LORI TREMBLAY Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
New England artist Lori Tremblay graduated in 1993 with a BFA in printmaking from the Maine College of Art after studying meteorology and environmental biology at Lyndon State College and Plymouth State University. Her science-related day job stimulates her artistic pursuits as a painter in unexpected ways. She finds inspiration in ancient knowledge-uncovering universal themes in theology, mathematics, and astronomy-as well as "in her own back yard." Her far-reaching philosophical thinking works its way into gem like paintings of intense, glowing color.
In 2017, Tremblay embarked on an adventure as an artist-in-residence at the Petrified Forest National Park, in Arizona, a far different landscape than her native New England. Upon arrival she explored the various sites within the park in order to get a feel for the place. The staff welcomed her to tour their paleontology department, where she embraced the irrefutable fact that this dry, arid land was once under water. The visual evidence existed in the geology and the petrified remains that surrounded her.
Commenting on her residency, she recalls being, "transfixed... ; the night sky was dizzyingly dark." Pangaea's Heart (page 53) is the painting she completed in response to her artist-in -residence experience. The circular composition swirls around a central point that suggests an ancient world where all the continents were together as one. The smoky blues and earth tones reflect Tremblay's desire to "bring the sky and the earth together." She describes her method as influenced by "geological mapping." The lush surfaces of Tremblay's modestly sized paintings somehow convey vastness-a limitless boundary where "the viewer can enter and get lost." Through her artist-in-residence experience, Tremblay has discovered many new avenues for research and plans to apply for another program in the near future.