Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"The Steward" Finished and Waiting to be Installed

The finishing touches have been put on "The Steward," my piece of art for the Caravan exhibition to take place at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. The show will be on view from Sunday, August 31 until Tuesday, October 6 in Washington, DC, and then will travel to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.

When first asked to participate in this show, I was honored. Then, I panicked. After the panic, a concept was born. Following the initial concept decision, I wrote a statement about the work. This statement helped me to maintain my clarity regarding what I wanted to say with the piece while working. Here is the statement that expresses my idea behind the work:

Trees have been a central symbol of transcendence, immortality, and life in almost every culture. Without trees, we would no longer be able to exist, since they create the very air that we breathe. Without working together as groups and individuals, humans would no longer exist either. With this idea in mind, my figure is embracing trees and the trees are embracing the figure. This image symbolically indicates that we are stewards of the land and of one another. We are all connected, and can provide comfort in times of trouble, and joy in positive moments. Our roots may help to define us, and lead us to a better understanding of others if we so choose.

This exhibition will be fascinating to see in person, but you may see some of the work now by visiting the Caravan website at this address: My work will be included on the site soon. Until then, here's "The Steward."

Closeup of "The Steward" © Lynn Goldstein

"The Steward" from behind © Lynn Goldstein

"The Steward" © Lynn Goldstein

Closeup of "The Steward" © Lynn Goldstein

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Progress Comes Slowly with LOTS of Work

I have been steadily working on the piece for the Caravan Exhibition in order to complete the art well before the due date. This project has knocked me out of my comfort zone, forced me to learn some technical qualities of acrylic painting that I never expected to have to learn, and made me smile everyday. Hope that looking at the progress puts a smile on your face too!

Here are some progress photos:

I have completed 5 trees at this point. "The Steward" © Lynn Goldstein

One of my studio friends took this shot of me working. © Lynn Goldstein 

The back of "The Steward" with trees almost completed. © Lynn Goldstein

All the trees are completed on "The Steward." Now fine-tuning to be done. © Lynn Goldstein

Here is a close-up of "The Steward." Starting to add leaves.  © Lynn Goldstein

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Progress on "The Steward"

When work has to be done quickly, ideas need to come at lightning speed. That's how things have been progressing with my work for the CARAVAN art exhibition. As a landscape painter working out of my comfort zone, it felt appropriate to utilize a subject near and dear to my heart... trees. With that in mind, I decided that having roots on the form would be a terrific addition. Thanks to Bill "Tex" Forrest, roots are starting to sprout from the sculpture.  After the roots are in place, I will be painting the form, and will keep posting the progress. Here are some photographs thus far:

Primed "The Steward" and have drawn the trees on the form

Color palette ideas

Roots being fabricated

Bill "Tex" Forrest working on the roots of "The Steward"

Monday, June 2, 2014

Opportunity Knocked ... My Socks off!

An example of the figure on which I will be working 

A visitor came to my studio on Saturday, and shared that she was reading a book that postulates that there are only two types of people in the world; those that accept a challenge and those who do not. I never thought of myself as the former. Imagine my surprise when she said, with gusto, that I am the type who rises to a challenge. Her reason for this pronouncement was in reaction to my excitement regarding an opportunity that knocked on my door late last week. I was one of 18 Western artists selected to participate in the CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art.

The 2014 exhibition will focus on Egypt and the United States, and is entitled, "AMEN- A Prayer for the World." The show will include work from 30 Egyptian artists, and 18 Western artists. The exhibition seeks to express the deep, fundamental human acknowledgement of power and hope for the universe, for all peoples. Each of the participating artists are given a life-size fiberglass sculpture. I have included an image of the sculpture design on which I will be working, and am hoping to document my progress. The sculpture will arrive in mid-June. When the work is completed, there will be an exhibition that will be taking place at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. After that exhibition, all the sculptures will be moved to St. John the Divine, the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world,  in New York City. An auction led by a Sotheby's auctioneer will take place in NYC, and part of the proceeds will help fund a school for under-privileged girls in Cairo.  You may visit the CARAVAN website here: Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A New Idea is Born

Making "Treatise," the art inspired by the Holocaust last year, was such a moving and enriching experience that I have decided to begin another piece of art exploring an aspect of Jewish history. This time, I am working on something that is more autobiographical in nature. Before I explain my intentions for this piece, I want to thank Rabbi Amy Perlin for encouraging me to continue the artistic journey that I started relating to Jewish heritage.

Lynn Goldstein's Family

My family came to the United States through Ellis Island in the early 1900s. The photographs of heavily bearded men and stoic-looking women have fascinated me for years. When I look into their faces, I try to see my father, mother, and grandparents with various levels of success. I wonder at the distance my family traveled to get to the United States in miles and in emotions. I am impressed at their courage to leave all that they knew to come to a strange land. Then I am awed at the distance they traveled once coming to these shores. After all, no one can believe that I grew up Jewish in West Virginia!

I am also intrigued by other family histories. Therefore, for my next piece I am planning to make art that explores Jewish immigration to the United States. With that in mind, I have found an old trunk. Once that trunk was in my possession, ideas began flooding into my consciousness, and I wanted to use photographs of my family and of other families as part of the piece. Right now I am in the hunting- and- gathering stage of the process, and am looking for photographs and stories of immigrants. As with "Treatise," I will be using books as an integral part of the piece. This time, I am using Yiddish books because Yiddish was the common thread that weaved the immigrants together after settling in the United States. The Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts , is providing me with books. After working on "Treatise," I know that my vision for the art can take unexpected directions, and I am looking forward to the twists and turns that occur while making "Migration." Stay tuned....

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Docent is a Noun - Part 2

In 2011, I posted an article on my blog expressing my enjoyment with being a volunteer docent at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (NPG) for the past 17 years. I am inspired by the art that I see there, and enjoy sharing what I have learned with visitors from all over the world. A funny thing happens when you share your passion with others. You are often rewarded with wonderful surprises. Read on to see what I mean.

I have been especially interested in the work that has been on displayed since March of last year in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. This exhibition holds a special place in my heart for several reasons. First, the work that is selected represents the art of the portrait as it is envisioned today by a wide variety of artists and media. Secondly, the pieces are all about the art. The National Portrait Gallery is an art and history museum; therefore, the work on view is often more about the biography of the person being portrayed rather than the artwork itself. I am fascinated by the past, but riveted by visual imagery. Third, the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition was made possible by the vision and generosity of Virginia Outwin Boochever, a fellow docent at NPG, who I had the great fortune to meet in my early days there.

Yesterday marked the final day that the Portrait Competition was going to be on view, so I made sure to include that exhibition in my tour. I was fortunate to have a terrific, and interested group of visitors, and was happily sharing the technical aspects of the art from an artist's perspective. Drawing has always been a great passion of mine, so I was discussing work that was produced in charcoal, a medium that I have enjoyed for years. After a short discussion of the self-portrait by the Ohio artist, Leslie Adams, I was stopped mid-sentence by a woman speaking to me. She told me that what I had said was one of the best descriptions of her work that she had ever heard. I quickly thanked her before realizing exactly what she had said. Then it hit me. "It's YOU," I exclaimed! Indeed it was. The artist of the piece, Leslie Adams, was standing in front of me. Made my day. Leslie is a phenomenal portrait painter from Toledo, Ohio. I am including the drawing that I was discussing here for you to see.

Sensazione: A Self-Portrait by Leslie Adams © 2010 Leslie Adams

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

History and Art Redux - Arts Club of Washington

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."

Look Deeper One More Time © 2013 Lynn Goldstein, 40 x 36 inches, on view at the Arts Club of Washington

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.

 Overlook © 2013 Rita Elsner, 36 x 48 inches, on view at the Arts Club of Washington