Lynn Garka

Raised in the beautiful seaside town of Edmonds, Washington, artist Lynn Garka began expressing her artistic talent at the age of two, much to the chagrin of her mom, by drawing on the walls of her home with eyeliner pencil. She loved the outdoors as a child and roamed around singing John Denver or Fiddler on the Roof songs, collecting seeds, roots, moss and any other materials she found inspiring. She ran home excitedly one day holding a bag of broken window glass rambling non-stop to her mom about the huge variety of possibilities it held. Many of these objects found their way into innovative projects; usually turning into gifts for her beloved family. This constant stream of projects took its toll on the budget conscience household’s supply of glue and tape and string and anything else that was needed in the heat of creative inspiration. This resulted in one of Lynn’s favorite traditional birthday gifts; a box of supplies that she could use with wild abandon to create her jewelry, sculptures, stationery and well, just stuff.

However, turning this passion for creating into a career was never a consideration for Lynn who was convinced that the road to success was paved with more serious endeavors. She took advanced math and science courses in high school and entered the University of Washington as a chemistry major. But, as she likes to say, the flakey artist in her would not be squelched and she transferred to the Art institute of Seattle where she went on to win numerous accolades and awards. She says she hardly slept during her years at art school because she was so filled with ideas and enthusiasm and outright giddiness at the realization that her inner passion to create could also be her career. During this time of discovery, she also met her husband and began her family.

Lynn’s love of creation was matched only by her love of being a wife and a mother. As she focused on her family her creativity oozed out in many different forms. Her artistic outlets often followed the activities or schedules of her children. Lynn’s artistic experiences include: award winning graphic designer, award winning costume and set designer, advertising copy writer, interior designer and author. Atypically however, it was not until much later in her artistic career that Lynn began focusing on fine art painting. With encouragement and prodding from family and friends Lynn began entering juried art fairs and festivals. As soon as her first show, she began receiving awards, commissions and critical acclaim from her peers in the art world.

Lynn’s early love of the outdoors is seen in her work which is infused with an organic textural quality. She is fascinated with simplifying a figure to its basic nature or emotion and contrasting that simplicity by placing it against a complex backdrop composed of many layers that are often sanded or scraped to expose underlying textures and images. This juxtaposition is expressed in a variety of mediums including crayon, pastel, oil paint, acrylic paint, string, wax, charcoal and a myriad of found objects.

When asked what her art means, she says, “Creating is something that I have to do; like sleeping or breathing. I think everyone has a need for some form of a creative outlet and it is crucial that it is nurtured and respected, especially in children. It makes people happy and happy people are nicer people. It also nurtures a unity and tolerance among people. This bliss can be enjoyed by everyone. It is not always about the finished product. The joy and fulfillment and raw excitement that are felt when creating are powerful, healing and magical emotions.”

All images property of the artist. Not to be copied, reproduced or altered in any way.