Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynn Alker.
Hi Lynn, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I started painting five years ago; at the age of 60, after a volunteer farming internship of several years and starting a small commercial flower growing business thereafter. I decided to explore art, specifically painting, as a way to further expand my lifelong interest in design and color. As a flower farmer/designer in particular; I was used to working in a colorful and textured environment that kept my senses heightened. I loved being in that world but the labor was exhausting and not sustainable for me. I knew art was the next step. Local art classes taught me traditional painting techniques and introduced the endless, dizzying array of paints, mediums, mark-making tools and so on. I loved the painting process and realized that I’m most drawn to abstracts, which I collect for myself, and that I wanted to pursue abstracts in my own art practice. It was a natural gravitation for me.
I continue to work with local, national and international instructors in extended workshops and classes primarily in abstract and figurative.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No worthwhile journey is smooth. I work daily to push back or through the fear and insecurities. Being vulnerable takes courage.
As an emerging artist with only a handful of painting years, I have some struggles on a daily basis. Every painting, good or bad, teaches me something I need to know. I have gone to workshops and classes I could barely paint in, so full of fear and anxiety, but I have survived and more importantly thrived through it all.
I constantly question if a painting is finished or if it’s any good. But the more I paint, I feel my confidence increasing and my work getting stronger. I definitely see more of my personal voice coming through, my marks are bolder and I’m taking more risks.
The artworld is a competitive arena. I’m learning to trust myself and believe in the process. I show up, do the work. That’s my job and commitment and I’m thrilled to be in it.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
There is no formula or plan for my paintings. I enjoy letting the work develop and change- it’s all the unknowns that I find fascinating. I usually start with markmaking and see where it takes me. Sometimes the painting morphs into a figurative that needs representation and that’s ok – good in fact. I think I’m known for both my figures and abstracts — and my use of color. I love oils and I like to work on hard boards that I can layer paint, then scratch and gouge into it. I like creating a history and seeing the evolution.
My largest pieces are on canvas and are usually charcoal, pencils, acrylics and house paints. I like to use rags, my hands and big brushes to apply.
My work is ever evolving and I want to feel free to experiment.
I always find a correlation between my life and the work. Although there is no set intention my fears, concerns, joys, worries, triumphs come through —-and this is why I need to paint. As an 80% introvert, my paintings are speaking for me. They are my therapists, my spiritualists, my confidants.
I’m proud of the body of work I’ve produced so far. I have gallery representation to show and sell my work and I sell via referral, social media, and on my website. I’m honored that my art has been purchased for a book cover and soon a piece will be part of a permanent public installation. I’m enormously grateful to have found my true passion later in life when I can devote as much time and energy as I choose. As a younger woman raising a family, I’m not sure I would have done so freely and without guilt. I would tell anyone contemplating a creative life that age is no barrier. My age has empowered me in ways I’ve never considered. This is the right time in my life.
In addition, living in a creative city such as Raleigh is invigorating and inspiring.
We have a vibrant, supportive arts community with many opportunities, affordable art classes for beginners to advanced, galleries, art museums and universities. Many of our corporate and small businesses support and showcase local art. I’m very fortunate to live and create here.
Lastly, making art and reaping the emotional benefits has taught me the need to push harder for art education in our schools. Every child is an artist, but they must be encouraged and have the resources to engage in their creativity. Our children benefit greatly from a creative outlet. I feel it is just as important as the other academics, as important as good nutrition and exercise. I’m a mother, grandmother, and artist, and I will actively advocate for this.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: lynnalker.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/lynnalker
- Facebook: Facebook.com/lynnalkerart
Elizabeth Galecke – portrait headshots