I have the absolute pleasure to introduce you to Lynette Reed, an American artist based in a small town near Venice in Italy. This time, last year, deep into covid lockdowns, we both participated in Nicholas Wilton’s Creative Visionary Programme (CVP). I admired her bold, vibrant artwork and felt an immediate connection to it. I have watched her creative journey unfold since then and when I realised she was participating in CVP 2022 (as an alum like me) I felt compelled to get together online to learn more about her. In this interview, we cover her background, her artwork and her plans for the future. CVP is for artists who want their art to come alive by creating work that is authentically them. I feel this is so very true of Lynette. She is like her art; engaging, energetic and full of life. I hope you enjoy this dive into her world as much as I was thrilled to chat to her and take a look at her abstract artwork. It will bring a pop of colour and joyful spark to your world.
I live in a small town in Italy. Here I absorb the saturated gorgeous colours and light in this country, as well as the textures I see in the peeling paint, old frescos showing through chipping concrete and cobblestone streets. My environment is definitely having an influence on my work. Another major influence is the time I spent in the 1980s living in New York City and working as a model and an actress. I also got to travel in Zurich, Tokyo and Milan. I love cities and urban life. Some of my childhood I spent in California and the colour and light there have played their part in how I paint. Life was bold, colourful, loud and daring and this is reflected in my work.
I loved visiting art galleries when I lived in New York and started a degree in art and design (although I never got to finish it because I moved to California). After my modelling decade, I pursued a passion for fragrances and set up a retail shop selling scented candles in Los Angeles. It was the beginning of a life long love for scents and helping people enjoy tailored fragrances by developing and selling candles and perfumes. I am still heavily involved in this industry and work with US based companies remotely in this business as well as my work as an artist. The trigger for me re-finding my love for making art was the lockdown in 2020. I found myself living in Italy, not speaking the language and restricted to my home and decided to pick up my paints again. I became immersed in creating abstract work and posting it on social media. My friends saw my work and loved it. They wanted to buy it. One thing led to another and before I knew it I had sold over 100 pieces of art. Initially I was only concerned about making enough money to cover my expenses and a bit extra. However, I have seen my audience grow and demand for my work increase so I raised my prices. I now sell my work globally mainly online via facebook and Instagram and I have a website. I am being approached by galleries to exhibit my work and would also love to do more with limited edition prints.
I dive right in and just love using layers of bright paint. I produce abstract work. It comes very much from within me, I do not have a particular end goal in mind about what I want to create. I use acrylic paint mainly, sometimes oil sticks and spray paint for the graffiti marks and also charcoal pencil. I scratch and scrape into the paint and use glaze layers which create depth. I am full of energy and I use this to my advantage when I am producing my artwork.
My favourite artist is Basquiat I am so drawn into his work and think he was a genius. I love Kevin Douillez’s work too. He is based in Brussels. Lesley Grainger is another inspiration to me. She is based in California. There is a theme who can see in these artists’ work. It is big and bold and really speaks to me.
This for me is my children. I am just back from London to see my son’s second fashion design show and it knocked the breath out of me. I am so proud of the adults both of my kids have become, they are brave and bold and stand for something and want to have an impact on the world.
My work is being represented in the (Un)fair Contemporary Art Fair in Milan 8-10 April 2022, which I am really excited about. I am also planning to set up an online exhibition with a group of other artists I met through CVP in 2021. I also have an upcoming show in Antwerp in September of this year. I would love to gradually move to working full-time as an artist, participating in shows and developing my work further.
I absolutely love browsing art galleries and choosing artwork for my home and for my clients. As humans, we feel an emotional connection to artwork we love, they speak to us. What better way to decorate your home interiors than choosing a piece of artwork which moves you. Aside from interior design, painting is another passion of mine. More on this to come as I continue my own personal artist journey. For now you can follow me via Instagram @anniepitchfordart
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