Local painter Lynn Sinfield used to feel odd calling herself an artist.
“Artists were some people high up on pedestals that supported themselves full-time painting,” she says. “And I wasn't there.”
Sinfield is a member of the Society of Fort Saskatchewan Artists, a local group of artists and artisans committed to promoting and developing art in Fort Saskatchewan.
She has no formal education in art beyond the classes she took as a girl. Growing up, she always had a love for art, although she says some sometimes struggled with it.
As a young mother busy with preschoolers, Sinfield took up pen and pencil drawings, a good medium to use with kids running around the house. She recalls a piece, a drawing she made showing her own mother as a little girl, that helped her move beyond thinking of herself as a simple hobbyist. A local business owner praised the piece, telling Sinfield she should hold onto it. The woman ended up buying the drawing at a show and giving it Sinfield for Christmas. Decades later, the drawing still hangs on Sinfield’s living room wall.
Sinfield is now comfortable thinking of herself as an artist. “I came to accept that you don't have to support yourself in life, it's more the creative process that allows you to call yourself an artist.”
She says that painting is like getting lost in a book.
"And you come up for air and realize, 'Oh my goodness, two hours have gone by. The time just flies. Because you're somewhere inside your head.'"
Sinfield has worked with many mediums over the years but is drawn to using oils. She has a studio in her basement but also spends much of her creative time in plein air, a technique that involves getting outside and painting the landscape in front of you. She has set her easel up in the river valley and behind the Warden’s House, and even at the end of her driveway.
“You can find ten different paintings in your own backyard,” she says.
Sinfield's paintings are available for viewing at Mix 107.9 in the Integrity Land building. She is also showing her work at an Art Society of Strathcona County show April 13 - 15.