statement of Lynn Yoder
Photo Courtesy of Larry Rippel
Education and experience have taught me to appreciate the concepts motivating each of my works of art. I seek to express ideas, beliefs, and emotions through the avenue of realistic oil painting.

My portfolio is primarily figurative in subject matter. In addition to painting formal portraits, I depict people in casual activities. In thes paintings, more emphasis is placed on my model's actions, thoughts, or feelings than their recognizable identities. In some cases the figure or part of the figure is a small part of a larger environment, but the human element is still important and unifies my portfolio.

Various themes emerge in my figurative work. Some paintings show musicians playing instruments. I recreate the feeling given by a particular piece or style of music by painting shapes and colors floating around the musicians. Figurative spiritual images are inspired by my faith and relationship with God. Biblical ideas, related in my paintings, are meant to comfort and encourage both myself and others. Since these paintings show visible spiritual beings in real world situations, they inspire an awareness of God and the non-visible world which I believe surrounds humanity. Many of my subjects have been children. Playful images of children blowing bubbles feature bright colors and abstract swirling shapes.

Realism for its own sake can be lifeless. On the other hand, as I create refined images with layers of oil paint, I can best best emphasize certain characteristics in my subjects. Particular subtle qualities of human character and expression are only realized in more lifelike descriptions. I best appreciate the delicate blend of halftones in a child's cheek or the soft texture of a bird's down in a carefully rendered image. I don't seek to copy my subjects in a naturalistic sense. I rearrange, eliminate, and add to details; change color temperatures and values; and adjust compositional arrangements. Abstract motifs, juxtaposed with realistic imagery, can be quite helpful. I emphasize abstract shapes in nature as seen in my water forms or bubbles. In my musical themes, I have used wisps of color not visible in nature to convey the idea of sound.

Interestingly, the same supporting props or surroundings used in my figurative works often form paintings all their own. Water forms, musical instruments, and light have been worthy subjects. I gravitate towards still life with reflective surfaces, bright light, or intense colors. Landscapes allow me to explore light and atmosphere.

Wildlife are the other non-figurative subjects that I paint. As in my figure paintings I try to emphasize the qualities that indicate that these creatures live and move. Harmony and beauty of physical form is also important.

Light forms an integral part of my artistic vision. I attempt to give the illusion of vibrant light rather than to show mere light spots of paint on the canvas. I gravitate towards intense or dramatic luminous effects, be they natural or man-made. I enjoy strongly backlit subjects where light outlines the shadowed shapes. Backlighting, whether soft or intense, is prevalent in my body of work.

Some note a quiet and peaceful mood pervading my images. This atmosphere may be a subconscious reflection of my melancholic personality, quiet lifestyle, and Christian faith. Themes of optimism and beauty flow from the same motivations.

Art is becoming more of an extension of what I am and value. I hope those viewing my work can appreciate, not only the visible paintings before them, but also the real life experiences and emotions that they represent.

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