Artist creates pieces based on childhood in Uganda, Kenya – Times-Standard

Louise “Lu” Pryor is an artist whose living work is inspired by her early childhood in Africa.

Pryor – who was born in Yorkshire, England and moved her family to Uganda when she was 3 years old – shares her paintings with people of Eureka in an exhibition at the Old Town Art Gallery, 417 Second St., Suite 102.

Pryor – a 33-year-old Nevada County resident – is the Eureka Gallery’s guest artist for January. She shares the space on the wall with local artist Evan Kovasi, artist of the month.

In an email interview with the Times-Standard, Pryor said she lived in Uganda from 1970 to 1976.

“Uganda was liberated from Britain,” she said. “The UK government has hired skilled craftsmen to teach the skills. My father was hired to teach how to run and run a newspaper. “

Pryor added: “Idi Amin took power shortly before we left and we had to flee the country.”

Otherwise her family would have stayed in Uganda indefinitely, “because it was a wonderful place”.

After a stay in Kenya and then on the small tropical island of Mauritius, Pryor’s family moved back to England.

“My childhood in Africa was very happy. It was a beautiful place to live, ”she said. “We drove through safari parks every weekend, my father hopped out of the car every now and then to take photos of the wildlife – sometimes at risk of death.

“I tried to reflect the bold African prints coupled with the bold colorful prints of the 70s along with the amazing animals to articulate some of the feelings of that time,” she said.

“Leap!” is one of the many creations by artist Lu Pryor now on display at the Old Town Art Gallery in Eureka. (Submitted)

Although she had engaged in pencil drawings, she began to paint seriously in 2002, after the birth of her youngest child.

“When I started with color, I was scared of it – scared of screwing up, being too bold, scared that I just didn’t know enough,” she said. “I started with some permanent archive markers that interact in interesting ways. They are only available in the primary and secondary colors, so my palette was limited from the start and the colors are pretty bold. “

Pryor also enjoys acrylic portraits that capture the lives and spirits of her five children, myriad pets, and many, many cats, including her own and others.

“I had read an article about people becoming interested in artist portraits of their children rather than photographs, so I thought I’d give it a try,” said Pryor. “I started drawing colorful portraits of my own children and then switched to assignments for other people’s children. After a while I realized that I was working through the expensive markers too quickly, so I started using acrylic paint for the larger areas of color. At some point I moved on to all of the colors even though I still have the markers and occasionally use them over the color. I started with children, but then moved on to cats, dogs, horses and then to the big animals of Africa. “

In her work, the artist Lu Pryor tries to “reflect the bold African prints in connection with the bold colorful prints of the 1970s”. One of their pieces is shown, “Elephant Emergence”. (Submitted)

Her favorite animals to paint are cats.

“I’ve always been fascinated by eyes, and cats have such great eyes,” said Pryor. “I also love the poses they take – so graceful, even when they’re fooling around.”

Pryor – who teaches art and administers it at a small private school – gets up early to paint at least two hours a day because she believes in the healing power of beauty.

“Painting is meditative,” she says. “I find that while painting I often work through difficult topics.”

Pryor regularly sells her work at trade fairs and shows. She is a past president of the Pioneer Arts Guild of Nevada County and a founding member of the Creative Arts Consortium. And now she is an exhibiting artist at the Old Town Art Gallery in Eureka.

“Hippo Dreams” is part of the Africa artwork series by the artist Lu Pryor. Pryor lived in Africa as a child. (Submitted)

“My husband and I have always had an affinity with the north coast,” she says. “We spent our honeymoon there 34 years ago and come back often. Last summer my husband decided he was going to retire and become my manager. He started exploring the north coast to see if he could find places to display my art, as Humboldt and the surrounding counties have a reputation for being very artistic places. He loved the Old Town Art Gallery as soon as he walked in and thought it was a great place. “

To see more of Pryor’s work online, go to To learn more about T. Evan Kovasi and see his work, visit

Local artist Evan Kovasi – whose work is pictured here – is the artist featured at the Old Town Art Gallery in January. A press release on the exhibition states: “His combination of technical know-how and artistic freedom is the creation of works that sometimes look more like paintings than traditional landscape photography.” (Submitted)

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