Unscheduled Rhythms, oil on panel
-Lynn, we'd love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today, both personally and as an artist.
I have had an enduring interest in various forms of art for my entire life. I studied ballet for decades and played musical instruments like the flute and piano, but visual art has been my true calling.
Despite facing criticism and discouragement from some of my college professors who repeatedly told me that I couldn't draw, I completed a fine art degree. I worked as a graphic designer for 17 years and briefly gave up on drawing and fine art. I would draw in secret, hiding my work out of fear of failure. It wasn't until a friend discovered my drawings and praised my work that I gained the confidence to continue.
As a result of the planting of the seeds of confidence, I began studying painting with well-known instructors for many years. Now, I have been teaching adults to draw and paint for over 20 years, and I am always keenly aware not to crush someone's love of art or their confidence.
Initially, I created representational pastel paintings, but I've now shifted towards a more abstract approach using oil or acrylics. My focus is on capturing the essence of the subject, mirroring the vitality I find in nature. Instead of replicating reality, I respond to the marks I make on canvas or wooden panel in a cerebral and abstract manner, allowing me to infuse more of myself into the art. The beauty of abstraction is that it invites viewers to engage their own imaginations, allowing them to find their own interpretations within the artwork.
A Different Story, acrylic
-Your art incorporates hints of landscapes, mountains, trees, and mirrored water elements. How do you balance the abstract and representational elements in your work to communicate the spirit of these natural elements?
The balance between abstract and representational elements in my art is a strictly intuitive process, much like the flow of colors in my art. Einstein famously remarked that intuition doesn’t arise from an unprepared mind.
My early years were steeped in the mountains, surrounded by towering trees, mossy terrain, rugged boulders, and meandering pathways. Those undulating landscapes left an indelible mark on me. Consequently, when I work on an abstract painting, natural elements often assert themselves, making their presence felt in the final composition. I start with an uninhibited approach, letting the paint guide me. It’s in this spontaneous dance that aspects of the landscape organically emerge as the painting evolves.
I’ll admit that my artistic journey is leading me further into abstraction and non-objectivity. I’ve grown increasingly at ease with expressing the emotions tied to my deep connection with nature and the inevitable passage of time. In this evolving creative exploration, I am finding new ways to convey the spirit of these new elements in a way that transcends representation.
Sparkling Through, oil and cold wax medium on wood
-You describe using multiple paint layers and unconventional tools to create imperfections in your work. Can you elaborate on the challenges and rewards of working with these techniques?
I employ unconventional art-making tools like trowels, scrapers, sandpaper, and chisels, creating layered, textured pieces that show imperfections and the passage of time.
The rewards of using these unusual instruments far outweigh the occasional challenges. Experimentation is at the heart of my process, a journey where I relinquish some control over the outcome. This lack of control is liberating, allowing unexpected textures and forms to emerge.
My fascination with history and nature, weathered frescoes, and the organic intricacies of the world drive my art. These tools give me the power to replicate these textures, imparting a sense of antiquity and depth to my work.
Using water mixable oils or acrylic paints provides forgiveness. If a tool’s mark doesn’t align with my vision, I can effortlessly paint over it or judiciously sand the area. Paradoxically, sanding doesn’t erase mistakes; it enriches the piece, infusing it with added intrigue, texture, and visual history.
There is one tool that is quite a challenge among these unconventional implements: the chisel. Its unforgiving nature causes me to use it sparingly, for the risk of unintended results outweighs its potential benefits at this stage of my artistic journey.
Invitation to the Dance, acrylic on canvas
-Color in your work has such beautiful character. How do you determine the colors featured in your artwork, and how does your intuitive sense play a role in your decision-making?
Thank you for your kind words. Much like my use of compositional elements, my color use is a highly intuitive process in my artwork.
My 17-year career as a graphic designer undoubtedly influenced my color choices. In the world of graphic design, one often works with a limited palette to create impactful print materials. This experience heightened my awareness of how a constrained color palette can still offer a wonderful array of hues and maintain harmony within a piece.
Additionally, my extensive experience with the medium of pastel significantly informed my understanding of color. Pastels, with their immediate and vibrant pigments, enable artists to experiment with a wide array of colors without the need for mixing. It’s a medium that encourages exploration, as you can effortlessly pick up a pastel stick and apply it directly. This hands-on familiarity with color relationships and experimentation has seamlessly translated into my work with oils and acrylics, enhancing my ability to intuitively choose and apply colors in my art.
Intractable Wildness, oil
-What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I maintain an online presence to make my work accessible to a wide audience for viewing and purchasing. The best place to explore my portfolio and stay updated on my latest creations and teaching engagements through my website, www.lynngoldstein.com
Additionally, you can follow my artistic journey on various social media platforms and receive tips for art and art making, including:
And you could sign up for email notifications of new work and other benefits for VIPs at www.lynngoldstein.com
By connecting with me, you can help spread the word about my art and contribute to its exposure and recognition.
I am deeply intrigued by history and the gradual passage of time evident in weathered frescoes, worn paint on building walls, and the intricate textures of the natural world.
To emulate these textures in my work, I use multiple paint layers, marks, and imperfections created by the use of unconventional art-making tools such as trowels, scrapers, sandpaper, and chisels.
My color choices are guided purely by my intuition.
I incorporate hints of landscapes, mountains, trees, and mirrored water elements in my art, influenced by my upbringing in the mountains, and time spent outdoors under the trees.
Land of Unicorns, acrylic on wood
Magic Through the Trees, acrylic
Virginia based abstract landscape painter, Lynn Goldstein enjoys telling people that one of her first jobs was working in the art department of Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus. She was employed as a graphic designer for seventeen years, but painting was never far from her mind.
Since leaving graphic design work behind, Goldstein has exhibited widely, winning awards, in nationally juried exhibitions and galleries. Her work is enjoyed in private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe, including the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the Schar Cancer Institute, the Lorton Library in Fairfax County, Virginia, and the United States Department of State.
Notably, one of her paintings was selected for the permanent collection in the Jean-Haffen Museum in Dinan, France, upon her completion of an artist residency there. Lynn was one of fifteen American artists selected to participate in the Caravan multi-cultural and international art project which took place at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC.
Her installation work exploring her Jewish roots was selected for exhibition at the Smithsonian S Dillon Ripley Center in Washington, D.C. in 2015, and a different piece was selected for display there in 2017.
Lynn is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and Maryland Pastel Society where she serves as a juror for potential signature members. Lynn is also a juried member of the prestigious Washington Society of Landscape Painters. She is also a juried member of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, and a juried resident artist at the Workhouse Arts Center where she has her studio.
Lynn has taught many workshops in the mid-Atlantic region, Southern France, Portugal, and in Tuscany, Italy.
Lynn has also taught workshop classes at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, where she volunteered her time as a docent for over two decades. This experience has allowed Lynn to study, understand, and pass on the best of America’s art masterpieces.