Lynn Alker requires that her art-making offer a substantial meaning and purpose, even if it’s for herself.
For many artists, the formative years of their youth serve as an influential force in their art-making. For Lynn Alker, that’s also true. As an adolescent raised in the deep south in the 1960’s, Lynn was keenly aware of the racial turmoil and formed a sensitivity to these (and other) injustices. Today, a variety of politically charged emotions manifest in her abstract acrylic paintings on canvas. Bold applications of color and loose mark-making allow her to express topics such as mental health, ecological awareness, and feminine strife, among others which she hopes inspires the viewers' awareness and conscience. For Lynn, these realities guide the painting process and sometimes present to her after the fact.
By contrast to many of her contemporaries, Lynn’s career began later in life and didn’t originate with an early gravity for creating visual art or a formal arts education. While she was and is an avid collector of abstract visual art, she didn’t create her first painting until she was in her early 60’s. Lynn’s passion for interior design and a strong career in flower growing led her to enroll in a painting class at a local arts center. Her beginning art classes were few and far between each other, but Lynn approached art-making with an out-of-the gate seriousness. Since then, she has not stopped on her trajectory to create art. Lynn quickly realized that she had more to offer through abstract painting rather than the traditional subject matter she was first introduced to. She describes that abstractions best align with her desire for “the unknown” of what’s to come on the canvas. Since her first art classes in 2015, Lynn has attended dozens more professional arts development programs including master classes with nationally recognized educators, and she has a growing exhibition history that is free of trepidation about traditional artist career labels and pathways.
Lynn lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband John with whom she has two adult daughters, two grandsons, a granddaughter, and a dog Peyton. She is an active member of several arts organizations and works almost daily from her home studio.
The mystery of abstraction speaks to me. Without thought as to the outcome, my oil and acrylic paintings on canvas, paper, and wood board begin with mark-making then evolve into what I call a “conclusion.” For me, there is a great anticipation throughout the process as I watch the work developing, turning, and arriving at places and ideas, much like the way a conversation does. I start with mark-making that often includes symbols, words, and phrases, then apply bold color and texture. I most enjoy working on hard boards which allow me, without inhibition, to gouge, excise, and dig into the paint layers which are often created with materials such as pastes, coffee, and dirt. With these materials I can build the surface and create the foundation for even more experimentation.
- Lynn Alker