It’s such an amazing opportunity that have to be artists right now, with social media making it possible to be friends with people who we would never have met otherwise. To be able to share our artwork and what we learn along the way with each other. To inspire each other. Lynn Rattray is one of those special people for me…a resource and an inspiration. I hope you enjoy learning more about her and her work and add her to your network of artists to watch if she isn’t already. Enjoy!
Lynn Rattray…..A Brush With Joy
“I’m an artist!” Oh how I love saying that! It’s always followed by a little pinch, just to make sure it’s true. I remember the first time someone addressed me as such. I was taking an open studio art class at our local cultural center. Every person in the class was practicing drawing skills and there I was set up with my acrylic paints and canvas at an easel in the back corner of the room. Clueless would be an understatement, but I was having a blast there in my own little world! Admittedly, I’ve been traveling to the beat of my own drummer most of my life, and this was no exception. As the instructor made his rounds, that’s when it happened. He called me an ‘artist’! Naturally, a happy dance ensued. He was now the one who was clueless, as he had no idea why calling me an ‘artist’ had such an impact on me.
I’ve been painting 7 years…a late bloomer, some might say. I believe that everything happens in its own time. Laying the groundwork for becoming an artist, included some of my happiest memories growing up in Atlanta.
The world was different then. Kids spent all day playing on their own outside. For me, part of my play always involved some form of art. My next door neighbor, Sara Jane, who was three years older than I, was my hero for many reasons. One of those reasons was because she did beautiful color pencil sketches. Little did we know at the time, Sara Jane was my first art teacher when I was about 7 years old. Although I tried as hard as I could, my work never measured up to her natural talent. I remember constantly comparing my awkward attempts to her beautiful, seemingly effortless, sketches. That’s when I begged my parents for a ‘How to Draw’ book, which I still have to this day. I finally got the ‘hang of it’ when I learned not to compare myself to others. Learning that lesson took me well over 60 years and is still an ongoing process! As I said, things happen in their own time.
Learning to paint, for me, is largely about the support of other artists. My first painting was the result of an artist, a complete stranger, telling me, “You know, you can do this!”, referring to her painting that I was admiring. That one comment spurred me to test her theory, resulting in my very first painting. I’ve learned to paint by taking workshops and soaking in the knowledge and support of many on line friends, to include the awesome Kim Smith. The support artists give artists is simply amazing. Once I got the hang of daily painting, my ‘practice’ started paying off. Now a day does not feel complete without dipping my brush or palette knife into paint.
I paint what brings me joy in the moment. I’m a retired school Principal, so I get to do that! I began painting with acrylics and two years ago added oils to my repertoire. I love them both, because, for me, it’s all about color. Rich…juicy…scrumptious…joyous…color! I’m happy when I paint, and immersing myself in color is one of the reasons. I tend to paint in series. The subjects that lately present themselves to me have eyes and feathers. I’m in love with a group of local street chickens and have such fun photographing their antics. And then it’s straight to my easel! My recent acrylic works are abstract. One day I was missing acrylics so I picked up a palette knife and started splashing color around. So…much…fun! It’s not uncommon to drop the knife while painting an abstract…that’s how relaxing it is for me!
That’s my story…for now. All things happen as they should and in their own time. I thank God every day for guiding me to this thing I love. Yeah…‘I’m an artist’!