One of the pleasures of having a show of one's work is seeing the reaction visitors have upon seeing the art for the first time. In the case of my most recent show at the Arts Club of Washington, I was also pleased and grateful to hear what the curator, Christopher With, had to say about my work. Mr. With recognized that my aim is not to paint completely traditional landscapes, although some of the work may appear that way at first glance. During his remarks at the opening reception, Mr. With spoke about the art on view, and I was pleased not only with the way that he presented my work within the space, but also with the insight that he brought to my paintings. This is what Mr. With had to say:
"The landscapes of Lynn Goldstein are signposts enticing the viewer to look more carefully and deeper. Some of her pieces use rough textured paper on which her pastel marks are clearly visible. They make one aware that this is an intentional creation—not a photographic replication—that asks the viewer to ponder the how’s and why’s of the creative process. Other landscapes depict cropped views of trees reflected in a pool of water or looking straight up at their tops. The unusual perspective combined with lush coloration evoke an otherworldly, even sublime, concept of nature."
Another advantage of showing work in a new venue is meeting fellow artists. I shared the exhibition space with two other artists, Cassie Taggert and Rita Elsner. Ms Elsner works in pastel as I do, but her work is quite different from mine. I found myself transfixed with her ultra-realistic style of rendering, and with the objects that are visually incongruent to her images. Her work often employs the use of aerial perspective, with the view of earth from above. This perspective is fascinating to me because of my exploration of looking at the landscape from a viewpoint that isn't what we usually experience in traditional landscape subjects. Pictured below is a work entitled "Overlook." At first, the title of the piece is obvious. However, Elsner incorporated used paper bags mounted to wood panels to complete this pastel. The labels of the inspectors/workers who made the bags are clearly visible within the art, adding another dimension to the idea of overlooking something. Do we pay attention to the minutiae in our lives, such as the labels on the bottom of paper bags? No, we don't. We also don't often look at reflections in puddles of water, but perhaps we should.
An advantage of having a studio space where other artists also hold studio spaces is that we can be inspired by seeing what fellow artists are creating. In the five years that I have held a studio at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia, I have made friends, been extraordinarily productive, and had opportunities opened to me.
Recently, I have been working on collaborative art with a fellow Workhouse artist, David Barnes. David works in glass, a medium that is fascinating to me. Glass is also a medium with which I know very little, except that I admire the finished work.
The pleasure (and challenge) in working collaboratively was we each had to respond to what the other had already created. This approach necessitated that we incorporate aspects of each others artistic interpretation in order to complete a cohesive piece.
Here is an example of one of the pieces of art that we have created together: