Kathryn Lynch: Interview

Kathryn Lynch, Boat Between Trees, 2013, oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches (courtesy
Kathryn Lynch, Boat Between Trees, 2013, oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches (courtesy of Sears Peyton Gallery)

Haniya Rae interviews painter Kathryn Lynch on the occasion of the recent exhibition Kathryn Lynch: A Silent Language at Sears Peyton Gallery, New York.

Lynch comments: "Really, it happens so subconsciously. All of a sudden something on my periphery will have this activity to it—a liveliness. Something I see as I pass by slowly gets into my unconscious. It’s kind of like a mutual dialogue and I don’t know what to expect, and I don’t know what the next thing I’ll get interested in will be. Something happens and then I think, 'Oh, that’s my subject.' ... I never feel the need to paint directly from life. I am painting about life using recognizable things that exist in life. If you were to go to the spot on Shelter Island where I painted some of these pictures, you would see that nothing is right. Nothing is correct in a literal way. The trees in my paintings are all wrong. The tree is not a tree—it just frames something that frames something else. It is just a shape and you think 'tree,' but it isn’t. If I painted directly from life, I think it would interrupt what I’m trying to do. That kind of reporting would feel confining. I don’t want to copy what I see. What I want is to take something my eyes can see and make that thing into a piece of art that gets at what the thing feels like, not what it looks like."