I have been making art my whole life. One of my earliest memories is of going with my parents to Atlantic City, where someone gave me a piece of hard candy in a beautiful foil wrapper. I saved the wrapper, brought it home, pasted it down and drew a head arms and legs on it. I made my first collage at three years old.
Lynne Feldman, Lighting the Candles, acrylic paint and fabric on canvas, 36″ x 40″
My parents were both artists. My dad was a writer for TV and my mother had been a singer prior to marriage, with an operatic voice. My creativity was always encouraged and my art classes began at age four. I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan so I had access to museums and good art schools. There were young children’s classes at the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum in those days.
I received my first set of oil paints at around eight years old. It was a paint by number set, but my parents did not allow me to use the image with the numbers on the front of the canvas board, I had to use the back (this was fine with me). I fell in love with oils then. When I was twelve, I began more serious art training at The Art Students League on West 57th street. I drew and painted there from the model for fifteen years: life drawing classes in charcoal and painting in oils.
Lynne Feldman at work
I painted in oils for forty years, and then took a week long summer workshop at Bennington College in Vermont. That class changed my life. The title of the class was painting with fabric. I was introduced to the concept of gluing fabrics directly onto the canvas. Because the glue was water based, I had to learn to paint in acrylics. I had always integrated patterns and design into my paintings so it seemed such a natural transition to actually use fabrics with pattern directly on my paintings.
Many different types of fabrics
It was hard to put my oils away after all that time but I was developing some respiratory issues and basically needed an excuse to find a different medium to work in. This was perfect. I absolutely fell in love with it. I stretch a canvas, plan a composition in charcoal, do a rough painting in acrylics, and then begin the gluing and painting process on top. My collage/paintings can take from a month to a year to complete. I love every minute of the process.
Lynne Feldman, “At the Waterfall”, acrylic paint and fabric on canvas, 36″ x 40″
For more information on Lynne Feldman you can visit her website at http://lynnefeldman.com. Or stop by the gallery to see her work in our current exhibition, The Assembled Image.
Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by jewelry artist Heather Bivens of Weathered Heather.