Lorna Smith is an artist whose passionate connection with nature drives an inquiry into deeper understanding of the meanings of geometric form. Her interest in nature and art began in childhood. She grew up the wooded Hudson Highlands, and spent her teen years in the Southern California coastal town of LaJolla. Sunday school in New York provided an opportunity to make mosaics, and do other art projects related to religion. SoCal exposed her to Contemporary art, and introduced her to the wordless meditations of geometric abstraction. She honed her skills in Paris, San Francisco, and New Mexico. Smith earned a Master’s of Fine Arts degree at the Art Institute of Boston in 2007.

There is a possibility that her affinity for geometry is at least partly genetic. Lorna’s great grandparents had been weavers and dyers, first in Scotland, and later, after they immigrated, in New York. When she moved to New Mexico in 1985, she already had a strong interest in the geometries of Native cultures, especially the newly revived Mata Ortiz style. It wasn’t until 2002 that a friend introduced her to the work of Scottish artist and Celtic art historian George Bain. What began as a desire to understand Celtic art from the maker’s point of view soon grew into an earnest and scholarly quest to understand the intrinsic connections to nature embodied in this ancient, and still very much alive, form of art. Her research revealed certain designs to be the work of keen observers of the deeper mysteries of mathematics and science; forms such as the Golden Ratio, the patterns of musical time signatures, and possibly even the courses taken by planets in their orbit appeared to have been the basis for some of the elaborate patterns. The harvest of inspiration, which began with the love of the balance and beauty of natural form, soon grew exponentially, with the discoveries that she made about the art of our pan-European ancestors.

Fiesta c. Lorna E. Smith

Lorna E. Smith at work on a finger maze.

Lorna Smith is an art teacher at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. She is currently pursuing a second Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, while continuing to practice art in her Placitas studio when she finds time.



All work is ©Lorna E. Smith and may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without the express written permission of the artist.