Rialto Gallery Chooses Local Artist, Lynn Rattray, for Featured Exhibit
On display from May-June, Lynn Rattray’s paintings will be displayed at the Rialto Theatre. Artist Reception on June 22nd at 6pm.
Lynn Rattray has always considered herself an artistic dabbler. She first picked up a paint brush ten years ago. Learning to paint was largely due to the support of the art community. Rattray’s first painting was the result of an artist, a complete stranger, telling her, “You know, you can do this, too!”, referring to the live painting demonstration she witnessed. “Although not believing it could possibly be true for someone my age, that one comment eventually spurred me to test her theory,” Rattray says.
Spending 38 years in education, Lynn retired from her role as school principal. During those last few years before retirement, that live demonstration and artist comment routinely came up in her train of thought. After gathering some courage over self-doubt, she armed herself with one bristle brush, 4 tubes of paint, a canvas and started to paint.
“Oh…what fun I had!!! That initial ‘whirl’ morphed into a daily joyous paint
filled ‘whirlwind’ for me. Since that day, if I’m awake, I’m either painting….
or thinking about painting,” Lynn recalls.
Now each day begins with oils. Her preferred method? Painting alla prima on gessoboard panels. Her preferred styles? Impressionist and abstract. Her favorite subject? Ybor City’s very own free roaming chicken gang that dates back to 1885 when they were brought to Tampa Bay by cigar factory workers. “They are such characters with loads of personality and I never tire of painting them! If you really take the time
to look at them, they are so very beautiful,” Lynn comments. She became so enamored with these historic district staples that she would volunteer her time at the Ybor Chickens Society to sweep up after them in Centennial Park. “I knew I would factor in time during retirement for travel, gardening and reading, but who knew I would
need to add chicken sweeping to my list!”
Compared with her abstract paintings, Lynn’s inspiration originates from a different, more freeing direction. Inspired by poetry, she describes getting lost in works to the liking of Emily Dickinson, who is one of her favorites. Preparation involves poetry selection and a softer palette. “Once I find just the right poem, I mull over it for days, and eventually select one line which resonates with me. This line typically becomes the title of the resulting painting,” Rattray describes. Using palette knives, she finishes up pieces with loose brush strokes to get that softer impression.
Lynn’s hope is that her paintings will bring joy and for her story to inspire “unsuspecting souls to muster the courage to pick up that brush…!”
I tell anyone who will listen, ‘You know, you can do this, too.”
Lynn Rattray’s exhibit will be on display at the Rialto Theatre starting May 1st.
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