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Lynn Cothern


One of my earliest memories is the desire to “be an artist.” Life has taken me from a farm in southern Idaho, to Oregon, then Maryland, and finally Roanoke, Virginia. I’ve seen the world in bits and pieces through trips to Europe, India, Australia, China, and Latin America. A sense of place—the human ties to particular geographies, has always been important to me.


In painting, I find the connection between this sense of place and the imagination. When I paint, I’m connected through my senses to a place—to the heat, the rain, the sound of birds or traffic—and also history, memory, and story. I am connected to the geography of my mind and imagination, always on a pilgrimage from the place I see to a place imagined in color and shape.


I work primarily in oil—from life, photo references, sketches, and collage. I value spontaneity and embrace random effects. I like to look beyond the motif to find the deeper energy or mystery of the thing itself. I enjoy creating problems in order to find new and sometimes surprising solutions. Experiments, exploring media, and following trains of thought make me happy, and the best work comes when I least expect it.

Lynn Cothern

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