Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Current art exhibit examines the beauty of botany

“The Thrill of Discovery,” a show by artist Lynn Carden, will be displayed in the gallery in Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Stevenson Hall from Jan. 20 through Feb. 11. Described by the artist as a small show with large drawings, the exhibit examines botany from a different perspective than that in the classroom.

The artist statement describes the inspiration for the show:

“For years I'd been painting the flowers of my garden -- putting them in to still-life or landscape settings. Then I began to paint their portraits. But I wondered, ‘What goes on inside their pretty little faces? What makes them work?’

To find the answers I spent a winter in Cincinnati’s horticultural Lloyd Library studying its collection of historic botanical illustrations. Here I found answers and inspiration in the tiny scientific drawings which accompanied the otherwise lavish 18th- and 19th-century paintings. … Aided by a magnifying glass, I sketched the intricate sensual shapes until I had enough to cover the walls of my studio. And from these studies the eye of a pansy grew into a funky alien creature, the throat of an iris into a Venus-like statue.”

Carden was born in Columbus and, after high school, toured globally with The International School of America. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Ohio State University and settled in Cincinnati, where she began to paint full-time. She has also studied at the San Antonio Art Institute and the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Two years ago, she and her husband relocated to Ross County to live on her ancestors’ farmstead in Bourneville.

She has had numerous exhibits and one-person shows, including a show of large-scale water color paintings of flowers at the local Pump House Art Gallery in 1992.

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