Lorna Libert

Paintings, large and small, line the walls of artist Lorna Libert’s home studio. (Photo courtesy Lorna Libert)

Thirty artists meeting and greeting 

WHATCOM – In 1995, the Whatcom Artists Studio Tour began with 10 artists. Since then, it has grown to feature more than 50 artists who work in more than a dozen different media.

It also features 41 studios throughout Whatcom County.

According to organizers, the studio tour “offers visitors insight into the creative process, work-life and work-environment of area artists and provides an opportunity for people to purchase original works directly from their makers.”

Local artist Lorna Libert said that the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour is “a wonderful way to get to meet local artists and experience a bit of their world.” 

“I think that purchasing art is not only a good investment, but it brings  joy and beauty into your home,” said Libert, who lives outside of Everson on county land. “Original art makes people feel good. It makes a home feel good.”

In 2004, she built her home/studio. Libert, whose studio is off of Noon Road, has been a full-time artist since 1997 and part of the tour since 2005.

She is known for bold oil paintings of animals, boats, and scenery. 

“I designed the large space for my artwork,” she said. “The first floor is a 1,500-square-foot art studio. The upstairs is the living space as well as exhibition space for the large oil paintings. The ceiling goes up to 22 feet.”

When asked how she came to do art, the response was “I don’t even remember.”

“I’ve always loved art,” Libert said. “Growing up in New York, I got to spend a lot of time visiting museums and galleries. I drew and painted constantly as a kid. During high school, I attended Huntington Fine Arts Workshop where I studied drawing, painting and sculpture. I studied fine art at Carnegie-Mellon University, Long Island University and Central Washington University.” 

Libert’s art credentials include a Bachelor of Fine Arts, an Art Education certification and a Master of Fine Arts.

Besides Washington, her works have been shown in galleries and museums in Oregon, Alaska, British Columbia, New York and California, and in private collections worldwide.

She not only continues to paint prolifically in her studios and from her boat, she also teaches. 

“I have a wonderful group of women who study with me on Wednesday afternoons in my studio,” she said. “Men are welcome too, but I just happen to have all women right now.” 

While it is easier to take small canvases on her boat, she paints quite large. 

“I still love to paint big – six feet or more in any direction is my favorite,” she said. “But on the 27-foot sailboat – also known as my floating studio – I am forced to scale it down a bit. The Cockpit Collection ranges from six-by-six inches to 16-by-20.

"I also have lots of pieces that are three or four feet. I just love painting – any size or shape really. The subject and feeling often dictate the size of the canvas. My recent series is inspired by our local landscape.

"Due to the pandemic and lack of travel opportunities, I spent a lot of time on the water, out in the islands and on local hiking trails. Therefore, I seem to be painting water, islands and trails.”

Maps of the participating studios are online at studiotour.net. Artists are arranged by medium as well as an alphabetical listing of artists.

More information about Libert is at lornalibert.com

More information about the Whatcom Artists Studio Tour is at studiotour.net.