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West Boylston’s Lynn Babineau Paints Intricate Watercolors

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


"Lighthouse Pier in Michigan City IN" ©2007 watercolor 10" x 8"

According to West Boylston's Lynn Babineau art is at once her passion, her disease and a cure.

"It is the one constant that I have had my entire life," she remarks.

She won her first ribbon at a second grade arts fair at a small Lutheran school on the shores of Lake Michigan. The rest, as they say, is history.

"I consider myself fortunate that from kindergarten through high school I had the opportunity to have art as part of my early education," she says.

The summer after high school is when she fell in love wither her medium of choice, watercolor, while studying in the Chicago area with artist Neal Kienitz.

She went on an “arts hiatus,” so to speak, to raise a family early in her adulthood, but soon rediscovered her love of art, particular of watercolor, upon moving to the Worcester area.

She took classes at the Worcester Art Museum and from artist, author and teacher Gerald Brommer, who introduced her to the technique of watercolor collage.

Lynn explains in detail her love of the medium. "I primarily use watercolor because it challenges me. It takes a great deal of planning. If you make a mistake it is not always easily corrected. I am constantly learning new techniques of manipulating the paint and water and that keeps me challenged. When I do the miniature watercolor portraits on ivory I am able to get into the details that enjoy. When I do watercolor collage I can experiment more with textures and it forces me to move away from the details a bit which is a challenge for me as well."

"West Boylston Landmark Church" ©2012 watercolor 7" x 5"

This description of painting as a "challenge" fits perfectly with her characterization of art as both a "disease" and a "cure.” At times, the act of creating a piece can be an intense struggle, a frustrating or painstaking exercise, but with finishing a piece comes an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and pride, and a special feeling that only comes when realizing that there lies a completely original creation straight from your own hands.

And then there is the additional realization that you have made an emotional connection with those lucky enough to the view the work, perhaps bringing a similar, temporary joy to their lives.

"If I can capture the spirit of a person or place in a work that means a great deal to me. With my watercolor collage pieces it is all about the textures and watching viewers reach out to touch it... I feel very blessed to have been given this wonderful gift and can only hope that I can in some way use it to touch and enhance others lives the way it has mine," Lynn says.

Lynn enjoys portraying people, places and animals in her paintings, the connecting thread being these subjects can possess a certain "spirit" and, as a result, viewers can find deep meaning in each particular piece. She is currently doing a series of church paintings, a subject that can certainly meet this qualification

"In New England these buildings have a great deal of history and so much character!" she exclaims.

On animals, she states, "our pets bring so much joy to our lives and are usually only with us for a short time. I enjoy creating a portrait and capturing the spirit of these wonderful creatures."

In discussing possible plans for the future, she centers on hoping to give kids the same opportunities to explore their artistic talents that she was lucky enough to receive. This is also the main goal of the West Boylston Arts Foundation of which she is a member.

"Some of my other goals are to teach a class on the technique of watercolor collage. As a member of the West Boylston Arts Foundation we are always looking for ways to bring awareness to the community of the importance of art education in the schools. I truly believe that an early education in the arts teaches the critical thinking skills that children will need in order to compete and succeed in the future," she says.

Perhaps one of these skills concerns how to deal with and overcome struggles, the kind one must face when taking on the challenge of creating each new piece of art.

To learn more about Lynn Babineau and to view her art, visit her website or find her on Facebook. 


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