SITE Santa Fe’s Summer Program is a series of tours and field trips throughout Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico for SITE’s interns, Young Curators, and SITE Scholars.
Sophia Livingston is a summer intern in the Education Department at SITE Santa Fe. She recently graduated from the University of Tampa with a Bachelors in Fine Arts. Sophie enjoys the art and educational aspects that being an intern at SITE offers.
Walking into Lawrence (Larry) Fodor’s studio, my first impressions were of how much natural light there was in the room. Then this massive, multi-colored mound of paint required my attention. This hill that was sitting on his workstation is a collection of used oil paint that he has been gathering for years.
Finally I am able to divert my attention to the two paintings that are in progress. These paintings are at their beginning stages, years from being completed. Fodor described his process of painting. He then discussed the slow, poetic process of painting multiple layers before the work is complete. For his larger works he said that it takes him a couple of years before he feels that a painting is finished. Fodor says that painting is an act of meditation that allows him to enter the recesses of his memory. This meditation is evident in the lush colors and textures of his paintings. There are levels of narration in his paintings that can only be experienced in person. Besides his larger paintings he does smaller cigar boxes that hold collections of things. Each box starts as a palette and the paint eventually gets scraped off and added to his paint mound that I mentioned previously.
Finally he showed us his miniature watercolor paintings called Holding Light. Larry describes these as mantras; counting each circle he makes with his brush as a meditation. These watercolor paintings are more precise and less frenetic then his abstract expressionist oil paintings.
Next, we are whisked upstairs for a tour of his home, where he showed us his collection of artwork from artists he admires. He showed us his Pegasus painting, one of his earlier works that was on loan at the American Embassy in Greece. As we were about to leave, he pulled us back in to his kitchen to show us photos he had taken of the lightning storm from the previous night. It was hard to leave such an inspiring space and go back to the office. All we could talk about on the ride back to SITE Santa Fe was how inspired we felt and how we all wanted to start painting.
Image courtesy of Larry Fodor.