Showcasing the Arts


Aug. 2011 Featured Artist: Lynn Dunbar

Lynn Dunbar Ed Lawrence, former communications director with the Kentucky Arts Council, talked with featured artist Lynn Dunbar in the summer of 2011. Following are excerpts from that conversation.

ED: When did you start painting?

LYNN: I started painting… probably in '97.

ED: And did you start with plein air?

LYNN: Yes, I did. I took a plein air class. I love to be outside and feel the sun and hear the birds and breathe the fresh air, so it's just natural for me to find a place to paint along the river or in the forest. I'm attracted to the water, the reflections on the water and the idea that rivers are like arteries on the earth bringing life.

I like to go down by the river in Louisville and plein air paint. There's a group from Louisville that goes down to Juniper Beach along River Road and paints the sunset with the boats. It's just so beautiful — it could be misty blue, similar to the painting the Kentucky Arts Council uses on its website.

ED: I notice that you’re working with brushes on your current painting (of Meade County, along the Ohio River), but your work looks like you use a knife.

LYNN: I did use a knife on this one. That's how I blocked in a lot of the color and I just now started tweaking with a brush. But I don't always do paintings like that. It just depends on the painting. I've started experimenting with the knife a little bit more recently.

ED: When you're painting, what's the biggest challenge?

LYNN: I like the abstract qualities of painting, so the challenge is to find a balance between how much detail to use while still keeping it abstract. How much do you want it to look like reality? My paintings are a step away from reality. It's my reality. But, you know it's not everyone's reality when they look at it. I want people to feel good when they look at my work.

From being an art director so long, I learned composition. Otherwise it's been a struggle learning brushstrokes and learning to put cool and warm colors together. I'm working on that now. What I really like about painting is that you just keep learning and you keep growing. I'm only using four colors in this painting, but look at all the colors I got out of it. So, this painting is a challenge, an experiment, a project, an assignment for me to work on.

Lynn Dunbar



Page last updated: June 8, 2016
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