We’re excited to introduce you to Lindsay Handyside! She’s our September Artist of the Month. Lindsay was a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine’s 29th Annual Art Competition. Her painting, Sleeping Beauties (watercolor and gouache, 13×8 1/2) is below. Read on to learn more about her style and process!
https://www.facebook.com/HandysideArt~ El Reno, Oklahoma
I was brought up on a beautiful farm in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, and my mother–a gifted artist herself–always encouraged me as a child to use my God given talent. I had no formal art training and it was only in my mid 30’s that I returned to my passion and began by illustrating a series of children’s books, and painting wildlife and birds for calendars. Then, in 2006, I made the decision to paint full-time after a piece of my work was accepted by a top gallery, The Everard Read Gallery, in Cape Town, South Africa. That was the beginning of an exciting new era with my artwork as I was given permission to do a series of paintings with the little girl in Sleeping Beauties who was born and raised in the Namibian Desert, and who had an amazing rapport with wild animals. I knew I had found my niche in portraiture!
My watercolor and gouache paintings typically take about six to eight weeks to complete (depending on the complexity of the subject). I work from photographs, generally using several to get the details and lighting I want to capture in my painting. I begin with watercolor and work from dark to light using gouache to put in the fine details that so absorb me when I paint. I then go back in with watercolor to enhance areas that I feel need defining, and I use very little water with my paints throughout. Out of this series, Sleeping Beauties was the most enjoyable piece to paint. I loved the challenge of first capturing the very essence of this unique and beautiful relationship, and then capturing the wonderful contrasts between all of the colors and textures.
Inspiration for my paintings comes from life itself; simple everyday things such as sunlight playing on the leaves of a tree or dancing across the water, diverse colors and textures of animal fur, exquisite detail found in a bird’s feathers, and the many expressions seen on the face of a child and the stories reflected in her eyes and face. All of these things stir my artist’s heart, exciting and energizing me to recreate and bring them to life in a painting so that the viewer will not just see a painting but a living expression of God’s awesome creation.
I now live in El Reno, Oklahoma, and although I am still feeling my way through the American art market, exciting new opportunities are opening up for my artwork that I never had whilst living in Zimbabwe.