Lynn Esteban

RESIDENCE: Victoria, British Columbia

BACKGROUND: I received a bachelor?s in fine arts from Fontbonne University in St. Louis in 1999. The education I received there stressed classical technique in drawing and painting. It was a fantastic foundation for my further development as an artist.

MEDIUM AND SUBJECTS: I work with elaborate fabric still-life setups that I render with oil on canvas.

Tension III (oil, 16x2o) by Lynn Esteban. To view more of her work, visit

INSPIRATION FOR TENSION III: I?m fascinated by the role that fabric plays in our lives. I use fabric because it?s such a powerful cultural symbol and can convey many different emotions. I think everyone can have a personal experience with my paintings because of the universality of fabric. On a more personal level, I enjoy fabric because it can be wonderfully sensuous and feminine.

MY PROCESS: I often spend several hours arranging my still life. After working out the color relationships and major compositional issues with a few sketches on paper, I start on the canvas with a detailed grisaille. The color of the grisaille is always very important to the overall color relationship in the painting, because I allow the underpainting to show through in some areas by varying the transparency of subsequent layers. This creates a depth of color that?s difficult to achieve using a pure alla prima technique. In this particular painting I used a vibrant red-orange underpainting to contrast the yellows and yellow-greens of the final product. The final step was to use glazing to add luminosity and depth of color, and to make minor color adjustments. Most paintings take me about a month to complete. Tension III took me about three weeks from start to finish.

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