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About Me

Lynnea Mattson

Most artists can tell you that they knew, from a very young age, that they wanted to be artists. Not me. My life, until I was 53 years old was focused on sports and competition. After an ankle replacement and being told my running days were over, I realized I needed something new to love and fill the void.

Soon afterwards I saw an acrylic painting a friend had completed and my competitive spirit came alive again. I thought “Well, if she can paint that well, I know I can do better!” so I gave painting a try.

I began by painting on wood with acrylic paint, following pattern books. I did that for about four years but after mastering the techniques, I became disinterested in the cute projects these books offered. I started picking my own images to paint and I began to paint on canvas. Again, competition came into play. I would see a subject I thought would be fun to paint and I would challenge myself to reproduce it. I wanted it to look exactly like the photo. I worked hard to accomplish this feat by teaching myself techniques and experimenting. This is then I started to really “see” as an artist. To push myself further, I began asking my nieces and nephews what animals they liked the most. I began painting those animals on wooden boxes for them. We have a very large extended family and I learned how to paint many animals.About this same time, I was enticed into trying oil. I painted in oil for about a year, not the traditional method but rousing the paint onto a specific nylon canvas. I created a portrait of my husband and myself and a few other paintings. The smell, clean up and storage of the paint convinced me this was not my medium of choice.

I now paint various subjects, but my true love remains painting animals. I love painting their eyes, as the eyes allow me to show the soul of the animal. Looking back, I now remember that when I was in middle school I would draw eyes on my papers and notebooks, saying “the eye of society is watching you.” Maybe there was a hint of what I was to do later in life.

For the past decade, I have been teaching watercolor painting to adults and children. I give them encouragement as I showing them how to “see” as an artist. I let them know it takes work to become the artist they envision themselves to be. I know that path well and I let them know I will stay by their sides as long as they want me there.

Today I continue to paint animals but also any other subject that catches my eye and challenges me to stretch my abilities. I continue to take workshops to introduce me to new ideas and sharpen my skills. Because of its unpredictable qualities, painting in watercolor keeps me on my toes. I enjoy trying to make this unpredictable medium bend to my wishes. Sometimes the watercolors win, and sometimes I do. No matter the outcome, it’s always a joy.

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