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The artistic journey of Lynda Flanagan

Updated: Jan 25


Lynda Flanagan - Canadian artist
Lynda Flanagan

Lynda Flanagan - Canadian artist

Lynda Flanagan is an Ontario artist who paints in a contemporary style. Forming connections with nature and developing strong roots with the land are prevalent themes in her work. She conveys the strength and resiliency of the landscape through the use of bold and playful colours, using wide and sweeping brushstrokes to communicate the vastness of the land.

Lynda Flanagan -  on canvas- Glimmer -48 by 36
Lynda Flanagan - acrylic on canvas- Glimmer -48 by 36

Spending vacations and summers in Northern Ontario, hiking and kayaking generated a long-standing love and respect for nature and the land on which we live. Lynda graduated with an Honours Fine Arts degree from McMaster University. She works predominantly in acrylics and has painted using both landscapes and abstract mixed media as starting points for her artwork.


Lynda's Artwork website: www.lyndaflanaganart.com


Here is Lynda, telling us more about her artistic journey:

From an early age, I knew I was a creative. I enjoyed the arts, was passionate about sketching and loved art projects throughout my years in school. The love of visual arts prompted a pursuit of a Fine Arts Degree through McMaster University with emphasis on printmaking, including both etchings and woodcuts. However, my desire to teach young children guided my career path into the field of education. I was fond of saying, “I was born with a chalk brush in my hand.” My love of teaching never diminished, and I enjoyed every aspect of my career, considering it a ‘joy’, not a ‘job’. It allowed my creativity to shine, as I fostered the love of the arts with my students. For many years, my life was full with the sharing and teaching of visual arts in the elementary school system.

            Throughout my teaching career, my artistic talents faded into the background of life, a distant, pleasant memory, revisited fondly with family members. Life was busy, fulfilling and time was passing much too quickly. Occasionally, I was encouraged by family to take the time to focus on myself and to develop my creative side again.

            A pivotal moment occurred when my father, who had recently entered a care facility, experienced several lengthy lock downs and family was unable to visit. Being a close-knit family, this was a painful, heart wrenching time. His response, was, as always, one filled with hope and positivity. My father said, “This time is meant for you, Lynda. You cannot hold my hand, but you can hold a paintbrush and share your joy with the world through your painting. Pick up a paintbrush, make this time apart a positive experience.” This pivotal moment, this poignant, painful lesson became the guiding principle in my artistic journey.

Lynda Flanagan Peaceful Beginnings acrylic on canvas 36 by 48
Lynda Flanagan - Peaceful Beginnings acrylic on canvas 36 by 48

            I could not hold my father’s hand, but I could hold a paintbrush. I poured my energy, my love for my parents, my family, into my art and began my painting career. I painted every day. Having no previous experience with acrylic painting, I explored the process and experimented with both abstract art and contemporary landscapes.

My guiding principle was simple;

if it felt right, I did it.

            I began entering shows, juried competitions and building an artistic network. Through perseverance, determination and hard work, my audience grew and my work began to grace the walls of collectors internationally. I am thrilled to be represented in galleries, have exhibited work in shows across Canada and have entered art fundraisers for a variety of causes.

            I am deeply grateful for my connection to Loft Gallery in Thornbury, Ontario. Through their invitation, I was added to their Gallery Roster of Artists and have felt like family ever since. I continue to develop my artistic voice, my style and my creative process. I am enjoying this incredible journey and the opportunity to share my work with so many people. Sadly, almost two years into my art career, my father passed. He passed quietly and bravely with family by his side. He talked until moments before he passed. With poetic flair, I shared a message from Loft Gallery with him just hours before he left us. I had just sold another painting and his response was one filled with love, “I knew you could do this. I’m proud of you.”

            In my mind, my landscapes are deeply rooted in the concept and theme of connection. We are intertwined, connected to each other, just as we are reliant on nature. These connections provide mutual support, strong roots and resiliency. My artistic journey centers around the deep-seated belief that humans need humans, we need interaction and the encouragement to lean on one another. A frequent motif or symbol in my pieces are overlapping trees, trees that lean on one another, connect or keep each other company. Another prevalent theme in my work is reflection. Many of my landscapes include ripples and reflections in water. The names of my paintings implore the viewer to not only see the obvious natural reflections, but to take the time for introspection.

Art heals. Art is a journey meant to be shared. Art provides a voice, a venue to share meaning with others. My desire to create was always inside me. It surfaced in a variety of ways throughout my teaching career and will continue to flourish as I explore the creative process. I am extremely grateful for my pivotal moments and will continue to embrace each one as they come.

Lynda Flanagan Highlights of Summer 30 by 40 (1)
Lynda Flanagan - Highlights of Summer 30 by 40 (1)

Over the years, I spent a lot of my weekends and summers chasing the sunsets in Northern Ontario. I photograph images while I explore the land and waters of Georgian Bay, the French River, Restoule, the Muskokas and the Haliburton Highland area in my little aluminum boat. Quite often I combine my photo references, so they are not just one certain area, but rather a feeling of all areas. My canvases and paints travel with me. I feel revitalized by listening to the water lapping on the shores, feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my shoulders. 

  Quite often my paintings contain a variety of my artistic interpretations of the land using unique colour combinations and the mixing of different photographic images. The splendour of the North is engraved in my mind and soul. Painting it is a privilege. 

 

 

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