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      Permanent Brush Strokes

      Why Palette Knives?

      Why Palette Knives?

      I’ve just finished writing an essay for an independent magazine, “Seen Journal” where I was asked to describe my artistic process, specifically why I use palette knives. Then I thought to myself, ‘have I ever shared this with you, my friends?’ Well if I haven't yet, let me explain!

      A couple years ago the talented folks at Wahoo Films spent an afternoon with me in the studio. They filmed while I painted and asked me a ton of probing and personal questions. Most of the questions Michelle, the director, asked centered on the "why’s". Why the subject matter, why the layers and why knives instead of brushes. I realized that I hadn't really thought much about the "whys" prior to that point and found it to be quite a clarifying exercise for me as I reflected back on the events that shaped my current process. 

      When I first came back to painting, I went the traditional route I was taught in school: brushes on canvas, delicately and thoughtfully applied in the most realistic way possible. About a year into the re-discovery process of finding my voice creatively, I went to an abstract class with a friend to explore a genre I didn’t particularly appreciate. The instructor, a gifted professional artist in her own right, challenged the class (me especially) to get out of our own head and explore the way we approached our artwork by: blind-folding us, having us use different mediums, applicators (including knives), explore color theory and intuitive mark-making. At first, the thing I discovered in this process was when I “intuitively” created, I sucked. No joke.The first few things I created with this new found exploratory endeavor I affectionately called "Purple Vomit". It was plain awful to take these canvases home and sit with their "barfiness" for a week until the next class. I usually turned them around, so I didn’t have to get frustrated looking at them while I was in the studio producing in my familiar style.

      One day while I was working away on another piece, the “Purple Vomit” piece was taunting me with its ugliness saying “you’ll never make this mess better!” Those who know me best know I can be a wee-bit competitive, and on that day, instead of cutting the fabric off of the stretcher bars and tossing it, I decided to paint over it leaving bits of "Purple Vomit" exposed. And I did it using only knives. I renamed the completed revised artwork “Reflections” and I saw the process as a metaphor for life: the layers representing seasons of life, and the knives, oh those hard to manage tools that are more like weapons, those knives were the cornerstone to the entire process! It wasn’t just the tools themselves, it was what they began to represent. Knives are sharp, hard to use, painful when they run across your flesh, they create unexpected bumpy texture with paint. Our lives are often like that: sharp, hard, painful, bumpy. As I was working through the wake of a difficult season personally, I started to see each painting as a metaphor for my life, specifically in my “Petals” (or “Beauty From Ashes”) series.

      We think we can control our lives (I bet God thinks that’s funny…or sad). Painting with knives is unwieldy, nearly impossible to control and super messy. In a way, painting with knives is a lot like life – you really can’t control what’s happening. I mean you can try to a degree, but not fully, and that’s where the real excitement in creating begins – the letting go. For me, the knives help me let go of fixating on the details of the subject I'm painting, embrace the messy, revel in the essence. When I stop and consider how much I try to control my life, I realize when I let go...at least a little, life is more beautiful, less stressful, easier to focus on the essentials. The paintings came from my life experiences and now my life is being modeled by how I create...God's beautiful mess. 

      So that's basically it, why I paint with knives. Hopefully my paintings and the process behind them take on a little different meaning for you now. If you're interested to hear more, here's a link to the Wahoo video.

      Otherwise, as I enter the final few weeks of my three month show sabbatical, I'm putting the finishing touches on several commissioned pieces and prepping for my return to the 25th annual Amelia Island Concours in Florida, March 5-8. Soon after in April I'll be exhibiting for the first time at the La Jolla Concours and then at ArtWalk Mission Federal, both in the San Diego area. If you're in the vicinity please stop in to say hi and check out the latest works of art.

      Thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement – you genuinely bless my socks off!

      Cheers friends!


      New Levels Of Gratitude

      New Levels Of Gratitude

      Last year at this time, I wondered where this artistic journey was headed. I was five years in and at a difficult crossroads. The business was struggling, and things weren’t working out as I had planned. Do I keep moving forward? Do I stand still and do nothing? Do I get off the road entirely? There was a wrestling within me like I’ve not known before.

      As I reflect back now, I see that I was trying to hold tight to what I thought was “mine” and make it work at all costs. Ugh! At the time my attitude was definitely not of gratitude. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

      As I wrestled through that season however, I came to realize that although I believed my calling to paint was God given, I was actually the one calling all the shots. It finally dawned on me that what I really needed to do was to step back, include Him in my planning, and try to align my goals with His. This was a big perspective shift for me, that required giving up control and entrusting it all to God and His plan for my life, my business…everything. This was a freaking hard thing to do as a card-carrying control freak- and I might add, it’s an area that I am still continuing to grow in.

      Fortunately, I decided to continue on into 2019 with this renewed perspective and do you know what happened? I had the most exciting, the most amazing, the most hair-blown-back ride of my life…not only for the business, but in my marriage, as a parent and especially my walk with God. I can honestly say I have a deeper level of trust, peace and overwhelming gratitude than ever before.

      What an amazing year it turned out to be. Wow, God - Simply WOW!

      Fast forward to today: I’m sitting at my desk preparing my display for a new home showing in San Diego, in the studio I have a que of commissions in the works for some amazing collectors, I’m planning my new collection of pieces for 2020 and making travel arrangements for a year full of some amazing shows. I have no idea what this year holds for LHS, but it sure is off to an exciting start!

      So, as we start this new year, I continue to be extremely grateful to God for making it clear that this journey is not about me, that He’s got me, and I can trust Him with everything. I’m also very thankful for my family, friends and collectors whose love, prayers, encouragement, commissions and purchases continue to keep me going. Boy, what a blessing you all are!!

      Many, many new levels of gratitude indeed!

      Happy 2020 my friends! We look forward to seeing you sometime this year!



      Fall Blessings

      Fall Blessings

      Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few months, my friends! 2019 has been quite a year so far. So many incredible opportunities, so little time to do it all, including keeping up with my newsletters...

      Let me quickly bring you update on the summer. I spent July through August showing my work at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, traveled up to Monterey for a week in August to show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and then a few weeks ago showcased both my car and floral series at Kaaboo Del Mar. Somehow, I was also able to make time to paint and enjoy the warm weather with family and friends. What an awesome and blessed summer it’s been!

      Looking forward, the Fall looks to be just as busy and exciting. First off, I was honored to be invited to be the signature artist at a charity event this weekend (October 5) to raise money for Childrens Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Mission Viejo. They need beds for those precious babies in the NICU. I know it's short notice, but please contact me if you’d like to attend or learn more about supporting this incredible hospital and their vision!

      Next up, I'll be showing at ART San Diego, October 10 -13, and in November I'm looking forward to my 3rd year exhibiting at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. One week later, we're heading to Saudi Arabia to exhibit at the inaugural Riyadh Car Show! Yes, that’s right Saudi Arabia! As I’m writing this, I'm filling out VISA forms, finishing paintings and getting ready to ship my crate out to Riyadh next week! How crazy is that?

      In other news, as of August, Rob Hiner (my man) has joined Lyn Hiner Studios as my new CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). Talk about a Fall Blessing!! We haven’t worked this closely since we both worked at Performance Racing Industry nearly 20 years ago! Rob brings his wealth of knowledge and experience in the automotive industry, as well as creative and marketing to LHS, and he’s exactly what I needed! He’s worked with me throughout the summer on shows and promotional materials, getting a feel for the business of art and working with me to update marketing materials, the website (coming soon) and future endeavors. He is affording me time to create and be creative, something that was becoming restricted as the business side was becoming increasingly demanding. We’re still negotiating his “contract”, but the timing couldn’t be more perfect. So if you’re having trouble getting a response back from me, please feel free to reach out to my partner in crime…I mean “life” and business, Rob (I-will-get-the-job-done) Hiner at rob@lynhiner.com.

      While all these exciting components are swirling about in the present, I’m also prepping for 2020 (I’ve told you before that I’m a card-carrying-control-freak, right?). So far, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been juried back into the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. What an incredible honor it was to receive that letter! Did you know that it’s not a given that you’ll be back in the show once you get in? Artists are juried/scored throughout the summer on the quality of work and presentation and the bottom 30% have to go through the jurying process again – no one is exempt! I am very grateful and honored. 

      Otherwise, there are new events being scrutinized, considered, discussed and debated with my CMO (I smile every time I say that) as we decide the ROI of time, money and resources. All important factors when you have a family to care for and provide for – now a very real team effort. Did I mention these are exciting times? I don’t mean that flippantly. I seldom use made up words, but in this season, “nervi-cited” is wholly appropriate. It’s a combination of nervousness and excitement all balled up in my insides. It makes the hairs on my neck stand on end and keeps me on my knees – I first used it when I felt God call me back to painting. Since the beginning of 2019, it’s been ever present…and at the same time, there’s a peace that comes with trusting that God already knows what tomorrow will bring.

      None of this would be possible without my surrendering this epic artistic journey to God, and the support of my family, friends and collectors. You are an integral part of the process, and I am so thankful for you!

      I will be better about communicating with you from here on out, now that I have some much needed help, but until then – as the autumn leaves begin to fall and the days become shorter, may you experience infinite joy as we seek beauty each day!





      Oh, the Possibilities!

      Oh, the Possibilities!

      "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." -Romans 15:13

      Hey hey, it's summer break!

      What a wild and blessed season these last few months have been. They were filled with


      January through March were months filled with solitude, reflection and creating without distraction. Yes, there were classes and opportunities and lots of painting, but mostly quietly reflecting.

      Okay, I’ll admit, it wasn’t always quiet reflection…too often there was whining about how quiet it was, but that's because the months before had been so vital and active. Truth be told, I needed to be reminded how God is still sovereign, and I was the one in need of adjusting…God was speaking and I wasn’t listening, until I had nothing else to focus on except His presence. This was precisely where our good God wanted me (I’m always stunned it takes me so long to adjust my heart to the one who loves me enough to sacrifice himself for me).

      April, in contrast, brought invigorated energy to so many aspects of life, ministry and ideas. So much excitement, not the least of these was representation at the Laguna Beach gallery, Forest & Ocean Gallery. That was both a blessing and a surprise, but mostly a crazy blessing. Six paintings! Three years into this journey, I have representation at a beautiful gallery and one in a city so close to home! PLUS: this month and next (June & July), I will have a solo exhibition of my work at Anne's Boutique Wines in Costa Mesa...26 pieces ranging from early, less familiar pieces to a large selection of the "Beauty From Ashes" collection to the newest pieces in my abstract series!

      And there’s more! Other things I’m not ready to share as of today, but here I am, standing at a precipice of possibilities, overwhelmed…mostly at God’s mercy and grace for us, me most of all. All of this came on the heals of a trip to NYC that brought lesson after lesson (along with new possible opportunities, plus great time with friends!). Too much to name here.

      It’s funny that when I painted the piece "Precipice of Possible" (viewed above), I didn’t fully understand all it might represent. Today, although I’m being ambiguous…I see clearly God has been at work! My goal is that I stay in his will and at his bidding, in spite of my own ambition. His plans are perfect, even if they don’t look like my plans, I can trust him.

      Perhaps my sweet Lord requires for me to stay longer in the solitude and remain content to not move. Perhaps not. But today, I will sit here, so grateful of the blessings of creating and having work represented, and by proxy, His great commission on my life and through it.

      To him be the glory and the power and the praise. I am but a servant. Humbled to be so.

      Here's to summer, my friends! I pray yours will be slow, beautiful days filled with joy, contentment with where you're at and a longing to be in God's will above all.

      As we seek the beauty in the everyday stuff of life together!


      Featured Artwork: “Precipice of Possible” 30” x 40” x 1.5”, currently at Forest & Ocean Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA.



      "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control." - Galatians 5:22

      "...and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come," - Hebrews 6:5

      Goodness. I use this word a lot. "Oh my goodness!" "Goodness gracious!" "Good gravy!!" (Okay, the last one doesn't fit exactly, but I love to say it, so go with me on this.)

      Goodness is defined as "The state or quality of being good. Moral excellency; virtue. kindly feeling; kindness; generosity. Excellence of quality: goodness of workmanship. The best part of anything; essence; strength. A euphemism for God." **

      I am periodically asked to donate paintings or teaching services for various fundraisers or charities. Although I considered it an honor to be asked, I recognize I need discernment on how and who I donate to. Which brings me to the "goodness" part.

      As long as I've been a Christian, I don't make it a practice to share with people where I donate my resources, personally or professionally - that's between me and God. But today, I have a couple I'd like to draw your attention to:

      "A Brighter Future for Children" - March 9th, Los Angeles, CA (www.chla.org/mark-taper-and-johnny-mercer-artists-program)

      The Dream Builders Project is teaming up with Children's Hospital Los Angeles for a gala event on Thursday, March 9th. This one is near and dear to my heart, for two reasons: CHLA takes care of kids, and this event supports the Art Program at CHLA to give kids in their care a productive outlet to what's happening in their life.

      "Where the Road Turns: Contemporary Art for Liberia" - March 10th, London, England (www.musicforliberia.com)

      The group Music for Liberia has decided to broaden its reach and add visual arts to its musical roots with their first Art Exhibition at the Chelsea Theatre in London, England. Once again, this organization is reaching people and places (specifically children) that need advocacy. I won't be able to attend this event (this time), but hope you will consider checking them out and doing what you can help them and the their partners in Liberia.

      Why did I single out these two? Primarily, because I felt lead to. The good things these organizations are doing is awe-inspiring!  I know there are many MANY more organizations out there doing incredible things for so many. And I wish I could support them all. But that's not my job; it's our job.

      I believe we all are called to share the blessings we've been given. Whether the good gifts you've received are finances, talents or desire, YOU have an opportunity to give of yourself in some way, shape or form.

      Sometimes, it's not easy to give away that which was hard-earned. But once you do it, it not only becomes easier, but your heart will be filled to overflowing and you'll want to do MORE. It's incredible the capacity we have to share kindness and goodness and love with those around us.

      How are you sharing your goodness with others? In what ways are you stretching yourself in the area of generosity? If you read my last post (January 2017), I ended with my list of priorities, and this topic was among my top five. 

      God is faithful and provides abundantly when we step out in faith and give. One of the fruits of the Spirit of God is goodness - I pray that this would inspire you to find ways to give, and give abundantly.

      Seeking beauty in the everyday stuff of life with you, dear friends!


      Featured Artwork: "Without Prejudice or Fear" (diptych) each panel: 24" x 48" x 1.5"

      This piece will be up for auction at the "A Brighter Future for Children" event


      ** dictionary.com