Sketches March 2015


Jane Here!

It has been a wild few months at the galleries and in life! I spent a lot of January in South Africa with my family. This is a place every artist and lover of beauty should visit some time in their lives! We have now embarked on another fun and productive year. We have new shows to attend, we are introducing new artists, we have plans to expand our exposure and are growing our collector base internationally!

We look forward to our interaction with all of you and wish you the best!


Jane Bell Meyer

Jane Bell Meyer

*This has been such an amazing month for all three galleries. From the workshop with Linda Glover Gooch, to the planning and preparation of the international show “Where in The World Is Plein Air,” It has been a month that has been blessed and busy! In Linda’s amazing workshop, students learned about color value and depth perception from the master herself. The gallery stroll then featured Linda’s work.

*On March 12th, don’t miss Conversations with the Artist featuring Joseph Lorusso. From 6-8 pm at Illume Gallery of Fine Art, you will have the opportunity to meet Joseph Lorusso and have a private viewing of his newest pieces.

*In addition to the Conversations with the Artist, Mr. Lorusso will be conducting a workshop entitled, “Painting the Portrait.” Joseph is an expert at capturing the subject in thought and movement making the figures in his painting come to life. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from the best. Sign-Up Now!

*On March 19-21, the Illume Gallery of Fine Art Team will be attending the Charles Russell event in Great Falls, Montana. Come and see us at the Outwest Show, located in the Western Heritage Inn. You will find us in the Montana room. 16 of our fine artists, from our three galleries will be attending with us.

*Escape to sunny St. George on April 2-3 to attend the 8th Annual New Visions Show! Most of the artists from The Mission Gallery and Authentique Gallery will be joining us and painting on site. On April 2nd, showtime is 10 am to 8 pm. You will find artists all around Ancestor Square, creating their pieces live. On April 3rd, showtime is 8 am to 4 pm. Our artists will be painting for a silent auction, culminating at 2 pm. You don’t want miss this energy charged event. Hundreds of pieces of art will be scattered around the square and inside the galleries.

*On April 13th, we are pleased to announce that Jane Bell Meyer and IT Specialist Bob Harrington will be presenting at the distinguished Plein-Air Convention in Monterey, California. Jane and Bob will be presenting “Where in the World is Plein Air” and “Chasing the Light” – Using Video and Social Media to Improve Artists Exposure and Sales. Jane enjoys connecting with hundreds of well-known artists that gather every year at this spectacular event.

Joseph Lorusso is a self-proclaimed passionate person. As a second generation Italian-American from a strong family whose parents immigrated to the United States in the 1950’s, passion from his homeland is still fresh in his blood. Joseph was brought-up in a traditional Italian family and raised in a culture that was encouraging to an aspiring artist where he naturally started drawing at the age of three. As opposed to Western philosophy which might say, “Yes, you enjoy art, but what will you do for your career?” the culture that raised Lorusso was one in which artists and craftsmen are highly revered. When Lorusso was a Freshmen in High School he was asked to do a sketch for the school play’s program. He brought the sketch home and when Joseph saw his father’s reaction of awe it helped to pave the way for his career. “This is what you have to do,” his father said. And so he has.
For Lorusso, art is sparked by story. After gaining attention in High School, he attended The Academy of Art in Chicago where he studied Illustration. This discipline, as well as studying the great Illustrators, such as N.C. Wyeth and Dean Cornwell, carved within him a love for and desire to tell stories. His paintings are born from an idea for the beginning of a story, and painted in passion, but a painting is not done until a collector looks upon it and is moved to finish the story. Lorusso calls this the very crux of his work; the partnership in storytelling with the collector themselves. As art is subjective, and as each painting attracts many viewers, the thing that continues to awe Lorusso is the starburst of stories that can originate from one of his paintings. He loves to attend events, see his work hanging and watch as collectors, pause, look, and finish the story that began with a blank canvas in his studio. Recently, a collector sent him a message that she purchased one of his pieces over a decade ago and that as she looks upon it daily, it is still an emotional experience. This is what moves Lorusso to create.
When speaking of inspiration, Lorusso is quick to rattle off a list of the greats in a matter of seconds (Sorolla, Sargent, Whistler, etc.) but then stops and changes direction; speaking for minutes about what truly inspires him: his children. He calls them his “revelation and inspiration.” He speaks to the awe of innocence and the seemingly endless stories and artistic ideas they bring about. They make him wonder about so many things and from this wonder is born his creativity.
Every so often Lorusso paints something that he looks back on in awe and knows that he could not replicate it again. There is no way to say how he did it technically. He simply gets in a zone, everything aligns and the results are sublime. It’s almost as if the painting has painted itself. “It’s Luck,” he says, then is quick to remind of the Seneca quote, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
This “Luck” of which Lorusso speaks is created in a 500 square foot studio in a livestock exchange building in Kansas City, Missouri. He has painted there for twelve years in a constant level of chaos. It has crusty old wood floors, paint on the walls, crates and paintings everywhere. He loves it. Currently, he is in the process of finishing his second studio, a home studio to which he can retreat whenever inspiration hits. “It won’t feel like a studio” he says, “until there’s paint on the walls.”
He loves painting in his studio but can create wherever he is. New York, Paris, London, Florence are all dream places to paint but Lorusso says that artists have a unique gift. They carry their art with them. Humans instinctively have the need to escape, but artists have the luxury of creating their own escape. They don’t have to go anywhere. They have the ability to create the places they want to be. As an artist, it is imperative, Lorusso believes, to be able to create whatever you dream, wherever you are.
The Long Fare  24x26
“I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member,” Lorusso quotes Groucho Marx with a laugh when asked of his awards and article credits. Joseph Lorusso has won many awards and has several distinguished accolades and awards to his credit. Furthermore, his work has been featured in: American Artist magazine, Southwest Art, U.S. Art, Art & Antiques, The Artists Magazine, Art News, American Art Collector, International Artist, Fine Art Connoisseur and Art Talk magazines. At the end of the day, Lorusso says, he has never been an artist whose esteem as hinged on his accolades. He wants only to answer to himself and his God.
Joseph Lorusso believes that life is a never-ending process of becoming. He believes that it is essential for artists to experiment and to continually discover their world and themselves. He believes that there is a human aspect to discovery. Karma is no foe to Larusso; he relishes in the opportunity to share himself with fellow artists, students and the world around him.
Joseph Lorusso credits his success to many things. He says that he got “in” at the perfect time—a time in which his ability and vision were exactly what was wanted in the art community. Having worked in the corporate world for ten years, he especially appreciates the blessing that his life is now. It is not easy. The path of an artist requires determination, belief in yourself and perseverance. There is not one formula for success. He has worked harder and put more hours into the past twenty years working as a gallery artist than he ever did in his corporate job and yet he’s never been so rewarded or fulfilled. “It’s the passion,” he says, “It’s the passion.”
To view this passion happening in real time, sign-up today for Joseph Lorusso’s Workshop: “Painting the Portrait.” March 11th, 12th, and 13th. On Thursday March 12th, there will be a Conversations With The Artist where you can meet Mr. Lorusso and view his newest works. This event will be held at Illume Gallery of Fine Art at 6 p.m.

Our artists are always refreshing our galleries with new, exciting artwork. Look at what is new this month!