Review Me: Li Mei Norton: Bold Essence
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Friday, November 26, 2021

Li Mei Norton: Bold Essence

Li Mei, we are very grateful that you gave us this time so that we can get acquainted with your wonderful art through this interview. Tell us about your artistic background story and if there was a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as a visual artist?

I was a little girl at 5 loved to draw faces and figures with hundred clothes and design.. Unfortunately, my Taiwanese parents won't recognize any of my gifts of art and I started to pursue my sales career after college till last year when the Pandemic hit and I realized the mysterious gift from God is always here, after 35 years I picked my pencil and painted my first color acrylic painting Red Flower on July 7, 2020 which was selected by all After that I painted over 100 paintings and most of them are portraits. My sales background make me who I am today, love the connection of every relationship and know different races from different countries and ages, background. I consider myself very lucky to live in LA for over 19 years, where I developed my sales career from Lexus to Real estate and now to my true calling Art! Love the diversity of culture and as an artist with my sales background, it really helps me to catch each individual's spirit and essence. I think the purpose of my life is here to paint each one's life story and share the beauty of this world.

Great job! You are a self-taught artist. You picked up your first paintbrush when you were five years old. Was there ever a moment of doubt to question your art career entirely?

Yes, especially to a new artist only a bit over a year and realize there are a million artist in this whole world and feel I'm nothing to compare with other great artists.

Some artists commit themselves to showing up and working every single day. How about you, Li? What is your daily routine when working in your studio?

My daily routine: Morning meditation, yoga, or work out. Then checking email or any marketing update. And finally painting for 2-3 hrs.

We look forward to hearing about your behind-the-scenes work. So, take us through your process of making your artworks.

I'm a portrait artist, sometimes I watch a show on YouTube, commission art, or special incident like MLK then inspired to paint all different subjects or people. Mostly I use acrylic or oil paint on paper or canvas. I do quick draw first their color.

As you said, you are a portrait artist and focus on creating bold, colorful art through Portraitures. Is there a central concept connecting all your works together or each series or artwork is unique?

The central concept, usually I can connect with spirit with each individual picture, I feel them first, then I paint, that is what people comment my art with soul and spirit.

Through your Portraitures, you express the life and soul of each subject matter. Would you like to give a particular interpretation of your work to your viewers or you prefer to leave the whole interpretation to your audience?

No, I don't think I need a particular interpretation of my work, portrait art is very easy to see, mostly I hope the audience can feel each unique soul of each painting.

Some artists get inspired by observing their surroundings. Some Take a sketchbook with them and take down the sketches that stir them. How do you seek and use inspiration for your works?

I was inspired by daily life, from the TV movie, news, or some stories,

What about your art subjects? How do you select your artworks subjects?

I select my art subject based on my feeling of each portrait. Do I feel to paint them? Which pictures that I prefer to use? How do I tell my audience about the story of painting?

Sometimes an artwork means, kind of special to an artist compared to other works. Is there an artwork or series that you would like to be remembered for? And if yes, what is it?

Spain Flamenco, I painted 6 of them, sold the first original flamenco to Spain Marid and a fine print to South France, then I traveled to Spaint a month this summer, painted 5 more of them and sold one original art to Taiwan, my friend, I think it's a very good series.

Our readers are waiting for good news about your future works. Any upcoming works or future projects that you would like to share with our readers?

Actually, I just open my art gallery in Pasadena and love to invite people to my galley if they are in the LA area.

The works of past artists affect the fundamental sense of self. What are your art influences?

Van Gough is my number one favor artist, ppl comment on my art strong colors as an impressionist, and his commitment to art was so moving. I was at his museum in Amsterdam, and it's one of the best experiences I ever had with great museums.

And, if you could meet one of your ideal artists from the past, who would it be and what will you ask about?

Van Gough, what keeps him moving forward? Even he didn't sell any art when he was a full-time artist for 8 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its consequent restrictions have had profound effects on art activities. How have you been affected by the current lockdown, social distancing, and all limitations and cancellations in the artistic world?

I feel it kind of back to normal, I just open my art gallery, and ppl walk in chatting with me which I love the most, connection with people.

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