Lori Rietze grew up in the rural community of Winkler in southern Manitoba.  Her interest in art was sparked at an early age by observing the works her mother created with oils. Throughout her high school years she sketched and expanded her knowledge through the use of pastels.  The next 20 years were devoted to raising her son and working in the financial field.  Not until 1992 did she allow herself the freedom to pursue her artistic interests.  Drawn by the soft, mystic effects produced by watercolours she enrolled in a weekend watercolour course to learn the basics of using this medium.  The encouragement of her instructor and especially her mother compelled her to keep practicing and she has never quit.

Her first display of art was in Winkler, Mb. in 1995 at a family art show.  This show produced so many favourable comments that she was encouraged to participate in other local shows and galleries. She loves the freedom and expression that watercolours bring to her focus on her art. As she has said, “My art reflects my emotions and is often a response to events in my life. I have often been told that my paintings have a style, a feeling of their own – a touch of fantasy and explicit attention to detail.”  Many of her paintings are reflections of her childhood and growing up on the prairies.  Largely self-taught, her subjects vary from prairie scenes to seascapes, animated figures, animals and fantasy. A visit to France in 2003 and again in 2005 exposed her to many classic European influences and inspired her to paint a number of works with foreign subjects.

Lori’s pieces have been consistently selected to go on tour through the Central Prairie Juried Art Shows. One of her pieces has been purchased by Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Museum for their collection. Solo shows have been held at the Pembina Hills Art Gallery in Morden, Mb.   She led watercolour workshops for all ages at the Rural Forum held in Brandon, Mb. between 1998 and 2002.  Her work has also been exhibited at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory, The Forks, The Museum of Man and Nature Gift Shop, The St. Boniface Library, The Manitoba Legislative Building. and in the Winnipeg Art Gallery sales and rental program.

Her eagerness to experiment with different mediums has given her the opportunity to work with a number of companies and organizations. She has worked as a production assistant on a variety of major corporate shows and conferences across the country, as well as designing the décor for large scale meetings and banquets.  Other projects include T-shirt designs for Dragon Boat teams, the donor wall for Boundary Trails Health Centre in Southern Manitoba, stained glass windows for a local church, Christmas cards distributed commercially across Canada, and numerous limited edition prints. In 2006 one of her works was featured in the SGI Canada calendar. Another piece was used on the promotional cover of “Cards for the Cure” – a national campaign to raise funds for breast cancer research.  In 2007 she was commissioned to produce two paintings for Hockey Day in Canada which was celebrated in Winkler on February 8th, 2008.

Lori’s paintings can be found in private, corporate, and government collections across the country a well as in Europe, Ethiopia, and Australia.  Today she continues to paint and develop her many creative talents, giving joy to others and herself.