Monday, July 26, 2021

August is almost here, and for me,  August this year is quite special.  The Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville and Douglas County has invited me to be their August Pop Up Artist. This is the second time they've bestowed this honor on me; the first was in December of 2019.

 For the past few months I've been preparing sufficient inventory to fill the Pop Up space in the gallery with lots of hand painted and collaged goodies in the colorful style that characterizes my work. Leaving large paintings at home, this is an opportunity to feature all the small items I love to create -- my fun new jewelry line, art cards with easels, pocket sized collaged notebooks and other treasures perfect for gift giving and self pampering.With prices ranging from $5.00 to $75.00  there's something here to fit every budget. And after the stresses of the past year, what better way to celebrate re-emergence than with a fun purchase for yourself and/or loved ones?

So pop in to the Pop Up this August! You'll be able to see my work from August 2 - 31. If you visit between August 4 and August 25 you'll be able to take in the exhibition in the main gallery, "How I Got Over - A Lockdown Collection." It features works by artists Joseph McKinney, Akua Hardy, Tiffany Charesse, Ren Dillard, Crystal Jin Kim, and Sean Mulkey that express their feelings and experiences during the pandemic and lockdown. 

The Cultural Arts Council is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The address is 8652 Campbellton St., Douglasville GA 30134. Parking is free. For more information call 770-949-2787. 




Thursday, June 3, 2021

What Were They Thinking???

After spending hours and hours as a patient in numerous medical establishments these past six months, I feel somewhat qualified to make this observation: somebody needs to tell the interior designers and others who select the paint colors and furnishings for these places that sick people do not benefit when surrounded by the color of cooked liver. Or something the dog barfed up.

Since I've become a roving observer of medical facilities of all kinds - hospitals, doctor's offices, labs, clinics, etc. etc. - I've noticed that a dull grey-brown is the most prevalent color used in these places, with a sickly grey-beige following a close second. Usually everything in sight - carpeting, walls, furnishings, you name it - is swathed in one or the other color. In some places even the artwork is equally monochromatic and unappealing. It's as if every one of these places all shopped at the TwoColorOneStop Store for their interior design needs. These aren't old, decrepit facilities, either. Most are quite new or fairly new, so the colors selected were in almost all cases chosen recently.

Take, for example, an establishment I visited not long ago to have some tests done. They were running a bit behind time-wise so I was asked to take a seat in a small room where I had a view of the hallway. The color of the walls in that hallway was unspeakably depressing. Who in their right mind thinks a hallway painted the color of a hairball (yes, a hairball!) is going to make patients feel anything but depressed?

Wall color in the "hairball hallway"

The color above looks more greenish on the screen than it did in real life. Besides an actual hairball,I couldn't find anything ugly enough to match the real life version.

This trend of using colors perfectly suited to Soviet-era housing projects seems to be widespread among designers these days. That may be fine for establishments other than those where people who are ill or in pain seek treatment. Medical environments should support patients' recovery, not hinder it. I think back to a hospital visit I made to a relative who was undergoing treatment for a broken hip. The lobby of the hospital was elegantly furnished in a beautiful floral color scheme with blues and golds predominating. The patients' rooms, however, were another story. Their walls were painted an ugly dull mid-range grey with greenish-brown undertones. It was dreary enough to be described as morgue-worthy.


The wall color in my relative's hospital room

Newsflash: grey is the color of decline and death. Why would anyone in their right mind choose that color for a hospital setting? In the patients' rooms, no less, where they'd have to look at it 24 hours a day from their hospital beds. Perhaps the intent for choosing such colors is to create an impression of sophistication. However, anyone who has ever been a hospital patient suffering from nausea is unlikely to be helped one bit by having to stare at walls painted such a depressing color.

Maybe no one has told these designers that countless studies have been done on the recovery rates of patients when they're surrounded by lighter, more cheerful colors versus those who are exposed to colors that are dark and drab. It's a proven fact: patients heal faster when they're in environments where the color of walls and furnishings are brighter and lighter. 

Color affects a person's outlook to an amazing degree. Outlook affects outcome. This isn't exactly rocket science. So, to all the designers and architects and anyone who's responsible for designing the interiors of medical facilities, I beg of you all: for the overall health of your fellow Americans, please lighten up!!

©2021 Lynn Edwards

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Pandemic, Pain and Productivity

How much fun can a girl have while sheltering at home for a year AND dealing with a debilitating back injury for half of that time? The answer is quite a lot, if it involves the creation of art, even in the midst of what I call head-banging pain for half that time. Honestly, if I hadn't had my art to keep me busy during the past 12 months I think I would have gone completely off the rails!

So what did moi produce during the Year of Utter Misery? Well, I cranked out several dozen mixed media notecards, a new collection of mosaic pendants, at least a hundred pairs of hand painted earrings, and completed a very large and challenging painting that took up more space in my studio than a Volkswagon. (Actually, that's a little bit of exaggeration. It wasn't really the size of a Volkswagon but because it was so big it sure seemed like it.)

If it weren't so distressing to be cooped up for so long with such limited contact with the outside world, I'd  say that being sequestered for months on end might put an artist on the fast track to generating a truly impressive output. The only problem is the lack of social contact. After the delight of having unlimited time to create wore off, I found myself craving the company of other humans -- even though I've always been something of a hermit. It's too much to expect one's spouse to take the place of society at large, though Hubs went above and beyond in his efforts to sub for it. (Just one reason I love this man so much!) Eventually the isolation wore on me to the point that the very thought of making a trip to the Dollar Store made me giddy with excitement. That's sick!

Here are a few of the items I created this past year. While I was throwing myself into creating them, the isolation taught me a lot about myself -- what I could and couldn't do, and how important it is to have an interest or passion that can sustain one through trying times.We know what mine is. What is it for you? 

Mixed media & collage notecard


Earrings with matching keepsake gift box

Mosaic pendant with matching keepsake gift box

Text and images ©2021 Lynn Edwards

Friday, March 19, 2021

Wisdom I Agree With

What is the role of an artist in society? This subject has any number of answers, but here's one I found as I was reading through an old issue of The Artist Magazine. It appeared in an interview with Henryk Fantazos, who emigrated from Poland to the U.S. in 1975. I think Fantazos sums it up well:

"Being a painter carries certain cultural responsibilities. Once you are given a voice, you should feel a responsibility not to pollute your culture, but rather to contribute something of value."