Legato :: Lynn Whipple
Legato :: In a manner that is smooth and connected
by Jenny Doh
She loves red because the color makes her happy. And it is her aim to live a life filled with happiness, playfulness, and joy. This aim is made real as she shares laughter with friends, as she paints, as she plays the guitar, as she walks her furry people and as she snuggles with her beloved John, and the art that she makes and puts into the world. It is a joy that we collect and admire, as we aim to be near it. And if we are lucky, we'll find a track of itty bitty red dots that will likely lead us to a place where we can experience and celebrate the happy art that is Lynn Whipple.
JD :: Not everyone knows that you play the guitar and sing. Tell us about that. How did you get started and what kind of role does music have in your life?
LW :: Ahh, music. I LOVE music. Thanks so much for even asking that question. Music is one of those things in life that is wildly and deeply enjoyable, perhaps because it is an art making experience that is shared with others. I spent a big part of today playing guitar and singing with fellow artists. My fingers are sore as I type this. We worked out an original song, called Lucky Girl, and it is really taking shape. Tonight we shared it for some other artists in the studio and it was just wonderful. I could not be happier. I started playing guitar just a few years ago, then we formed a band, we are called "The Partials" because we only have partial talent, can only play partial songs and sing partial notes. The joke is we should do comedy night at our local coffee house, not open mic, because we are so dopey. This past month, we have added a banjo and a mandolin to the mix. We don't always know what we are doing, but its fun..and it's learning. My favorite part is writing lyrics and forming melodies, its a bit like making mixed media, you are combining interesting pieces and parts in a fresh, new way and hopefully interesting way.
JD :: If there were to be a soundtrack developed with music to depict your life, what would that soundtrack consist of?
LW :: Our personal Soundtrack would be: all kinds of laughter, the sound of dogs playing or snoring, good conversation, homemade music, the whistle of the train rolling down the tracks right behind the studio, lake sounds, fish jumping, birds, and various critters, the sounds of our little downtown where we paint and hangout most days, a touch of bluegrass music, classic rock or indy acoustic singer-songwriters, the scraping sound that a pallett knife makes on a large canvas, I love that sound, it's like percussion via paint.
Lately I have been listening to really old bluegrass. I have a new thing for the banjo. It is impossible to be sad when the banjo is playing, it is such a boyant sound. A good example of a CD I love, would be the soundtrack to the movie Garden State, it has lots of people I listen to, Nick Drake, Iron and Wine ... you never know from day to day what feels right. I will pop in U2 or The Beatles or Evita by Patti Lapone. Whats on Pandora table right now, the Averett Brothers, Gillian Welch and oddly enough Grand Funk Railroad. And always the original stylings by the Partials.
JD :: You like the color red. How come? What does that color do for you?
LW :: Red makes me happy. Red is bold and smart and it is the color of fun.
JD :: There are lines that exist in ways that define the fine art community and the art/craft community. What do you think the similarities and differences are between these communities?
LW :: Fine art and craft ... this is an ongoing and fascinating discussion. There are so many ways to go on this one. Traditionally, fine craft is a skill you hone and polish over and over, often with a know out come, as in throwing pots or turning wood. The fine art process may have a more meandering approach. You may not know where or how is going to finish. For me the most important thing is that you are curious, engaged in your process and choose to create. How others respond really is secondary to the act itself. The key is the joy or challenge you expeience while in the middle of creating it.
JD :: Fans of your work love the playfulness that your pieces exude. Is playfulness something you intentionally try to infuse into your pieces? How come?
LW :: Thank you Jenny, that is nice to hear. The playfulness just happens. Its the fun part of making art. Often, for me, I know a piece is done when I makes myself laugh, surprise myself or teach myself something new. I like the feeling when a piece is pleasing to the mind as well as the eye.
JD :: I know that you are an animal lover. Tell us about the animals in your life ... and the value they bring to your life.
LW :: Ahh, the fur people. we adore the furs. We have two golden retrievers and a rescued, sideways, limpy, one eyed, crooked tailed cat, who has the disposition of Buddah and the moxie of Ethel Merman. They are so full of love and playfulness. They bring happiness and energy into every minute. We are completely in love with them and spend lots of time with them every day. They make us laugh a constantly. Goldens are such cuddlers too. They make home feel like home. My entire family, especially my sister D are all animal lovers. Animals have always been a big part of our lives. I am grateful for that.
JD :: You've been painting outdoors. What's that like? How is that different from painting indoors?
LW :: Plein Air Painting is the thing that makes me hop out of bed in the morning and rush outside. Its a glorious art making challenge and new to me, so the learning is really thick right now. It's a marvelous game of color and shape and composition. It's my new favorite thing. It's right up there with music, partially because you can do it with friends. We grab coffee together, find a beautiful spot, work hard, talk and laugh and get really quiet together too. Then at the end you get to learn from each others paintings and marvel at the way everyone processes and presents everyting differently. I enjoy how we all have our own unique voices. Plein Air Painting is an outdoor romp in the name of art! It encompases all the things I love, making things, friends, art, learning and outdoors. I just need to bring along the dogs and when we are done make a little music.
JD :: What's the best thing you've ever eaten?
LW :: Wow, I am a total chow hound. Here is my death row meal or my last meal menu: a nice red wine served with an assortment of beautiful cheeses, roasted salted walnuts, yummy red seedless grapes, gourmet olives and fresh french bread, followed by creamy Fettucinne Alfredo with procuicito ham and peas next to some real, homegrown, garden ripe tomatoes drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper, more warm french bread and butter AND the chocolate cake that the lunch ladies made in my elementary school. And maybe a side of bacon.
JD :: Finish this sentence: "Very few people know that I ...
LW :: ... I love a pedicure and my long time favorite thing is to have each toe painted a different color, so when I look down, it makes me happy.
JD :: Think fast and give me a word or two that comes to mind when I say ...
12-string and a big smile
a nick name for my dog Smudgie
good surface to work on
honey, schmootie, best friend, nicest person on the planet
I tend to stay away from them
my dear friend
never met one I didn't like
stiped & mismatched
JD :: I know one of your favorite quotes is "Let it in, love it, let it go: by Rumi. Tell us about why that resonates with you, and perhaps an instance of when you have had to let it in, love it, and let it go. What are the side effects of not letting something we let in and love go?
LW :: Thats a tricky one. Sounds so easy. Some people really make their mark on your heart, but ultimatly you can love from anywhere, in any situation. It seems that when you hold on to an idea of how love "should" be, that can make it hard. Just be willing to love, stay open hearted and let it evolve, whatever that means. I think our ultimate goal is to do our best at giving and receiving love ... in any and all forms.