Lori Truly Naudlin

Interview with Lori Tuly Naudlin:  Local Artist, Muralist


13015546_10209407975941687_2111716280890152663_nLori Truly is a well-known local artist and muralist who has lived and studied internationally and now calls Lake Chapala her home. Unlike many of the ex-pats who move here for retirement, Lori and her husband and family moved here at a much earlier stage of life, in part for the educational opportunities for their children and also for the Mexican lifestyle that is so conducive for a creative life.


You work in several mediums including murals. Tell us about the range of your work.  

1229952_645310365479284_1221677012_nI was classically trained and learned to work in watercolor, gouache, pastels, acrylic, oils and more. When you play with so many of these different media, one is sure to connect with you more than the rest. I fell in love with acrylic because it suits my personality. I can manipulate it like an oil paint or watercolor, it dries fast so it allows the impatient part of me to remain happy. I can buy it in 5 gallon buckets at the house paint store, which makes the large scale paintings/murals possible.

Your artwork seems to reflect places you have traveled. Where have you gone and what has influenced your imagery?

It is inevitable that my work reflects the many places I travel. As an artist I think that my eyes are like little cameras that take snapshots of everything I see. So when I return home from places like Bali, Greece, Spain, France, England, Hawaii, Italy,  and Canada, parts  of my journeys naturally come out in my creations.

We heard that you were studying mural painting abroad. We would love to hear more about that.

1235229_645315125478808_1940024214_nI have studied abroad many times. There is something about studying art where the greats were inspired that also inspires us. When I was young, I went to Italy to study 15th, 16th, and 17th century art, and in London I studied 18th 19th and 20th century art. There was a little studying of the architecture of the interior of pubs going on as well at that time. Most recently, I went to Vienna, Austria to study the alchemy of art at the Vienna Academy for Visionary Arts. It was on this trip that my artwork began to shift. Up until this point, I had been  painting and sculpting murals for theaters, museums, schools, libraries, and homes, but now I find myself hanging out in my studio, incorporating my love of yoga and spirituality into my painting. It is hard to explain, but my art now is tied more to my own personal journey than to simply making art.

Tell us about what projects you are currently working on.

Currently I am finishing a project for the ever-so-patient clients of the International Institute. It is an 8’ chandelier that takes the shape of a book which has letters from around the world falling down in a cloud that is raining glass droplets. These are the jobs that I love the most. I never want them to end … and this one has transformed many times.  But in a way, that is exactly what is happening with me. As my art evolves, hopefully I do too. 

What brought you to Lake Chapala; we’d love to hear your story.

13692493_1228876427124858_2031113124394927059_nMy husband David Truly brought me here in 1997 when he was writing his dissertation about retirement migration. But it wasn’t until 2006 when we returned for his one year sabbatical and decided to stay. One of the reasons was to give our 2 small children a bilingual and bicultural education.  I became a certified yoga instructor,  joined the Ajijic Society of the Arts (ASA), and dove into my painting. My house was always clean thanks to my maid, and I was off to a new start. So here I am, creating, teaching yoga and art, traveling and enjoying my clean house! 



12376568_1089726371037679_6869723674836257287_nWhat else would you like our readers to know about you?

I am currently teaching in my beautiful lakefront studio in Ajijic, behind La Bodega. I offer Cocktails and Canvases where I walk novice painters (and pros) through a painting. We drink, play music, laugh and create a cool painting, while watching the sun go down. I hope to pass my experience along to other artists. At some point, you hope you get past the “pretty picture” phase and give people something to think about. This summer I hope to offer a kids art and yoga camp and am looking for other teachers to join me.  Next school year we will have an integrated art/yoga program with classes for all ages including include painting, textiles, mosaics, clay, and drawing.

Would you like to be invited to our ‘meet and greets’ when we have new artists in on the program?

I would love to attend any of your meet and greets and be included on the calendar and in your residency handbook. Thank you for this opportunity to share my passions with you, I am honored. Cheers! Lori

Your facebook page? website? links to other information about you and your work?

For more information about me and my classes, you can visit my website, www.trulyartandsol.com or on Facebook at Art and Sol, by Lori Truly.







Everyone comes to the residency for different reasons. For me it was a
time to reflect upon this whirlwind year. Like many, I lead a hectic life
and run from one exhibition to the next with little time for
contemplation. Even if I hadn’t made a single thing during my residency,
I would have been satisfied because what I really needed was to slow
down and think about what direction my work might take. I reveled in
the environment – the lake and mountains – as well as two trips, one to
see the Monarch butterflies and the other to a fiesta in an indigenous
village with my fellow artists. I left the residency refreshed, with new friends and purpose!

Jennifer Angus, Installation Artist
“Applying for the free Winter residency of Xochi Quetzal was the start of many positive transformations. The silence I found for myself during the residency, allowed me not only to write the best last chapter I can write at this stage of my evolution, it also granted me a most sought-after introspection moment during which I read my dreams and studied ancient Eastern writings. The serenity of the lake and presence of other artists inspired me to get mentally ready and organized for my future as a novelist. I am particularly fond of spending the holidays abroad with ‘strangers’. It always infuses me with these wild insights and whims. Our group was just lovely, the artists one by one very interesting. Cobra and Christian are warm and graceful hosts who made life easy. All in all, Xochi Quetzal was a weighty meditation, a poetic experience that carried me through the rest of Mexico in newness and will resonate long after.”
Heidi Souffriau, Writer
“I was partly inspired to apply for the Xochi Quetzal residency by The Retro Cocktail Hour — a popular Saturday night radio show on Kansas Public Radio 91.5 that features exotica music (a form of tropical jazz).  My hope was for the palm trees,  lakeside sunrises, and culture of Chapala & Mexico at large to inform my creative process.  These elements did precisely that, and the generous hospitality of Cobra & her partner Christian provided me with a cozy composing environment.”
Note from Staff: Listen to the music created during Andrew’s residency -Winter 2016
Andrew Morgan, Composer, Musician

Chapala is a safe, spiritually charged, beautiful place. Wild horses run through town.  It’s a place where you greet strangers on the street.

I walked along the lake in meditation a great deal. I hiked the looming cerro overlooking town. I biked all over the countryside. I wrote, documented, created composed soundscapes utilizing field recordings, and built small maquette light sculptures based on my experiences. I attended traditional temazcals, and sat alone in cathedrals.

It was pivotal for me in a spiritual sense more than a career advancing experience. I’m very grateful for it, and Deborah Kruger is a wonderful advocate to keep in contact with. I truly recommend the residency.

Justin R. Lytle, Sound Artist & Sculptor

My residency at 360 Xochi Quetzal in summer 2015 was both restorative and productive.  I was inspired by the beautiful studio and the surrounding Chapala  / Jalisco region.  The setting worked well for me in terms of inspiring and completing new work, and learning the history and customs of the area.  The flexible residency requirements allowed an easy engagement with other residents, and encouraged me to participate in Chapala and Guadalajara communities.  There are many contemporary art venues in Guadalajara, which are an easy bus ride from Chapala.

Michael Pribich, Sculptor

“Not only was this residency situated in one of the most beautifully mystical, culturally resonant, and stimulating settings imaginable, it also managed to be both peaceful and galvanizing: the perfect combination for immersing oneself in a creative project without hesitation or distraction. Deborah and Christian’s home was an oasis. One of my fellow residents remarked to me that “this place has amazing energy for getting work done,” and I wholeheartedly agree: the atmosphere seemed to hum with a low-key, generative productivity, one that helped me get closer than I’d been in many months to actually fully realizing and finishing a long story. I wish I was still there among the bougainvillea, the jade vines, the dogs and the pelicans.”

Suzanne K. Rivecca, Author

Chapala has become my home away from home. The Xochi Quetztal residency is run efficiently. Cobra and her team are friendly, accessible, and professional. My stay in Chapala is enhanced by the personal relationships I have developed with several of the team members. The casita I stay in is very well maintained and fully equipped. The studio area is large and ready for me to engage in art as soon as I arrive.  The weather is always fantastic. The lake, the town(s), the life, the restaurants, the view, the very friendly local people all call me back again and again. I love it!

Zahava Sherez, Sculptor

“This was the most work I’ve ever done in a single month in my life. I will never forget what an incredible experience this was and I thank you for honoring me with a residency at 360 Xochi Quetzal. The reference material I gathered throughout the trip to Chapala, Mexico is going to fuel my work for years to come. Thank you for everything! You run an incredible residency program!!!”

Santiago Galeas, Painter