Artist and biologist team up to explain life in Muskoka’s lakes
MAGNIFIYING LAKE LIFE
Photo by Bev McMullen
MUSKOKA – Bracebridge artist Lynda Lynn and biologist Dr. Norman Yan share a fascination with the diminutive life that lives in Muskoka’s lakes.
Together, they speak with passion, knowledge and humour about this important environmental topic.
“So much of our environment depends on the little things that few have the opportunity to see but are crucial to our environment and our health,” said Lynda Lynn as she starts to explain the thoughts behind her current series of paintings. “Over the centuries, artists have been the lookers of the world, observing and recording current conditions and happenings in their surroundings, events in history and evolving ideas. I hope that this body of work will help to promote a wider understanding and appreciation of the necessity of preservation of the incredible but crucial, hidden living organisms in our world.”
Most people are familiar with the whales, giant squid, sea lions, the numerous species of fish and the aquatic plant life that exists in the oceans and fresh water and are essential to our lives.
“Fewer people understand that more than 99 per cent of the living creatures, plants and animals in the world’s waters are tiny, almost too tiny to see with the naked eye,” said Dr.Norman Yan, a senior research scholar with the Department of Biology at York University. “Muskoka’s lakes are chock full of life we never think about,” stated Dr. Yan. “For example, there are 10,000 times more living animals swimming around in Lake Muskoka than people on earth.”
To bring awareness to this minuscule watery world, Lynn’s paintings portray its inhabitants as seen through the eyes of an artist. “Looking more like abstract art to the viewer, these paintings are my interpretation and reverence of this hidden realm,” stated Lynn.
One challenge Lynn faced was knowing what to paint and how to get the message across while still having paintings that could be enjoyed. Conversations with Dr. Yan helped Lynn to choose the most interesting and relevant creatures that inhabit the lakes found in Muskoka.
“The other issue was in trying to involve the viewer by having them be able to see different images as they moved from one side of a painting to the other,” Lynn explained. To achieve this objective, Lynn used many transparent layers with opaque paint between them to get the depth and the feel of looking into water.
Each painting is accompanied with commentary written by Dr. Yan about the marvels of this submarine world.
Lynn and Dr. Yan hope to grow our sense of wonder in the same way as when we look at the night sky that expands our view to the enormous – we can also grow our sense of wonder when we look at the microscopic and discover that remarkably interesting living creatures can come in very small packages.
Below the Surface continues at the Chapel Gallery until Dec. 18. Muskoka Arts and Crafts hosts this art talk about the exhibition, Below the Surface, on Wednesday, Nov. 25, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the lecture hall of Nipissing University, located at 125 Wellington Street in Bracebridge. For information see muskokaartsandcrafts.com or call 705-645-5501.
Lynda was profiled by City TV In May 2012. Lynda is always interested in participating in any opportunity to share her love of art and of Muskoka, even on a cold grey morning!
Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour Jun 7,8, 2014
“4” participated in the Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour at the charming and “ haunted” Bala Bay Inn. Google that one for stories about the ghost.
We set up in the main dining room which is filled with light, has hanging chandeliers, mirrored surfaces, soft, spring green walls, original tin ceilings and hardwood floors (description compliments of the realtor in me), as well as in one of the porches running across the front of the building and looking out across beautiful Muskoka Lake. What a great spot for smaller wedding receptions.
Lunches at the Inn were absolutely delicious and we would recommend dining there to anyone.
It was a busy weekend with sales being comfortable and the opportunity to meet many new people who are interested in art. All of us were in attendance, welcomed questions and were able to discuss our passion with visitors.
Thanks to everyone at the Inn for their help and support and to all of the art lovers who stopped by, had a chat, and took home an original “Muskoka” painting. We had a great weekend and hope to do it again next year.