Lynne Perrella is a mixed media artist, author, and workshop instructor. Her interests in art include collage, mixed media painting, assemblage, one-of-a-kind books and art journals. She has written five books on mixed media, and makes regular contributions to paper arts publications. She is on the editorial advisory board of Somerset Studio Magazine. She hosts art workshops throughout the United States and abroad. For more information and inspiration, please visit www.LKPerrella.com
Lynne is teaching two classes for Art-Xscape 2014: Radiant Icon Portraits and A Face in the Crowd. There are only five spaces remaining in Lynne’s A Face in the Crowd Workshop at this time.
AnLiNa Designs: Lynne, please describe your artistic journey. Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?
Lynne: I have been an artist since the age of five. Why “five”? My earliest memory of making art was transforming an empty appliance carton into a space ship. Probably not with a lot of success, but with a lot of enthusiasm. My goal is to get up every day and tackle whatever task is at hand with that same kind of childlike enthusiasm. So far, so good.
AnLiNa Designs: Are you a full-time artist? When did you make the leap?
Lynne: Art is my lifelong passion, and has been my sole career. After art school, I began as a fashion illustrator, transitioned into graphic design and corporate communications, had interesting diversions along the way designing packaging, needlepoint, posters, rubber stamps, and more. I have been self-employed for my entire career, except for a brief time as an art trainee when I first arrived in Manhattan in 1967. I eventually began devoting my time to keeping an art journal, and through this process, uncovered the Fine Art side of myself that had been simmering for decades. That is my next frontier.
AnLiNa Designs: Describe your process for beginning a new piece. Where do you find ideas?
Lynne: Where do new ideas come from? Everywhere! My biggest stimulation is color. I might spy an interesting color in the corner of an envelope, in the form of a postage stamp. Or maybe I will drive past a huge field of yarrow, spread out under a cobalt sky. I keep big binders full of color inspiration in my studio. Not only is a wonderful “spare time” project, but it is a fool-proof source of inspiration. Try it! Buy the largest 3-ring binder you can find, and start gathering visual flotsam and jetsam, based on color. I can almost guarantee this will become one of your “go-to” fun studio projects. I never pre-plan a piece, and feel that lack of planning is my hallmark. It keeps the work fresh, and full of surprise. Juan Gris said “You are lost the moment you know the outcome.” I live for moments in my studio when a piece has taken a direction that I could have never planned for, and now it is my job to keep up with the merry-go-round.
AnLiNa Designs: Do you have a muse?
Lynne: I would rather have a mentor than a muse. And luckily I have had a number of great mentors in my life. And am always on the look-out for more.
AnLiNa Designs: Describe a day in your studio.
Lynne: I go to the studio every day. Every day. Even weekends. I don’t go with a plan, I just GO. I always know that something good will come as a result of going to the studio. It doesn’t matter if I produce something amazing, or just putter. It is the act of going to the studio, and being faithful to that practice that matters. Few people realize that part of becoming an artist is establishing a work ethic. They think that art is play. But like all things of importance, art requires dedication and a strong sense of ethics.
AnLiNa Designs: Do you have plans for your art in 2014?
Lynne: I have just been notified that my request for a solo exhibit has been accepted. I have been doing some new/abstract work for the past two years, and this exhibit will give me the opportunity to show what I have been doing, outside my comfort zone.
AnLiNa Designs: Congratulations! Do you ever participate in collaborative art projects such as Round Robins?
Lynne: A few years ago, I invited a group of favorite artists from all over the country to come to the Northeast and see an amazing exhibit of Russian Icons. We also booked a studio space and worked together. We discovered that we really loved being together, so we continue to get together every year, in a different location. To provide some extra “glue” for the group, we sometimes do a collaboration on a topic that is mutually interesting. This year, our collaboration is on the topic of “Adornments”.
AnLiNa Designs: Do you participate in a regular art gathering such as a critique group?
Lynne: Although I love the process of gathering with like-minded artists, I am (at the heart of it) a solitary person. I love the solitude of my studio, and I feel that my time spent there alone is the key to making new personal discoveries. Someone once said that “talking about ideas uses up all the oxygen”; and I find that is true. Most of the time, the ideas I am thinking about are beyond words, and they can only be expressed in actions. I guess that is why I go to the studio: To find out how to express what is inside me.
AnLiNa Designs: What is your favorite part of teaching?
Lynne: My favorite part of teaching is having the privilege to be part of a discovery process with a fellow artist. I love seeing the flash of curiosity or the excited body language of someone who has just made a major discovery; and I also appreciate seeing the searching curiosity of someone who is fearlessly finding their own answers. When I meet with a group of artists in a workshop, I feel that I am with my tribe. When I describe my workshops, I usually include the phrase “For Seekers and Adventurers” – To me, that phrase perfectly describes the artists who sign up for my workshop.
AnLiNa Designs: Thanks so much Lynne!
To find out more about Lynne’s workshops, visit her Art-Xscape page.