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Meet artist Lin Frye
By Leslie A. Panfil
I have a great fondness for watercolorist and the work of Lin Frye is no exception. Anyone who has worked in the medium will attest to just how difficult it is to achieve vibrant color, the kind of color that seems to come from Frye’s brush so effortlessly.
You would never have guessed that Frye has not been painting her whole life. “I have been a writer and have enjoyed handcrafts – crochet, cross-stitch, crewel, embroidery and sewing all my life. It has only been upon reaching middle-age that I became interested in visual art,” said Frye. “I began with soap crafting, moved into collage, altered books, and finally, only six years ago, I picked up a pencil to learn how to sketch and how to paint.”
She now works solely in watercolor. “Although I occasional enjoy working with pen and ink.”
A self proclaimed ethno botanist (someone who studies people/plant relationships), Frye’s work as horticulturalist allows her to immerse her senses in the subject matter that inspires her the most including flowers, trees, fruits and grasses.
“I have always longed to live in the woodlands and have finally been able to live my dream,” said Fry. “My husband and I built a home in rural North Carolina on a small piece of property among farmlands. The rural scenes, landscapes and farms all inspire me. I love the way the light plays across the land. Shadows, sunrises and sunsets are a constant source of inspiration.”
Frye’s work is a reflection of her life and loves. “I’ve been told that my work often inspires others, that they feel a sense of ‘peace’ viewing my artwork. I lead a busy, often stress-filled life and I often turn to painting in order achieve that peacefulness myself.”
Fry admits creative roadblocks come to her from time to time. “I’m just getting over the longest creative block I’ve had since beginning my watercolor adventure. The only way I know how to get through these tough times is to work through them. I simply keep working despite the growing pile of paintings I don’t like” said Frye. “I also find that beginning at the beginning helps. In other words, take a lesson; follow a tutorial or an art DVD; read a book about painting. I also find that frequently a ‘block’ indicates a change is coming. It could mean a bit of a growth spurt. So while they’re difficult to live through, once I do finally get to the other side, I find that something has changed for the good.”
Her love of the country side has lead to a deep appreciation of a number of French watercolor artists’ work. “Their work has such a fresh fluidity to it. I would love to be able to express my passion for the land and nature in just such a way,” said Frye.
On balancing art and life Fry explained, “Though my family is grown, I have a very demanding work life. I work out of town four days out of seven. When I’m home I juggle family, gardening, grandchildren and everything in between. Fortunately, I have a mighty supportive husband. As a musician himself, he understands my need to create and so is generous with the time I need to be at the art table.”
Frye met her husband roller skating she said, “We both took dance/skating lessons – and danced/skated our way into a 19-year marriage!”
While Fry has many accomplishments to her name including: acceptance into juried shows, published articles and a book, she counts her children’s admiration for her work her greatest achievement.
Frye doesn’t make her living as an artist and finds it daunting to have to tackle marketing her work with her time to create. “If I did make a living as an artist, I’d be inclined to hire someone else to do the marketing of my work so I could concentrate on its creation. I think it’s mighty hard to do both.”
She may not make her living through her art work but Fry does sell her work. She explained, “The best place to sell for me seems to be from my blog or Flickr site. Folks interested in purchasing, typically write to inquire after viewing a work they like. I’ve also had some good sales at a few select festivals. However, I find art and craft festivals to be the least lucrative place to sell fine artwork. Folks will purchase a small print or small original, cards or novelties, but tend not to make a large purchase. However, these types of shows are a great way to introduce others to your work and can often lead to a purchase later on.”
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