MFA fiction writing, Sarah Lawrence College, 1998
BA studio art, Transylvania University, 1992
Theology Summer School, Continuing Education, Oxford University, 2017
Living Compass Congregational Wellness Advocate Training, Sewanee, TN, 2017
Theology Summer School, Continuing Education, Oxford University, 2016
The Red Madonna, Shiloh Sophia McCloud, 2016
The Red Madonna, Shiloh Sophia McCloud, 2015
The Gospel of Thomas for Advent With Cynthia Bourgeault, 2014
Soul Coaching© Master Oracle Card Reader Practitioner, 2012
Sacred Landscapes, Continuing Education, Oxford University, 2010
Usui Reiki Level III, 2008
Lotus Paintings, Wildfire Yoga, Lexington, Ky., 2019
Art and Invention, Nashville, TN, 2019
Mother Earth, Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington, Ky., 2019
Divine Guidance: Solo Exhibition, Divine Art Cafe, Nashville, TN, 2018
She Who Loves: Solo Exhibition, St. Raphael the Archangel Episcopal Church, Lexington, Ky., 2017
Exit 115: Art of the Bluegrass, 22 North, Ypsilanti, MI, 2017
Tarot: An Exhibition, the Bread Box, Lexington, Ky., 2016
All the Buzz: Art Exhibition and Celebration of the Hive Mural, the Hive, Lexington, Ky., 2016
Way of Sorrows: Stations of the Cross, Lexington, Ky., 2016
Sacred Sites – Churches and Art of the Lexington Episcopal Diocese, Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington, Ky., 2016
The Mother Mary Paintings: Art & God, exhibition and artist’s talk, Soul Mates Gallery, Ewing, Ky., 2015
Praying With Icons, Lenten Supper Program, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Lexington, Ky., 2018
Paint Your Prayer Workshop, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Lexington, Ky., 2018
Women of Holy Week, Rector's Forum, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Lexington, Ky., 2017
Cane Ridge to Cathedral Basilica, Art as Prayer: A Discussion Between Artists, with photographer Kopana Terry at ArtsPlace in Lexington, Ky., as part of LexArts’ Arts Showcase Weekend, 2016
Untangling Mary Magdalene: Apostle to the Apostles at St. Paul United Methodist Church, Louisville, Ky., 2016
Abiding With God Through Art, Rector’s Forum, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, October 2015
Guest on the Clarity Now! podcast, October 2015
Guest teacher in the Soul Sanctuary, January 2015
Untangling Mary Magdalene, Rector’s Forum, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, November 2014
Journaling the Chakras Workshop, Open Heart Yoga, 2011
Red Velvet, A Romance in Seasons, 2016
Bats, Chevy Chaser Magazine, January 2008, winner Carnegie Center flash fiction contest.
A Wedding Journey, A More Perfect Union: Poems and Stories About the Modern Wedding, Virginia Hartman and Barbara Esstman, editors, St. Martin’s Press, 1999
Bird Signs, Words Dance 13, 2013
Revision, Motif 2, Come What May: A Collection of Writings About Chance, 2010
All That You Touch, My Poem Rocks, 2009
Suspension, Calliope, 2008; Third place in the Women Who Write annual poetry and short prose competition.
Sleep, Harbinger, 1998
Sacred Rest, Your Spirit Sparkle Community Journal, 2016
How Praying the Rosary Saved Me, Over the Moon Magazine, 2015
Mary of Bethany: Devoted During Darkness, Over the Moon Magazine, 2015
Waiting for the Birth, Over the Moon Magazine, 2014
Mary Said Yes, Over the Moon Magazine, 2014
Who Was Mary Magdalene, Over the Moon Magazine, 2014
Journaling as Spiritual Practice, Simply Woman, 2014
Contributing Writer, 23 Ways to Live With Love, 2014
High Art: Linda Wise McNay raises money for institutions she cares about, Transylvania Magazine, Fall 2008
Profile of Dewey Cornell, Preventing Violence Before it Begins, Transylvania Magazine, Fall 2008
Profile of Mandy McMillian: The Confidence to Act, Transylvania Magazine Spring 2007
Sentire Magazine, Issue #5, October 2018
Your Spirit Sparkle Community Journal, 2016
Raised in Kentucky, Lori-Lyn Hurley graduated from Transylvania University with a degree in studio art. She lived in New York City for nearly a decade and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She has worked as a teacher in schools and literacy centers, an editorial assistant for a university publication, a set-up artist for a photography studio, and at the children’s desk of the public library. She has published short fiction and poetry and shown art in a variety of settings. A perpetual student of intuition and energy, she was attuned to Usui Reiki III. She has studied theology in the summer program at Christ Church College, Oxford. She is a member of an Episcopal church. Currently, she paints prayers and leads women through meditative retreats, creative discoveries, and transformational moments. It is her passion to hold space for other women as they become who they were born to be.
What is the best way to contact you?
If you have a question, suggestion, or just want to chat with me, the best way to be in touch is through the contact form on this website. (You’ll find one at the bottom of this page.) My Facebook Messenger gets a little backlogged and I don’t love phone calls. I am on Voxer and Marco Polo, if you enjoy those things.
Do you accept commissions?
Absolutely! Commissioned Prayer Paintings are the heart of my work. You can read all about that right there.
What are your payment terms?
I paint when payment is received and I do not offer refunds for any reason. You may submit payment through PayPal, using the Purchase Now buttons on this site, or via personal check (contact me for this option.) If you need a payment plan, I am happy to receive your payment in installments, simply contact me to arrange it.
Are you interested in being contacted by galleries, agents, or boutique owners?
Yes! I love getting my work out into the world - in spaces traditionally known for artwork as well as nontraditional spaces. I have shown and sold work in churches, boutiques, art galleries, and yoga studios. If you’d like to hang my work, please let me know.
Do you teach workshops?
I lead Prayer Paintings workshops and meditation retreats in your space or at your gathering. Please contact me to discuss the possibilities
How long does it take for you to complete a painting?
There’s no hard and fast answer to this question. Prayer painting is an intuitive process. Some paintings come in very quickly and some take a little more time. I paint in order of requests received. You will most likely have your painting in your hands within 2-3 weeks of purchase.
I look forward to hearing from you.
It’s my wish to live my life with an open mind and an open heart, guided by holy intuition and curiosity, and trusting in the path as it appears before me.
This is also how I seek to work - to paint and write and share space with others - in the spirit of healing and unconditional love.
I hope that when you meet me, you leave feeling free, fully seen and supported, as if we just shared a cup of coffee on the front porch, in our leopard print pajamas and kimono robes, warm sun on our skin, cool breeze in our hair.
I was born the day after Valentine’s Day in 1969 in Richmond, Kentucky.
My parents were both academics, but when I was eleven, my dad took what turned out to be permanent leave of absence from teaching to pursue a career as a humorist. My mother, who had taken time off to raise children, went back to complete her PhD and enjoyed a successful career as a college professor.
I have one sibling, a brother, who is also an artist, and a musician.
As a child, I was super sensitive.
In my family, worry was the currency of love, and I learned to fear worst-case-scenarios, conflict, rejection. It was no one’s fault; it was simply the story that had been passed down through generations.
In addition to this inherited anxiety I carried, I was a physical empath in a time and place where no one knew what that was.
I was self-conscious and felt like I didn’t belong.
Though I had friends and did social things, I preferred to be alone in nature to be being with other people.
At the same time, I was a pop culture junkie. I collected Charlie’s Angels trading cards, stayed up late to watch the Rockford Files, and spent hours listening to music and writing the song lyrics in spiral notebooks.
My two favorite childhood activities were painting and writing stories.
I am fortunate that in my family, we valued humor and ideas.
We stood out in our driveway at night searching the sky for UFOs. We played games designed to develop our extra-sensory perception. We discussed physics, metaphysics, parapsychology, and philosophy at the dinner table.
I have always been spiritual seeker with a thirst to know whatever I could know about God, about the nature of life, who we are, why we are here, and how.
I have always been drawn to the hidden side of things - the esoteric and the numinous.
Even though my parents highly valued education, I didn’t like school.
I loved making art and reading and writing fiction, but I mostly found school to be restrictive, boring.
My mother is a church organist, so I was raised going to church every Sunday, but I was not taught a fear-based theology.
Some people find this difficult to believe, but I think it’s important to say that I was never taught that I might be sent to Hell. In fact, the religion I grew up with had very little to say about what happened after we left our bodies but was instead focused on how to best live this life.
I was never taught hate or fear at church.
It never occured to me that there was anything wrong with perceiving the spiritual world - like the time I was walking on my grandparents’ farm and became aware of a Native American guardian of the land, or the voices I could hear singing and talking in that liminal space between waking and sleeping.
I bought my first tarot deck when I was in high school, around the same time I read Shirley MacLaine’s Out on a Limb.
I was confirmed into the Episcopal Church when I was eighteen, shortly before I drifted away from church attendance.
Mine was not a painful split from the Church, I simply yearned for a spirituality that was not so patriarchal, one where women’s voices, women’s wisdom would be reflected back to me.
I went away to college thinking I would major in drama. I had been a member of a youth theater company and played the female lead in my senior play. Truth be known, what I actually wanted to be was a movie star.
What happened instead during my first college year was a passion for writing poetry. I began to channel my creative energies toward the written word and imagined a different sort of future fame for myself - famous poet.
I spent a lot of time that year in the library immersed in the words of Anne Sexton, Sharon Olds.
I came back home for my sophomore year, enrolled in the big state university, dropped out, wandered around aimlessly, acted in a play, and finally ended up at a small liberal arts school that I knew was a terrible fit for me.
I wanted to major in creative writing, but there was no creative writing major, so I spent some time in the English department, but it was not for me. Then, I took at art history class called Women in Art. This was my introduction to feminist art theory, and I discovered that the art department was where I felt the most at home on the conservative campus.
I ended up graduating from college with a degree in studio art.
I had flamingo pink hair, a pair of Doc Martens, and a fire in my belly. It was 1992. I was going to be a famous artist.
After working for a while at a fast food cajun restaurant, I decided to move to New York City. I felt out of place in my hometown, and was certain my destiny lay somewhere else.
I had been fascinated by Los Angeles for most of my life, and felt a strong pull toward the West Coast, but I had some fairly intense phobias around driving, and decided it would be best to move to a city where I wouldn’t have to have a car.
My brother drove me to New York on Thanksgiving weekend, during an ice storm, and I moved into a residential hotel on the edge of Harlem with absolutely no plan.
It was a crazy thing to do.
I ended up spending nearly a decade in New York working a variety of strange jobs, sometimes blown away by the romance of a city that feels like a movie set, but mostly energetically and emotionally overwhelmed.
I gradually stopped making art.
Enmeshed in an unhealthy relationship, depressed, and fatigued, I was walking on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, when I saw a flyer on a telephone pole advertising a writers group. The sign called me to it like a magnet; it was almost glowing. Even though I detest making phone calls, I pulled off one of the phone number tabs and left a message on an answering machine.
Brooklyn Writers turned out to be a welcoming, supportive, and energetic community that allowed me to return, not only to my writer’s voice, but my soul’s voice. I slowly began to come back to life, and I applied to graduate school.
I moved out of the city, into the suburbs.
My two years of graduate school were my two favorite years of school ever. Finally, I felt I was in an educational environment where I belonged. I completed my MFA in 1998, with a manuscript for a young adult novel. My professors thought it was good. They thought it was publishable. At the corners of my consciousness an idea started to flicker - maybe I would be a famous author.
Around this time, a friend gave me a gift of rosaries that had belonged to his Roman Catholic mother and sister, both deceased. I went to my favorite used bookstore and found a book about how to pray the rosary.
Some of the words of some of the prayers, I could not bring myself to say. They sounded so harsh and reflected a theology that was not mine. But something in the book really resonated with me - the idea that when I held one end of the rosary, Mary held the other end.
I prayed the rosary - in the traditional way and in my own way - and I prayed to the Archangel Michael. I started to feel an inner strength. I started to see a way out of the relationship that had been so damaging to me.
It is only because of the support that my prayer practice provided, I was able to remove myself from that situation and begin, at least, to reclaim my life.
One morning, when I was awake, but hadn’t yet opened my eyes to the day, I heard a woman’s voice speak my name. The voice came from the upper right hand corner of my bedroom. I screamed and immediately regretted it.
I believed this was direct communication from the spirit world, and I had shut it down with my fear.
In December of 2000, I came home for Christmas. On that visit, I had dinner with my friend Tracy. I told him I wanted to leave New York, but I wasn’t sure where to go. He suggested I move back to Kentucky.
Tracy and I transitioned our relationship from friendship to dating.
I got a job at the children’s desk of a public library branch.
I had no idea what I was going to do with my life - as none of my plans for fame had come to fruition - but I still felt reasonably young. There was still time, I thought, to figure things out.
One afternoon at an art gallery, I spied a business card for a Reiki practitioner. I’d been interested in Reiki since I’d seen a book by that title on my brother’s bedroom floor when we were in college. I’d purchased many books of my own about Reiki and energy healing, and had wished for an opportunity to learn the modality, but I’d never had a treatment.
As a birthday gift to myself, I made an appointment.
When I walked into Samara Anjelea’s office, I felt instantly at home. It was a lush, fragrant, warmly lit space. The woman herself was warm and open. Gentle and wise with otherworldly beautiful blue eyes.
I’d gone to a palm reader once on the Upper East Side, but that experience, though colorful and fun, felt more like a con than a connection. Samara gave me my first authentic intuitive reading, then Reiki session. It was a fascinating experience and I left with new insight.
Over the next few years, I took psychic development classes with this good and generous teacher, and was eventually attuned to Reiki. I received Reiki III (Reiki Master) in 2008.
I was passionate about energy and intuitive work. The extreme sensitivity that had caused me so much discomfort during childhood made me a good reader, it turned out. I found I had a natural inclination for perceiving energy and spirit.
Through spiritual practice and energy medicine, I began to work through and heal my deeply rooted fears and anxieties.
And I experienced mystical signs and wonders - direct and beautiful communication with the spiritual world, which is not “out there” somewhere, but right here.
Tracy and I had moved into a slightly haunted foursquare house in a historic neighborhood, and life was good except that I had started to feel a little desperate about figuring out what I was meant to do with my life, which was another way of saying, a way to generate income that didn’t make me feel like I was being choked to death.
I worked at a job as an editorial assistant for a University publication. It was far from my dream job. I sat all day in a windowless office and tried to write like a journalist instead of a novelist.
Except for my blog, I was no longer writing for myself, and it had been a long time since I’d made art.
I decided to go to massage therapy school and gave notice at my job, but almost immediately, I changed my mind.
I wasn’t meant to be a massage therapist, so I threw myself head first into offering Reiki sessions and intuitive readings.
The first time I gave Reiki to a client, an unexpected thing happened. I grounded my energy, put my hands in her aura, closed my eyes...and saw Jesus. I wasn’t sure what to do. I had no idea what this young woman’s feelings were about religion. Telling her I’d seen an image of Jesus seemed a little heavy, but when her session was over and we sat down to discuss, I told her what I had seen and heard, that he wanted her to know she was loved, that she was okay.
My client began to weep. It turns out her family, fundamentalists, were worried about her soul because she had chosen to leave the church of her upbringing and explore her spirituality in different ways. The message “from Jesus” was hugely validating and healing for her.
And therefore, validating for me.
I loved this work and I worked a lot, but something was off. It left me feeling depleted in a way that it shouldn’t have. I tended to grounding and clearing, but I still felt unsure. I believed that my uncertainty would be solved if I could find the ideal space to practice - a beautiful safe office within walking distance of my house.
Amazingly, this exact situation was offered to me. My dear friend, a healer and herbalist, was going away for training and asked if I wanted to sublet her space. It was a dream opportunity.
I saw wonderful people in that wonderful space for a full year but at the end of that year, I didn’t relocate to a new space.
In my personal meditation practice, I began to see images of the Christ, of crosses with light flooding through them. I began to hear a gentle message about returning to church.
I argued with this message. I knew church wasn’t the place for me. I found great comfort in reading books about Mary, the Mother of God, and Mary Magdalene. I loved my rosary prayer practice. But it seemed to me that organized religion created division.
The Christianity that was playing out all around me in culture and on the nightly news was hateful, homophobic, and misogynist. It presented God as a passive aggressive tyrant and life as a test that had to be lived correctly or else.
I wanted no part of that.
But my guidance was insistent. No matter how I argued, I continued to receive the message that I should go back to church. The message became more and more specific - telling me which church and when.
So on Easter 2013, I went to church.
It seemed impossible that I should be there. I felt like there was a neon burn the witch sign over my head.
But it also felt like a homecoming - the aroma of the incense, the ritual, the cadence - my body remembered the liturgy and found a great peace in it.
Then the priest stood at the pulpit to preach. “What does an evangelist look like?” He asked. “If you ask Jesus, she looks like a woman.”
He proceeded to deliver the best sermon about Mary Magdalene I have ever heard.
I found a home there, a community. I found wholeness in the Eucharist. I found illumination and guidance in the sermons. And I came to understand that I did believe in the divinity of Christ.
I came to see that I had surrounded myself with people who more or less saw life the way I saw it, and believed what I believed. Church opened my heart to walking with and loving and allowing myself to be loved by people different from myself.
My priest introduced me to the book that changed my life, The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault.
I knew I didn’t believe in things like eternal damnation, or a literal hell, and I wondered how to reconcile my Christian faith with other teachings I already knew to be true, my lived experiences and the truth of my heart.
Bourgeault’s book presented to me a Jesus I could follow and love. A Jesus that made heart sense.
Reading it led me to Richard Rohr and Nadia Bolz-Weber, and a whole wing of Christian thought that was nothing like the nightly news version.
My idea of Christianity, the Church, how to read scripture - it all got turned on its head in the most beautiful and fascinating way.
I started taking theology classes with my mother in the summer program at Christ Church, Oxford.
I enrolled in EFM and began the processing of learning how to read the Bible and place it in historical context.
I allowed myself to be transformed.
At the same time this was happening, another transformation was taking place in my life. I realized I had a longing to paint.
For years, I had channeled my creative energies into things like blog writing, cake baking, even scrapbooking, but with a sudden force, I understood that these things did not satisfy my desire to put paint on canvas.
So I signed up for a class online and began the process of coming back to art-making only this time, it wasn’t about the rules. It wasn’t about a political statement or a message or being good.
It certainly wasn’t about being famous.
I learned to paint intuitively, to create a portal on the canvas and allow the painting to come through.
I studied with people like Shiloh Sophia McCloud, Havi Mandell, and Sheri Ponzi.
From the beginning, this process for me was spiritual practice. It was prayer.
I literally wrote my prayers on the canvas before I painted.
I had a dream that was creating paintings for other people. In the dream, they were called medicine paintings. People shared with me their prayers, and I created paintings for them. I knew that dream was pointing me toward my true north.
So, I began to offer this service to others and Personal Prayer Paintings were born.
As I write this, it’s 2019.
Tracy and I don’t have children, but we have three amazing nieces and two pug boys, to whom we are fiercely dedicated.
We both have a yearning for California and a hope for the future and the miracles that seem to show up when we least expect them.
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know that I am a writer and a painter, and intuitive and a healer, and a Jesus follower - and I know these things are not in conflict within me.
I know that I love sitting with people who are at a time of transformation, who are seeking clarity, who are on a quest - and I love being a part of their journey.
I love holding space for women as they unveil their voices and their hearts.
My passion is helping you be who you were born to be
I love standing on the bridges where our beliefs and practices meet.
I began offering intuitive readings and distance Reiki as a part of my practice again, and this time it felt like wholeness, like all of the pieces of me, my gifts, my experience, falling into place.
I offer intuitive guidance, creative facilitation, and energy healing because this is who I am. This is what I was born with, what I developed, and what I have to share in these times of great transformation on this planet.
My religion doesn’t preclude me from reading Buddhism, charting astrology, learning from Ram Dass or meeting God in the form of the goddess, barefoot in the woods.
My spiritual practices feed my faith my faith deepens my spiritual practice.
Church speaks to me with beauty. Church offers me the sacraments. Church grounds me and allows my heart to flower.
I believe the heart of Christianity is to stand in solidarity and compassion with suffering; to love one another; to walk love.
And I believe in unity - our oneness.
I believe in many pathways to God.
I know that every single one of us is loved and cherished and supported in this life.
It turns out my personal journey has a lot to do with integration, coming out of hiding, and allowing all parts of myself to be seen and known.
It has a lot to do with learning to trust, and allowing the Holy Spirit to move.
It has a lot to do with surrender.
It has everything to do with love.