Andrew Orr combines impressionism and touches of realism to create paintings that reflect his love of nature and beauty. His paintings are direct and rich, with clear color, expressing his passion for light and life.
Andrew began painting at an early age. His training includes courses at the University of New Mexico, private study with impressionist Carol McIlroy and porcelain artists Barbara Duncan and Thelma Donovan. His work has shown in galleries throughout the United States, has won awards with juried exhibitions and has been featured in one man shows from Washington , D.C. and Albuquerque, NM to Cincinnati, OH . In the Northeast his work has been featured with a solo show at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT and displayed with national exhibitions of the Oil Painters of America, the North East Watercolor Society and the Georgia Watercolor Society.
A full time artist, Andrew is a member of the Salmagundi Club, New York, the American Artists Professional League, Oil Painters of America, the Southern Vermont Arts Center, the Poultney Area Artist Guild and the Professional Porcelain Artist Association. In addition to serving as both judge and juror, he is a recognized instructor giving frequent seminars, demonstrations and lectures on the art of painting on porcelain and in watercolor throughout the United States and abroad. In October 2005, Orr participated as the guest artist/lecturer at the convention, show and sale of the Australasian International Porcelain Artist League, in Adelaide, South Australia.
For me, painting is about expressing the joy and excitement I feel, through colors and brush strokes, after having come upon a scene that has sparked an internal, emotional response; that response that causes one to internally say, “I have to paint this.” Once I have found a subject I will often make sketches in pencil, making notes about colors, atmosphere, light, anything really, that will help me convey what I want to say about a subject as I am painting. I want to become as familiar with my subject as I can before heading back into the studio. In addition to notes, I use a camera, taking many photos of a scene from different angles and view points. On occasion I will do some plein air sketching but I find I can concentrate much better in the studio setting. Once in the studio, I will take from my photographs those elements that I find important to the compositional whole, moving, adding or deleting items that will help to make what feels to me to be the best overall picture. I often plan my color schemes in watercolor first and refer to a color wheel often throughout the painting process. I begin loosely working the entire canvas building the layers of paint slowly. Often I will scumble paint over dryer areas to create a feeling of distant trees or brush and glaze over dry areas if something needs to be set back into the picture a little further. Although I am a studio painter I strive to create paintings that retain a sense of spontaneity and life often associated with outdoor painting.
As I have painted since 1998, full-time it is often hard to define what might be some of my artistic goals. I feel fortunate to have been able to develop a career over time, selling in galleries and teaching in many locations around the country. I find that my goals as an artist would be above all, simply to paint better pictures. I never want to be stuck in any one genre or compositional trap so I find that I am constantly challenging myself to design paintings that are a little more complicated or involved both compositionally and in the overall color scheme as well.
Working as a full-time artist is a tremendous gift and one that I try never to take for granted. One of the greatest artistic accomplishments I have enjoyed thus far is opening my own gallery and studio in my ancestral town of Poultney , Vermont. It feels like I am doing something more than just painting, but I am bringing to a town, not known specifically for the arts, an aspect of or my interpretation of the visual arts. Many of my paintings are created from areas recognizable to members of the community.
I create art as part of my desire to help bring something of aesthetic beauty to the world. My paintings are about joy, about expressing the excitement I feel when I see light falling on an autumnal tree or the beauty of a newly opened flower. They are about my curiosity and intrigue with objects, old and new; they are about those things that inspire me, that give me a reason to get out of bed to see what the world has in store for that day. It is my hope that the viewer of my work will be inspired by what they see, that through one of my paintings their day might be somehow lifted, changed, enlightened or even considered “lighter.”