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LYNNE GAETZ

-Lynne, we'd love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today, both personally and as an artist.

 

I have painted and created art since childhood, drawing faces and bodies. Although I minored in Fine Arts at university, I never dived fully into painting until recently, when I stopped my teaching and writing careers. The last six years have been incredibly rewarding, as I delve into creating original pieces.

-What makes your process unique?

 

When I returned to painting, I had to find my original voice. A quotation from David Bowie, helped: “Never play to the gallery. . . It’s terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people’s expectations — they generally produce their worst work when they do that.”

 

So I just started painting for myself with no concerns about audience. I also made sure that I used only original reference photos and concepts. I had been intrigued by the idea of people wearing impossibly tall hats ever since my university days, so I made a deep dive onto that concept, with the hats representing something intrinsic about the person.

 

For instance, “Imaginary Wars of a Solemn Man” depicts a man with a burning hat. I used handmade paper, threads, and gold and silver leaf to add texture and dimensions to the flames. To me, the painting is about how so many people battle childhood insecurities, and replay those events in their minds rather than finding a peaceful resolution. Often the faces of those hat-wearing people is from my imagination.

 

I also incorporate mixed media — words and images into many of my paintings. The images are often glimpses of my previous artworks or photos I’ve taken, and the words represent my thoughts as I created the piece.

 

I started adding collaged horns and antlers to my figures almost by accident. I was painting a buffalo head when I decided to add collaged images and words to his horns. From there, the idea of horns on humans emerged. Using collage helps me add depth and meaning to my work.