Loren passed away on August 9, 2022. Thank you for helping us keep his memory alive and finding joy in his work that brought him so much joy. Pictured here are a couple of his last paintings, of course painted in nature as he loved so much. Also pictured is one of his last drawings which he sketched during a demonstration for a Sunday school children's class.
His life had a fullness beyond words, but here is a feeble summary: Born August 29, 1949, in Newton, Kansas, Loren had a keen love for both art and nature from an early age. During breaks from busy farm and ranch life, he could often be found drawing in the fields or forests. Many an hour was spent simply observing nature, especially before a storm when wildlife was the most active. In elementary school, he filled his school books with drawings and quickly became known as the ”school artist.” In high school, he nurtured his love of art through the Famous Artists Correspondence School, which he highly esteemed.
Upon leaving his childhood home, he worked as a Montana ranch hand by day and artist by night, until becoming a full-time artist in 1981. In 1992, he was honored to be elected into the Cowboy Artists of America, a prestigious organization of artists that has greatly influenced the landscape of contemporary Western realism.
Throughout his life, he was honored with numerous awards, including the coveted Robert Lougheed Memorial Award at the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition, which is voted on by participating artists. His work has been featured in several magazines, including Western Horseman and Art of the West. He has artwork in the permanent collections of The Montana State Historical Society in Helena, Montana, the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. He was so inspired by many artists and mentors, and in turn touched many, many lives through gracious mentorship and friendship.
Far beyond his love of art, Loren had a deep love for his family, for “mountains, trees, and streams – wild, unspoiled nature,” (in his words), and for Jesus. He often spoke of these things, and also of being ready for what lay beyond this life. He valued his many friends, too numerous to be counted, and he would often talk about the far-away people who meant a lot to him. He cherished time with his friends in Brownville, Nebraska, and could often be found shooting the breeze with the fine folks of Nemaha County.
On any given day you could find Loren in his garden, planting trees, bringing his family produce and flowers, and his grandkids bugs and butterflies to draw, tending Audubon bluebird nesting boxes, planning, building, improving, dreaming, drawing inventions and contraptions, or cracking someone up with his wild card humor in freshly written poems and sketched cartoons. He was also found reading his Bible, staying to be the last remaining helper for someone in need, seeing the good in others, traveling far and wide on roads less traveled, and passing on stories about the people he met along the way.
His heart was humble and tender, and in many ways as immense, wild, free, and creative as the nature he loved. His unconcern with fitting in with crowds made him both incredibly genuine in his care for others, and often a goofball. These qualities were cherished by so many he met along the way. Over the course of his life, he learned to turn sadness and loss into positive, inspired thinking. At these moments, he would guide us with gentleness, compassion, and humor, and encourage us to show love and appreciation for each other and for those we meet along the way.