Vice Magazine // Creators Write Up by lori gilbert


These Incredible Wave Paintings Are Sublimely Lit


Apr 9 2017, 5:00am

These stunning wave paintings look so real you could probably surf on them.

From small ripples to surfable swells, ocean waves are rarely disappointing in their calming beauty. Although well depicted throughout art history (best exemplified by Japan's most iconic ukiyo-e woodblock painting), few artists render the true exuberance of waves as well as painter Lori Gilbert. Focusing on the powerful role of light in the formation of wave aesthetics, Gilbert's works straddle the spectrum from hyperreal beach scenes to phantasmagoric waves floating in the void.

Although she also paints portraits and landscapes outside of the beach, Gilbert has a soft spot for depicting waves, partially as a result of her own childhood nostalgia. "I grew up in Southern California, and ever since I was a girl, I would go to the beach and just stare for hours at the waves crashing. The sound itself is hypnotizing," the artist tells Creators. "I have always known that being over a body of water brings a certain peace to your mind and heart, and with my work, I dream of capturing this peacefulness."


Indeed, there is something incredibly peaceful about Gilbert's wave paintings. Perhaps it's the way she freezes otherwise ephemeral moments, allowing the viewer to see—in stunning and sometimes surreal detail—the details and peculiarities of a crashing wave. The meticulousness of these paintings reveals Gilbert's lifelong relationship with water; the occasional beachgoer could never paint them as intricately as she does.

But it isn't just a lifelong familiarity with beaches and waves that allows Gilbert to do what she does; there is more at work behind the magic. "Most of my friends are surfers, and a few years ago I started seeing GoPro photos of waves everywhere," she explains. "Every surfer has this intimate relationship with the water; they crave being in the break and feeling peaceful. With the GoPro, it was the first time the viewer could feel like they were inside the waves and could feel the euphoria and stillness the surfer felt."


"I was mesmerized, being able to see the intricate detail by which light refracted amongst the barreling wave. I had to accomplish this feeling in my paintings and bring my own energy into them," Gilbert adds. "A reiki healer once told me that nature is meant to balance its viewers' mind and soul with its perfect harmony of color and light. My real goal and dream is to bring this healing energy to people's homes and give them that feeling of grounding and love."

You can peruse Lori Gilbert's wave and non-wave paintings here.

OC register Write Up for "Liquify" by lori gilbert

Artist makes waves with surf images

April 8, 2015

Updated 1:21 p.m.



Artist Lori Gilbert, who grew up in Tustin and now lives in Costa Mesa, has made a splash with her painting of waves. PHOTO COURTESY OF LORI GILBERT , COURTESY OF LORI GILBERT

About the artist:

Age: 28

Hometown: Tustin

Current residence: Costa Mesa


What: Lori Gilbert Art Presents: "Liquify", sponsored by Western Digital. The show will feature Gilbert's work, photography by Jeff Davis, wine, food and a performance by Brightside.

When: April 12; 7-10 p.m.

Where: The Boathouse Collective, 1640 Pomona Ave. Costa Mesa.

When Lori Gilbert realized she had no choice but to sign up for an art class, her first thought was “this must be some sort of joke.”

Gilbert was a serious softball player, a self-proclaimed jock who had her eyes on one day getting to the Olympics while studying computer programming.

She certainly was no artist, having never picked up a paintbrush in her life.

A torn ACL shattered her dreams of playing serious softball for her college in Buffalo, and she was forced to move back to Orange County and transfer to Long Beach State College. But a transcript error left her with little options for classes.

The only course she could get into was “Intro to Painting.”

“I was crying; it was horrible,” she said. “Who makes a living as an artist, seriously?”

Little did Gilbert know the class would send her life into a new, creative direction. Sunday, the spotlight will be on Gilbert at the Boat Collective in Costa Mesa for an art show called “Liquify” that will showcase her life-like paintings of Orange County waves and surf breaks.

It was a change in her life that happened swiftly. Once she picked up the paintbrush, something happened.

“When I painted, I just felt it was my purpose,” she said. “It really doesn’t make sense still. I felt like it was what I was supposed to be doing.”

She learned to paint anything she could, and soon dropped out of school to pursue her dream. She took a job selling Sparkletts water, something she could do for a few hours a day to pay the bills so she could spend the rest of her day focusing on her art.

At first, she developed a graffiti art style. She started posting her art on social media and got some good feedback.

Then, people started wanting to buy her work.

“The fact that someone would put something on their wall that I made ... could you imagine if I could get paid to do something like this?” she asked herself. “That would be amazing.”

She decided to quit her job and put all her focus into her art.

Soon after, she saw an image friend and surf photographer Robbie Crawford had taken of a wave and