Charbonneau woman crafts art show
It's experiences, rather than people, that inspired Charbonneau resident Lynn Liffick's interest in art.
In second grade, she recalls capturing the memory of vibrant maple trees and transporting them onto a page. In middle school, she constructed an intricate mobile sculpture, rather than a conventional poster, to help her boyfriend win a student body election. And when she was a teacher, she helped poor performing students gain confidence through art.
"I thought it was so fascinating to use all those colors and make something pretty," Liffick said of her first encounters with art.
Liffick tried out an amalgam of art forms such as photography, serigraphy, multimedia collages, quilting and ceramics throughout her life. But when she took a watercolors class at Wilsonville Community Center in 2003, she was hooked.
And it's Liffick's watercolor pieces that will be on display in the Wilsonville Public Library this July. The library postponed exhibits during renovations and Liffick's will be the first of 2018.
Liffick's work embodies a realistic style but sometimes imbues impressionism. Most of her watercolor paintings depict flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables. She has lived in many places but said her 15 years in Idaho informed her taste.
"We've always been outdoors people because we lived in Idaho for quite awhile," Liffick said. "That meant camping and hiking and fishing. So I tend to gravitate toward subjects that relate to my love of the outdoors, whether it's flowers or still lifes or landscapes."
Her process involves layering glazes, ensuring that each section of the canvass includes an appealing array of colors, and placing the exact amount of water and paint onto the page to create the desired shade.
"You're constantly mentally struggling with what the end result is," she said. "It's a mental challenge."
Her vision often morphs throughout the process.
"Watercolor is full of surprises," she said. "You have to start somewhere. If you start from what's realistic, then you have a foundation to evolve into something that is a little
bit more creative or imaginative."
Since taking the watercolor class, Liffick has painted off and on for the last 15 years. Her work has been on display at various venues in Charbonneau, including the Charbonneau Art Festival, and was featured at the Wilsonville Library previously. She belongs to the Oregon Watercolor Society and the Coachella Watercolor Society.
Liffick has sold her art sparsely through the years. But the satisfaction she gleans from the hobby is intangible.
"The camaraderie is huge because of the interaction with other artists," Liffick said. "It provides downtime for me to turn inward and do what I want to do. It gives you space to not have all the outside stimuli in our world now bombarding you. You can get away from it. It provides some positive feedback."