Working out of her Ravenseyrie studio and gallery located in the Gore Bay Harbour Centre, poet, painter and calligrapher Lynne Gerard creates contemplative and uplifting works of art.
Her method involves the combining of three different artistic mediums and the use of watercolour and ink washes.
“The main body of my work is a combination of three mediums which are painting, poetry and calligraphy. During China’s Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) this combination of art forms was called “Sanchüeh” or the “Three Perfections” and was considered the highest art form of that period. Using this combined medium, I am making greeting cards, hanging scrolls and framed and unframed matted paintings and prints. With these watercolour and ink wash paintings, the natural world is the main facilitator of images; distinct subjects like a tree, bird or flower or an element like the water or the wind,” Ms. Gerard explained.
“I am also working in a different medium by using carefully selected rock ‘canvasses’ from the North Channel and painting in a manner not unlike the cave artists of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic eras,” Ms. Gerard continued.
The artist grinds local, natural pigments to make her own paints, lending an authentic and primitive feel to these striking paintings.
“For the rock paintings I am drawing upon ancient themes of gods and goddesses, as well as animals, fish and fowl.”
Using an intuitive style of writing as a catalyst Ms. Gerard aims to shift the perception of the viewer in a way that “lifts them up” or provokes a “memory, a sensation or a desire.”
“Live each day as a line of fine poetry,” and “To age well we must continue to dream, for it is reaching for dreams that keeps us forever young at heart,” are two examples of her writing. One of her ink washes bears the image of a horse and a raven with the words, “Sometimes run with the wind, sometimes against it.”
The Ravenseyrie studio was opened in 2006 in what was once the old wharf building. The building has been renovated to create the Harbour Centre Shops and a Marine Museum. Ms. Gerard is impressed with the new design.
“I love this building; it is like an old ship that is dry-docked and I am really pleased that some of that feeling has remained after they renovated. It is great to have other artists and shops here now; it is quite a jewel for the town of Gore Bay,” she said.
Ms. Gerard and her husband moved to the Island from Michigan when they were drawn to a property on the bluff in Gore Bay. They lived on the farm for 18 months before the Ravenseyrie name came to them following their observation that the two outstanding features on the property were the strong winds and the ravens. “Kevin came up with the word after observing the ravens flying overhead in the wind. We looked up the definition of ‘eyrie’ in the dictionary and it meant a “high place,” so the name was born.”
The couple raise a rare breed of horses and the theme is prominent in Ms. Gerard’s art work as is the image of the raven.
A trip to the Ravenseyrie studio and gallery is an inspirational experience. The artist has created an ambiance that she hopes will provide the visitor with a “perceptual shift that allows them to be uplifted and empowered in their lives.”
The Ravenseyrie Studio is located at 40 Water Street in Gore Bay. To contact the artist email her at firstname.lastname@example.org