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Interview with Artist Lynn Baney

August 6, 2008 - Emily Dimov-Gottshall

I recently asked Lynn Baney to share a little about her work in the arts and what art means to her. She was kind enough to send a lovely reply and photos. I hope you enjoy this interview. 

 

When and how did you first become interested in art?  How long have you been painting?

I have always been interested in art and creativity in all its’ forms. It wasn’t until 1993 that I started seriously painting and then professionally in 1995 after my first storybook was published, titled “The Love Concept” (The book is still available through the Parker Research Foundation, located in Dallas, TX. It is marketed through them nationally and internationally) and the ABSTRABET series was finished.  I have been painting 13 years to date.   I have a natural gift for visualizing a project/work of art from start to finish before ever making a brush stroke on a surface; then it is basically filling in the space.  Having said this, I am always open to change to elevate my work to a higher level.  I believe my work manifests from a higher source than myself, therefore I keep “me and my ego” out of the way and pay attention to that source.

 

What are your art influences?

    Everything influences me.  Philosophy, politics, religion, economics, cultural and ethnic socialization, world events and on the lighter side ….nature, everything in nature, flora and fauna, land and sea, a sky and mountains, valleys, and weather.  I really mean everything, music, books, especially books, on all subjects.   I have over 1000 books in my studio that I personally own.  Color has a very empowering effect on my work.  I am all about color.  National critics always comment about the purity and boldness of color in my painting.  They are intrigued with the connection of color and emotion that exudes from my work. 

Artists who have influenced are Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Joan Miro.  They catapulted my interest into the world of abstract painting.  I thought I wanted to pursue a career in illustration until I read the book titled The Spiritual in Art Abstract Painting 1890-1985. 

 

What else do you do besides paint?

I am the owner and Director of the Brownstone Art Gallery. I work approximately 60 hours a week in art related pursuits, marketing, teaching, painting, and of course regular gallery hours. Recently…my paintings have been selected for the covers of two art catalogs….Dick Blick and Daniel Smith.

Additionally I teach art at the State Correctional Institution Huntingdon and State Correctional Institution Smithfield, PA.

I, also, provide fee based portfolio critiques service and art marketing seminars. I lease art work to corporations and individuals for their personal offices.  

In November, I will be instated as the President of Art In Common. Further, my gallery has been included in the Heart of the Alleghenies Art & Culture Driving Tour So as you can see “STARVING ARTIST” is not a part of my vocabulary. Apart from that I do have a busy private life as well.

 

Why did you decide to create paintings in an abstract style?

To be honest, I became extremely irritated while visiting museums and exhibitions hearing comments referring to abstract art such as: that is so ridiculous my kindergartner could do that, or what the #*!& is that supposed to be, or my favorite of all times is my dog could paint that. I don’t think so!

I feel the creation of all art is challenging but in my opinion the genre of abstraction is incredibly difficult. Since there is generally no obvious form or subject matter for the identity, of the eye/ mind connection or instant visual gratification, many uninformed viewers dismiss abstract art for lack of not understanding it. The abstract artist must compensate the void of a known subject in order to continually hold the viewers interest by some other means. In other words the interest must be created by line, color, design, and so on. 

 I can and do paint realism as well as abstraction. Not all but many true abstract painters started painting realism then either included it in their style of work or embraced solely.

Example:

 The ABSTRABET  was created for this very reason, after all who wouldn’t recognize the English alphabet? However, “…there is NO “letter” present in any of the 26 paintings. Twelve years later it is still delighting the eye and minds of people nationally and internationally. All 26 paintings where painted by Baney over a 2 year period.

 

What do you think your paintings are trying to convey?

My purpose is pure visual delight and then to evoke the gray matter to stretch and explore all possibilities from their own experiences. I like the challenge of enticing the audience to connect emotionally with the work.

 

Do you have a special painting?

One work and only one holds immense personal emotional attachment for me. I was solicited to paint a portrait of Jesus Christ kneeling in the garden of Gethsemane. This mural portrait was 18 feet by 24 feet and bordered with 24 karat gold infused oil paint. The painting is in acrylics on plaster.

 During the months of working on scaffolding in the silence of the church I was blessed with divine direction and unlimited creativity. My visual acuity was heightened to a level I had never experienced prior to this work. To say the least it was emotionally riveting. This work can be viewed at  The Methodist Church located in Grazerville, PA   (Tyrone Area).

In addition to the mural, I have many personal favorites in my inventory. Several hang in my home, while others remain on the exhibition roster until I am ready to sell them. One I dearly love is titled Don’s Memory. Its creation occurred the day this elderly gentleman passed way. He had suffered in his later years from Alzheimer’s disease. The painting represents and, is in tribute to not only my dear friend Don but to the multitudes of others who suffer from this mind devouring disease. 

 

 

  What makes that a _____________ painting:

The definition of abstract is: Having an intellectual and affective artistic content that depends solely on intrinsic form rather than narrative content or pictorial representation.  

 

What is it about your art that makes it different than other artworks?

My art seems to breathe on its own. I have been told that my work is vibrant, electric,  and demands acknowledgement. I translate that to mean it is high energy and empowering

 mostly through the application of color in varying hues.

What makes this kind of painting “good” to you?

I feel that society, as a whole, is visually over stimulated. This phenomenon has reached epidemic proportion. The millions of “images” we are exposed to during a 24 hour period is staggering. These images are relentlessly vying for our attention and validation. Abstract painting affords the eye to rest in terms of pictures per-say. The mind generates its own imagery rather than being provided one.

Why did you choose to create paintings in this style?

I’m not sure I chose abstraction as much as it chose me. Geometry is a great love of mine as well as architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright is another hero for me.   Many of my earlier works encompass this mathematical style. From the ridged lines and acute precision of geometric design, I moved to free expressionism using only color to make my artistic point. My greatest love is combing the distinct parts of both elements, the hard edged design and free flowing spontaneous color to form a whole work.

 If you have a website please share it and tell us where you have recently shown your work.

I have two websites. Abstrabet.com and brownstoneartgallery.com. The latter is being designed by Lazerpro.com to feature the new galley location, my work and local gallery artisans. Artist may contact me at the gallery and secure an appointment to review their body of work. 

With the relocation (which was no small task) of the Brownstone Art Gallery last September my exhibition roster for 2007 and 2008 is a bit sparse. I have work in the permanent collection at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.  A watercolor painting is currently being displayed and has been selected for the postcard announcements to be distributed for all the SAMA Arts in Education Exhibitions.  Additionally, through a jury process my work and the Brownstone Art Galley has been selected for inclusion for the Gallery of the Heart of the Alleghenies Art & Culture Route 22 Driving Tour.

 
 
 

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