July 22, 2017
Arts & Entertainment
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  • Lyn Laviana’s piece “Sunday Brunch,” soon to be displayed at the Columbia Arts Center, is modeled after a restaurant in Littleton, Colorado.
    Lyn Laviana’s piece “Sunday Brunch,” soon to be displayed at the Columbia Arts Center, is modeled after a restaurant in Littleton, Colorado.
  • Currently at Benfield Gallery in Severna Park, Lyn Laviana’s piece “Eleanor” is based on Eleanor Roosevelt's house.
    Currently at Benfield Gallery in Severna Park, Lyn Laviana’s piece “Eleanor” is based on Eleanor Roosevelt's house.
  • Laviana’s piece called “Glowing West” was inspired by Colorado.
    Laviana’s piece called “Glowing West” was inspired by Colorado.

Lyn Laviana Portrays Pastels Post-Retirement

Darrell Mak
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February 8, 2017

Severna Park artist Lyn Laviana spent many years trying her hand at different types of artistic work, but after retiring, she realized her true calling in painting pastel arts. Laviana’s work is being featured at Benfield Gallery in Severna Park, the Kent Island Federation of Arts and the Columbia Arts Center.

Benfield Gallery selected Laviana as the featured artist of the month after she submitted her pieces for consideration. Three of her works are on display at the Kent Island Federation of Arts through February 25. Laviana also has two paintings on display at the Maryland Pastel Society, being held at the Columbia Arts Center from February 9 through March 5, where Laviana is a signature member and also serves as the society’s recording secretary.

“I’ve always painted as a hobby,” said Laviana, who remembered her first paintings in the fourth grade. Throughout her life, she experimented with “lots of different things,” such as jewelry making, bead making, knitting, batiks and dollhouse miniatures.

Laviana grew up in the northeast and went to college in Kansas, where she received her degree in computer science while taking some art classes. Job and family responsibilities didn’t allow Laviana to spend as much time on her hobbies, but after she retired, she ultimately went back to painting, discovering her true calling after so many years. “With children, hobbies are more interruptible than painting, so that’s where most of my creative energies went,” she recalled.

Laviana moved to Severna Park after retiring, and she started submersing herself in painting while continuing to take art classes and workshops and entering art shows. Laviana gravitated toward pastel painting since it lends itself to creating interesting color schemes, something Laviana always tries to work into her pieces.

“I enjoy using pastels,” said Laviana. “It’s easier to get more colorful results.”

Laviana gravitates to subjects like buildings, the outdoors and people, although she finds it more difficult to paint interesting pieces of landscapes in this area since “everything is so green.” Instead, she likes painting buildings because they offer a wide range of colors and designs.

As opposed to creating a completely accurate rendition of a subject, Laviana will use her artistic talents to insert and stress different colors to make the piece more interesting. “You can paint very realistic colors, but typically, it won’t be very interesting unless I interpret or exaggerate some,” which is where Laviana can highlight her artistic uniqueness.

Ultimately, Laviana hopes her audience sees her pieces in the same way she does. “I hope they think it’s interesting, which doesn’t necessarily mean pretty,” she said. “I try to incorporate different angles, a different perspective, or people in unusual situations.” Some of her artwork is either available for sale or has been sold.

From here, Laviana intends to continue her routine of painting, and entering art shows and competitions. “Nothing gets planned ahead of time,” she admitted. “Shows come up, then I submit my pieces for them.”


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