June's Feature: "Life Illuminated"

Polishing Rough Edges by Lynn Abbott

“Life Illuminated,” June’s exhibit by Brush Strokes Gallery’s Featured Artist, Lynn Abbott, not only highlights simple, everyday moments, but also captures the essence of her characteristically light-filled compositions. Since light as well as water take center stage in nearly all of Abbott’s Acrylic Paintings, the exhibit’s theme should come as no surprise to Abbott fans.

As the only daughter of an oceanographer, Abbott lived in coastal and sunny communities for most of her growing up years. Abbott’s ongoing fascination and recurring exploration of sun and sea thus began early. “It didn’t hurt that I was born in Miami, Florida. Sunshine and water obviously have always played an important role in my life,” she says.

While both her parents were part of the scientific community, Abbott certainly tended in another direction.Yet, both her parents always supported her imaginative gifts and encouraged her to pursue both her love of writing and art.

Despite Abbott’s seeming disinterest in scientific expeditions, her father’s influence, nevertheless, can be seen in her numerous water compositions. Yet, her connection to sun and sea reaches much deeper than childhood memories. After personally battling breast cancer in 2007 and simultaneously caring for her mother who died of ovarian cancer in 2008, Abbott picked up her paintbrush with a renewed sense of purpose.

She explains that during that time, painting allowed her to express emotions for which she found no words. “Without a doubt,” Abbott admits, “this life is a dance with both light and shadow.” She reflects a moment upon her artistic journey, and then continues, “Life’s shadows have definitely influenced me, and now my paintings tell the tale of survivorship and hope.”

She quickly adds that the thread of light in her paintings represents hope for those who journey through darkness. “You might say that both my exhibit’s theme, ‘Life Illuminated’ and my artistic vision find root in my unwavering belief that light overcomes darkness,” Abbott notes thoughtfully. And in fact, her painting titles such as “Polishing Rough Edges,” “To Preserve Life,” and “Through a Glass Darkly,” clearly demonstrate the hope-filled perspective that influences compositions as varied as ocean waves, still life collections, and man’s best friend.

“Life Illuminated” will run June 1 -28, daily 11am-5pm at Brush Strokes Gallery, 824 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Meet Abbott and celebrate the exhibit’s opening on First Friday, June 5 from 6pm-9 pm. For more information, please contact Brush Strokes Gallery, at 540-368-0560.