Lori Mehta in our series 5 Quick Questions in which we interview different Co|So members about their lives as artists. This week Lori tells us what inspires her to create art, what her art says about her, and how she produces her artwork.

Lori Mehta, Sheer Joy, oil, 20” x 26”

1) What artists, (living or deceased) do you draw inspiration from?

Catherine Kehoe introduced me to Euan Uglow, and both are artists from whom I draw inspiration. Both artists have unique methods of drawing and often use hard-edged shapes. I have studied with Catherine, and she is a very generous teacher. I embraced aspects of her drawing technique, and now appreciate even more the value of starting with a strong, accurate drawing.

2) What Inspires your artwork?

Light. The way it distorts, enhances, and changes color. I see light and the shapes it creates on everyday scenes and objects. It causes me to pause and take notice of ordinary things.

I am also inspired by a gesture. It fascinates me how the way someone stands, how they hold their hands, tilt their head, can say so much about their mood and personality.

Lori Mehta, Wait For Me!, oil, 10” x 12”, Award of Merit in the Small Works: Fruition show

3) What does your art say about you?

I am not a conformist and like to take risks with my work. My most successful pieces are those in which I do not allow fear to permeate my process. This is the same in my life. I am respectful of all but not afraid to be true to myself. I also think you can see my graphic design background in some of my work.

4) What do you consider your most important tool when it comes to making art?

A flat brush, usually a Bright. I have only one round brush in my collection.

Lori Mehta, “Unplugged,” oil on board

5) How do you know when a work is finished?

I don’t always know when a painting is complete, as evidenced by my stacks of overworked pieces! I have an internal voice that starts saying “walk away,” and if I continue to futz I am inevitably sorry. I personally like seeing pencil marks, brush strokes and imperfections, but it goes back to ignoring what I feel I should do and instead let my intuition lead.

Be sure to check out Lori Mehta’s work currently on display in our winter Members Show, Renewal, as well as Small Works: Fruition.