Artist Lynn Nelson in her studio
Lynn Nelson is an absolute inspiration! She has learned to draw in her 70’s from an absolute beginner just 5 years ago. After graduating from her beginner course her skills began to really grow rapidly from strength to strength. With every new piece her skills took a huge leap. Lynn always approached subjects that presented great challenges to her like you see in the artwork below titled; Swimming Tiger which required tremendous tenacity.
Now, just three years (currently in her 4th year of mentoring) after graduating from her beginner course, she is a multi-award winning artist with the world at her feet. Lynn’s artworks are absolutely beautiful, I am sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I do. They’re embued with a passion for her subject that really shines. In this interview we get to know more about Lynn and her journey through the one to one mentoring process as she learned to draw then go on to win awards. Her work is continuing to progress to higher levels as she develops even more confidence and skill.
Interview with Lynn Nelson by Cindy Wider
Q: Lynn where were you born and where do you live now?
A: I live in Manhattan Beach, California and have spent most of my life in southern California except when attending the Davis campus of the University of California. I received my doctorate of Veterinary Medicine there and practiced small animal medicine for 37 years. My husband and I have always been interested in boating so when we retired we put the house up for rent and moved aboard our boat. We cruised the east coast of the US, the Caribbean, the eastern coast of Mexico, Belize, Panama, Panama Canal, Costa Rica, and Pacific Mexico. Continuing north from Mexico to Alaska and back home. After living aboard for 8 years we moved back into the house and now split our time between California and Mexico.
Q: How did you get started with art and drawing?
A: As a child I was always interested in arts and crafts. I can remember when I was in Middle school, I bought a book on drawing cartoon figures. Nothing I attempted resembled what it was supposed to so I gave up trying. When we were on the boat I took up beading but was not able to then draw the designs I wanted to bead. I beaded a seascape picture and while it came out ok, there were real limitations to what I could create. That’s when I started to look around for classes.
Q: How did you find us here at DrawPj?
A: I took several art classes from Udemy that helped a little but was not really happy with the instructors. Then I found your Complete Drawing and Shading course and liked it so much I converted to your full version the Complete Online Drawing Course. About 4 months after starting your course I realized that the mentored students were definitely drawing better than the regular students so I started the mentored program.
Q: When students start to study with me I ask them to create a pre-instruction drawing as a record of their ability before they start the course. What do you think when you look at the pre-instruction drawing you created way back then?
A: My drawing looks like something a 6 yr old might have done. I was apprehensive when we had to do a charcoal drawing of our self and blown away when I finished that the picture really looked like me! That was the point that I knew I could draw.
Q: What was it like studying with mentored support?
A: Wonderful! To learn, I like to know the why’s and details behind an instruction. You are so patient and supportive with all my questions.
Q: What kind of drawings are you doing right now?
A: I like to draw nature, be it flora or fauna. I started with birds, trees, rocks, and flowers. Now I am working on a beautiful and unusual sunset and would like to do more landscapes.
Q: Do you have any favourite drawings that you’ve created since studying at DrawPj?
A: I did a pastel drawing of a tiger swimming across a pond because tigers are so beautiful. My still life painting “Memories” has grown on me more and more.
Q: Have you won any awards, or held exhibitions, sold your art since you studied at DrawPj?
A: I won Best of Show in my yacht club for the pastel painting “Shroud Cay” which also was awarded Honorable Mention in Light Space and Time Seascape competition earlier this month.
Q: What are your favourite art materials and why?
A: After graphite and colored pencils, I switched to pastel pencils and pan pastels because, for me, I couldn’t get enough vibrancy of color with colored pencils before the paper would not hold any more pigment. I just started acrylic painting and am not liking it better than pastels.
Q: Do you have any words of helpful advice for beginner artists?
A: You have to show up at the table and draw! I’m not sure I would be where I am artistically if I had started my classes when I was working full time, managing my veterinary hospital, and caring for my husband and son. But being retired has freed me to pursue my art as much as I want.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: As I am now in my mid 70’s, I want to keep learning and improving to see how good I can get before age-related problems show up. I would like to sell my art but have not really investigated how best to do it.
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