Loretta was a self-taught artist since childhood. Coming from a fairly large family, she used to find peace in the solitude of a corner of the house with her pencil and paper, making coloring books for her sisters or drawing from real life or her imagination. In 2nd grade, she drew a charcoal portrait of a classmate whose startling likeness surprised even herself. Her grandfather encouraged her passion by supplying her with art materials from pastel crayons to oil paints, canvas & easel. He also fostered her musical education, sending her to guitar school throughout her teenage years. However, he insisted she spend her formal education in the business fields because "artists can't make a decent living." She continued to paint portraits for her own enjoyment and gave oil paintings away as gifts until realizing it was time to honor her creative gift and devote much more time to its development and the prospect of an income from it.
Hence, it wasn't until her own daughter was an adult that she took her first art class, choosing the private school across the street from where she lived, Mission Renaissance. She spent three years in their program, then was recommended to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and studied painting composition, figures, and their most advanced portraiture program, culminating with one summer class in the South of France, the region of Paul Cezanne's life and studies. She has also studied under the tutelage of two world renown artists, Rino Gonzalez and James Zar. And though she is now a professional artist, her love of learning and the joy of constant improvement compels her toward self-education permanently.
photography by Robert V. Heard
Loretta's philosophy on painting and life and her neverending quest for understanding them is summed up quite nicely by the great artist, David A. Leffel......
"Painting is the pursuit of intelligence, wherein self-expression is merely a by-product of learning to paint. To pursue any art form as a means to express the self is limiting. Learning to paint expands intelligence, and develops sensitivity - sensitivity to people, to relationships, to all the things in the world. Without cultivating this understanding, can art, painting have any depth? Great painting is the product of a mind that is seeing, tasting, exploring the entire fabric of life."