I paint from memory and am moved by the poetic presence of nature in an urban setting. I am also interested in birds and observe them in their natural habitats, whether they are starlings visiting a city rooftop antenna, or a red-winged blackbird flying languidly over a summer marsh. Living in a city heightens one’s awareness of nature. What might be common outside of its urban setting—say a female cardinal crossing a stormy sky above row homes—becomes something thrilling, exotic. In that same spirit, ailanthus trees, empress trees, pigeons, sparrows, starlings, and Queen Anne’s Lace become beloved sights in the streets.
My paintings are small and on wood—a beautiful surface which, when I prepare by sanding and sometimes steaming to smooth its surface, causes my studio to smell like a forest. The altar tables I’ve recently begun making are mostly made from found wood, containing beautiful histories in their dents and scratches and scuffmarks. They are meant to be seen on the floor, occupying a space. They are simple in design, an effort toward quiet, contemplation, and sacred space.
Lynne Campbell is a painter who lives and works in Philadelphia. She studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where she was awarded the William Emlen Cresson Memorial Travel Scholarship, enabling her to spend a summer of study in Europe. Lynne also received three consecutive painting fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, one of which she used to study Archaic and Classical sculpture in Greece. Her work has been exhibited across the country and has been published in the national periodical New American Paintings (no. 27, 39, and 63).