Artist Inspires Hope From the Shadows
Posted Date: 5/15/2013
Duke Blackburn, and his wife, Wedowee artist, Lynn Blackburn, donated the painting “Sun Through the Trees” to hang in new Tanner/East Alabama facility in Wedowee. The painting was unveiled during the facility’s open house on Saturday, May 4.
Lynn Blackburn believes that everyone deserves something beautiful to look at—especially the sick.
“As an artist, I’ve always enjoyed artwork in medical facilities,” said Blackburn, who maintains a studio and residence in Newnan, Ga., and a studio on Lake Wedowee. “I’ve often thought that I would like to do that—to help put something in a facility where a little inspiration could help people feel better.”
This passion inspired Blackburn to create a painting titled “Sun Through the Trees” that she has donated to hang in the lobby at the new Tanner/East Alabama facility on South Main Street in Wedowee. She completed the piece at her Lake Wedowee studio, working late into the night over four days to complete the work.
“You are in shadow,” said Blackburn. “The light is coming through the trees, so you see the light coming through and are reminded that you will heal. Even in the shadows of life, you can see the light coming through.”
Blackburn’s roots run deep in Wedowee. Her grandparents, Archie Hurley and Carrie Satterwhite, owned a farm there that they lost—as many did—during the Great Depression. Hurley traveled through Atlanta as a barber, cutting hair on the streets before he opened his own shop. Thirty years later, Hurley and Satterwhite returned to Wedowee and bought more land in 1956, seven acres of which are still above water—“they ended up with a pointe on the lake,” Blackburn explained. It is here, on land that Blackburn has been visiting all her life, that she maintains her Wedowee studio where she paints primarily wildlife.
Typically, Blackburn paints “en plein air” (in the open air) to capture the background of her work, then uses photos of wildlife as her inspiration to complete the work in the studio.
“For the painting I donated to Tanner/East Alabama, I worked in my studio on the lake,” she said. “I went out during the fall and painted a study en plein air of light coming through the trees. I then painted this painting on that study I had done en plein air.”
A native of Atlanta, Blackburn has been painting since she was 6 years old, with her talent nurtured at an early age by school teachers who would allow her to use a private studio behind the local library. She won her first ribbon for a still-life she painted in 1969, and has pursued her passion further since retiring from her work in real estate.
She is a member of the Oil Painters of America, the Portrait Society of America, the Newnan/Coweta Art Association, the Patrons of the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts in Newnan, the East Alabama Art Society and the Friends of the Scottsdale Artist School in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The 36-inch by 36-inch print she has donated to Tanner was framed in recycled heart of pine wood salvaged from a mill that was torn down near Newnan and crafted into a frame by Wedowee contractor and carpenter, Brian Stephens. The work was displayed during the Tanner/East Alabama open house on Saturday, May 4. The facility, which will serve as the home of Tanner Primary Care of Wedowee and will provide space for Tanner to offer more specialty medical services in the region in the future, is located at 1030 South Main Street in Wedowee.
More information on the facility is available online at www.TannerEastAlabama.org.