Artist thrives with multimedia paintings

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By Kellie Parkin

Island local Linda Cook Flynn is the feature artist this month at the Cedar Key Arts Center Members’ Gallery.

“This is joy,” said the multimedia artist regarding the opportunity to show at the Center.

Flynn, a native Floridian, found her calling with acrylic paints just two years ago, after studying watercolor for two years. She often uses mediums, a glue-like substance, to add texture and shape to her creations. Other texturizers she is fond of include burlap and linen cloth.

“I like to go to a thrift shop and find a nice linen dress – then take it home and cut it up,” she said with a playful grin.

Occasionally she also incorporates Plaster-of-Paris to recreate nature, such as one art piece currently on display called Mamma’s Magnolia.

Starting with a large magnolia flower, she used the plaster to make an exact replica, to which she then painted using liquid acrylics.

“I spent three months on that one,” she said of the magnolia, adding that she made sure to get permission before cutting the blossom from the tree.

The sturdiness that multimedia can offer attracted Flynn to the approach. “I want to be able to touch my art,” she said. “And I want others to be able to as well – this is very much a hands-on exhibit.”

Interactive art is important to Flynn, a former teacher and teacher trainer for 30 years. One painting in her show sits on a golden easel next to a table and chair. On the table rests a sketchbook and pen. The painting, titled “New Beginnings,” is still in its early stages and Flynn is asking for suggestions and ideas to use as she completes it. Guests can jot notes, ideas or sketches as they sit and contemplate the art piece.

Flynn takes her inspiration from nature, drawing on both her childhood farm-life in Vernon, FL and her current residence in the Cedar Keys. She also spends a lot of time reading and searching the Internet to get inspired, she said. In addition to her painting, Flynn spends time creating art as a photographer and poet, too.

Flynn’s art can be viewed (and touched) at the Cedar Key Art Center Members Artists’ Gallery through the month of December. The main gallery of the art center is currently hosting a Giftable Art Show, displaying the works of artists from all over the region.