Lynne Kaiser has been producing original watercolors since 1994. Born in Brooklyn, she developed luxury communities in the 1990s and channeled her passion for art into designing logos for developments in Florida and Tennessee. In addition to being a member of a number of National and Capital District arts associations, she sits on the Colony Art League Board of Directors, serving as budget chair and publicity manager.
Q: What is the Art League Colony and what is its mission?
A: The Colonie Art League is a non-profit association. It was founded in 1974 by a group of artists from the region to promote the advancement of the visual arts. Among its guiding principles are increasing public awareness of the original art produced in the Capital District, presenting educational programs for artists and continuing to fundraise for donations to offer to high school graduates scholarships, prizes and awards, among other important causes. . For example, at the start of the pandemic, we raised funds for the Northeastern New York State Regional Food Bank through our virtual show “Art for a Cause”. CAL members donated works that were posted on the CAL website. All profits from the sale of these works were donated to the food bank.
Q: Do you like watercolors. What do you like to paint the most and why?
A: I like to paint seascapes. My best memories are being on the water – bungalow days at Rockaway Beach in the 1950s, fishing in Maine’s Lake Rangely, surfing in Malibu, boating in Miami Beach, rafting in Montego Bay, snorkeling. in the Florida Keys, vacation on a pontoon boat in Silver Glen, Florida, floating around Lake George in a raft with grandchildren and Yorkies in tow – these treasured keepsakes provide enough subject matter and inspiration for decades to come paint.
I also collect and paint vintage art deco radios.
Q: What tips or advice would you give to a growing artist?
A: 1. Take a course or workshop. I had painted aimlessly for decades until I met Kriss Woodward. Kris offers a weekly workshop at a reasonable cost. Class usually begins with a 15 minute black and white drawing of a still life put together by Kris. This discipline forced me to improve my drawing technique. The start of the most successful watercolors begins with a good drawing.
2. Join an arts league. (Or two or three!) The Capital District has several large arts associations. In addition to CAL, there is the Bethlehem Art Association, the Schenectady Art Society, and the Southern Saratoga Art Society. The membership fees to join each of these groups are quite low ($ 30 to $ 45 per year) and the benefits are endless. Each of these groups offers a little something different. Monthly demonstrations by leading artists, venues where member artists can exhibit works, shows judged for competition, and low-cost workshops are some of the benefits provided by associations. I joined several artistic associations in 2020 with so many activities taking place on Zoom. Arts groups have done a great job of adapting to the COVID environment with some events available in person and others online. Get involved, volunteer for an activity. ‘
3. Promote yourself. Don’t hesitate to create a website. If you are on a budget, there are website hosts that serve the needs of artists for a reasonable cost. They focus on building your own site and walk you through the process of building a professional site in a user-friendly way.
Q: When you look at a blank canvas, what goes through your mind?
A: It would be a rare occurrence for me to face a blank canvas. My ideas for paintings always seep into my brain. In my daily life as a legal assistant and property manager, or even as I walk my dog, I come across opportunities to paint. I would like to say that I carry my sketchbook so that I can do a quick sketch when I spot a potential subject. But my drawing is too slow and measured (literally) so I just take pictures with a cell phone camera. Back in my studio, I draw from the photo. Then I work on the colors, sometimes making several color charts for the concept. I place these documents – photo, sketch and color chart – in a large envelope and class for future use. This is my process. Last spring I was walking my dog at The Crossings of Colony when I ran into a group of men sitting in a circle in front of the Veterans Memorial. I approached them and asked them if they were veterans. They said, “Yes, we are Vietnam veterans. I asked if I could take their picture. They agreed, hence the subject of my next painting was done. I named the board “Thank you for your service” and presented it to the BAA Fall Show where it won an award.
Q: Who is your favorite artist – alive or dead – and if you had to have lunch what would you be talking about?
A: It’s a bit of a “cheating”, but I have two favorites, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 to 1851) and Edouard Manet (1832 to 1833.) Both painted a significant number of seascapes; both were innovators and both enjoyed commercial success during their lifetime. Because their techniques and choice of subjects were often viewed as radical, Turner and Manet were at times ostracized by the establishment. Turner’s works were sometimes relegated to a lower room or post at the Royal Academy, and Manet’s “Lunch in the Grass” was rejected by the Paris Salon in 1863, prompting him to exhibit the painting at the Salon. des Refus (Salon des rejectés.) If I had the opportunity to have lunch with them, I would like to know their thoughts on future art. What do they think of the fauvist movement, especially Henri Matisse’s brilliant use of color? What about abstract expressionism? Is Jackson Pollock’s “drip” technique a “legitimate” art form? I would ask Manet if he was inspired by Turner’s “Pêcheur en mer” (1796), a nocturnal and nautical scene in moonlight when he painted “Moonlight, Boulogne” (1869). I would ask Turner for advice on how to sell me. Turner, unlike Manet, came from the petty bourgeoisie, but that didn’t stop him from becoming an entrepreneur as brilliant as an artist. Turner was a master of self-promotion, exhibiting his work in his own gallery.
Finally, I would ask Manet to collect the check because it was his idea to go to the fancy French restaurant.
If you would like to see someone featured in Five Questions, contact Jim Franco at 518-878-1000 or [email protected]