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Cardiff Character: Lynne Cartlidge

If you look at it the way this artist looks at it, the world would seem much more beautiful!

Meet Lynne!

How fascinating can a bowl of fruit really be? It would actually seem very awe-inspiring if you could look at it through Lynne Cartlidge’s eyes. Lynne is an artist who specialises in still life painting and finds beauty in everyday objects which she portrays through her art.

“The forms and colours of a fruit or a flower deeply intrigue me,” she says. “Add to that the game of light and shadows, and you got yourself a very moving subject to paint.”

The 53-year old is a warm, affectionate person with many stories, from being a mother who strongly misses her son who lives in London to being an artist who has seen a lot of struggles in her career.

Lynne at her studio

One quick glance inside Lynne’s studio – and home, which she shares with her partner – is enough to say that her subjects mainly comprise of fruits and flowers.

Fruits such as pears and pomegranates, and flowers, are placed here and there. Her paintings all around also tell you of her interest.

A huge part of the shelves is crowded with things like bowls, jars, flower vases, and kettles of various sorts.

Of course, being a painter, brushes, canvases – and even a machine to frame paintings – occupy much of the space.

A sneak peek at Lynne’s studio

Cosy, welcoming, and beautifully messy, this is where the artist works.

“My approach towards work often takes the form of having a conversation,” she explains. “Rather than ploughing through, I often stop and ask questions about the ongoing work – whether I am going somewhere with it, or how could I portray it in a better way.”

She says that the features of fruits and flowers and the intensity and direction of light can make huge differences on canvas.

Prop perfect?

The physical characteristics of a fruit or a flower are obviously very important to her.

“When I go to the supermarket, I pick up a fruit, observe closely, put it down; then pick up another and so on!” she says jokingly.

She added that her allotment garden is a major source of her props.

Looking back

Born in New Zealand, Lynne’s family moved to the UK when she was about three.

She found the portrayal of light to be extraordinary.

She says that one of her earliest memories is of seeing a Rembrandt painting in London.

“Conveying something with light and space is something which has always inspired me,” she explains.

Lynne grew up to become an artist, pursuing a foundation diploma at Falmouth Art School and then a degree in fine art in Cardiff College of Art.

But it was not until the ’90s when she started to focus on the genre of still life as a form of exercise to hone her skills as an artist.

“It is a difficult career, really,” Lynne opines. “I didn’t earn much as an artist in the beginning years. But I was determined to make it.”