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New Orleans Painters Lory Lockwood and Adrian Deckbar

When you think of New Orleans, often images of Mardi Gras or even Hurricane Katrina come to mind.  However, New Orleans based artists Lory Lockwood and Adrian Deckbar are inspired by other images – engines and motorcycles and primeval nature.  Although their subject matter differs, they share an obsession for detail and realism, as well as a love of Atelier Interactive Artists' Acrylics.

When painting in this style, it is easy to forget the overall visual impact of the painting and simply marvel at the technical acuity.  Yet these women are able to go beyond pure photorealism, because they embrace abstraction even in the midst of all the details.

Lockwood’s recent painting, Hiss....(Cobra) , is a bold, bright work that features every stainless steel braided line, aluminum valve covers, high rise intakes and fuel injectors of an AC Cobra engine.  But despite all the complexity, there is a rhythm, balance and beautiful subtle color sensibility that pulsate.  It’s not just a cold, gleaming machine part made of chrome and steel – the painting of the engine glows and throbs with life.

Deckbar’s paintings also pulse, but with the primordial life force of nature.  In paintings such as Immersion , the painting looks like a photo, but when viewed up close, you see that it’s made up of painterly marks, gestures and shapes.  The interplay of light and shadow creates an abstract, shimmering pattern that reveals the power and the dark mystery of life.

Both women use Atelier Interactive to create their large artworks.  For Lockwood, a key reason for choosing this paint is the amount of time she saves over working with oils.  If these highly detailed and worked pieces were created with oils, they would need days or weeks to set up before moving onto the next layers.  Because of Atelier Interactive’s fast drying nature, as well as the ability to control the drying and blending time as they paint, she is able to paint faster, and complete more paintings quickly..

Early in her career, Deckbar worked with both acrylics and oils, but preferred the blending of oils. Twenty-five years later, she developed an allergy to the aromatic solvents and needed to change. After an unsatisfying time with different brands of acrylics, she discovered Atelier Interactive.  The strength of the pigment and flow of paint hooked her, and eight years later, she still loves painting with it. She paints on large stretched canvas, which she gessoes and sands three times, and then tones with a color. Deckbar projects her photo reference using an old-fashioned slide projector, because digital projectors don’t give her the rich depth of color she craves.

Lockwood uses water, Atelier Retarder mixed with Atelier Slow Medium, and Unlocking Formula when she works; while Deckbar prefers Atelier Retarder mixed with Atelier Gloss Medium.  When asked for a tip for artists first attempting to paint in this style, Deckbar suggests,  “If you are confident with your composition, use a brush loaded with color.  If you are unsure, paint with thin washes and keep your edges soft.” Lockwood offered some of her favorite colors: Light Red Ochre mixed with Carbon Black; Blue Black; Pacific Black and  Purple.

Beginning June 1, 2013, Lockwood’s paintings will be on view at the Rymer Gallery in Nashville, TN, USA - visit her website at to view more of her paintings.

In 2012, Deckbar had a sold-out solo show at Callan Contemporary in New Orleans, LA, USA and is busy creating new work for her next solo show at Callan in February 2014 – visit her website at to view her paintings.