Studio Notes

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Art and citizenship in the time of COVID-19

Long time since I added anything here. Most of my interactions are on Facebook and Instagram anymore.

As I sit here in my oasis of a backyard under Covid 19 shelter-in-place, I understand that I have it pretty easy in the midst of tough times. As an artist I am seldom at a loss for something to do to fill my time. As an introvert, it doesn’t bother me at all to stay home and not see folks for long periods of time. As a middle class person still employed during this time, I’m not too, too worried about money. As an empty nester I don’t have the task of homeschooling or tending any kiddos. Lucky me. It’s tempting to have some form of survivor’s guilt, but that’s not constructive, and we are not through this yet. We don’t know yet who will survive medically, financially, maritally, politically, socially.

So many unknowns. What I do know is that as a compassionate human, I will do all I can, get out my sewing machine to make masks, clear the way for others to have resources by not hoarding more than our share of tissues and chicken broth. Make music videos and read to my grandkids, text friends to check in. Make use of what I already have on hand. I will also accept help from loved ones, from loving neighbors (thanks, Tom!). What I won’t do? I won’t go out unless necessary — the reasons have been recounted by many others. I will not spread rumors or disinformation, we are swimming in it. Cooperation, compassion and hope are our greatest assets right now as humans, and our leaders that point toward a plan, truth and hope are the ones I am counting on these days.

My job as a human is to respond quickly to true leadership, the science community, our governors and mayors who are in touch with the scientific community and who are acting decisively and with compassion. My job is to encourage others to do the same with a spirit of citizenship and community. It’s also my job to reflect back encouragement to these leaders and my fellow citizens.

My job as an artist right now is to communicate hope, humor, compassion and joy, and find the whimsy in places unique to me. Art helps to remind me that we are all part of this world wide community. In my experience, it brings folks together. So that’s my current weekend focus. That and clearing out the attic.

A Heart Beat filled with Light

I received this sweet email from a friend who had taken home one of my actors. Hi Lynette, So this happened yesterday. We have a crystal heart hanging in a window that puts rainbows everywhere. Today one landed right on your character and the crystal was moving ever so slightly too. I wanted you to […]

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Loss and Laughter

I’m drawn to sad songs. I call them Canteloupe dog songs. You know, melancholies or ‘Melon Collies.” I explain this on stage between songs and it usually gets a groan, but it’s still true. I love a sad song — and yet in my visual art I’m compelled to create whimsy and humor. Why the […]

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Arts North Studio Tour

Larry and I had a wonderful studio tour April 30 & May 1, with the Arts North Studio Tour folks. Larry showed his guitars, and I had my paintings, collages and assemblage sculptures. Lots of visitors, and it’s wonderful to be a part of this fine group of artists, eleven studios in all. One of […]

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Two Studio Tours in September

1st Ever Arts North! Studio Tour Lynette Hensley, the Flying Redhead Saturday/Sunday September 12 & 13 Please stop by studio 10 and come see the new work I’ve put together for your entertainment, and to take home with you if it strikes your fancy. (What is a “fancy” anyhoo?) I will be at my own […]

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6 Paintings, comin’ right up!

I started a 6 painting series, 6 compositions borrowed and cropped from old photos, all will be 16″x20″. They will be collages and paintings, and more colorful than what you see here, but it’s a good start, getting the drawings done and some values in place. I’m excited to be working on this series, solidifying […]

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Stories Add Depth

I’ve often thought there was a story behind many of my paintings and collages, but I seldom wrote them down. I recently read about and purchased a book, Significant Objects, 100 extraordinary stories about ordinary things. The idea behind the book was that narrative adds value. And while they were using monetary value as their […]

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Edouard Manet’s flowers…why does this painting work?

Breakin’ the composition rules, and still winning. This painting by Edouard Manet has two strong circle shapes side by side, almost centered, which is generally not advised for a great composition. Then add a strong line going off the edge of the canvas — whoosh — eyes are in danger of leaving the picture. Yet […]

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A New Easel for the Studio – A Review

As I sat with a group of artists last night discussing how to market ourselves, the subject came up about costs of doing what we do vs. earnings. For most of us, costs and earnings were about equal. While that’s sad, I bring this up to make the point that while we like to have […]

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Merry Christmas 2014

Yesterday was Solstice, and that my dear friends, begins to bring relief to the darkness of winter nights. I choose to live in Seattle, where the light is scarce anyhow, and in the winter, it’s scarcer still. But solstice brings the light around again, and hope for warmer weather in a few months, and I […]

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