LYNNE K. RAILSBACK
AWARD-WINNING BOTANICAL ARTIST
About the Artist
Lynne Railsback is member of the American Society of Botanical Artists. Other professional affiliations include the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Florilegium, Florida Society of Botanical Artists, the Geneva Lake Arts Foundation, Reed-Turner Woodland Botanical Artists and Venice Art Center.
Born into an artistic family, Lynne was introduced to the world of art at a young age. Even in her early teens, she was willing to give up dance lessons to focus on improving her artistic skills. Participating in everything from free hand sketches to paintings for the yearbook, she experimented with many art forms throughout high school and college. Her career as a commercial interior designer allowed her to utilize her talents in the working environment. After retirement in 1997, she decided to fully enjoy her talents and devote time to painting. She shied away from taking formal art classes because she didn’t want “rules” to clog her creativity. Her tendency had been to create hard edge designs…kind of art deco and she wanted to do something different. She decided to concentrate on representing an image as accurately as possible. Plants turned out to be the perfect subject. They continue to be her focus and although she originally avoided taking classes, she recently began taking lessons from an instructor she feels will broaden her talents. Through her paintings she hopes to educate the viewers on the beauty, importance and vulnerability of native plants in our environment.
I am a botanical artist working in watercolor. My focus is to record plants found in nature. A plant “close up and personal” is my inspiration. Unlike most botanical artists, I don’t do preliminary studies or rely on photographs. My approach is to arrange the actual specimen in a pleasing composition. I use a limited palette of five pigments which I mix to achieve the appropriate color scheme. I then begin applying pigment to the paper. When areas have dried, I move and remove portions of color with a minute wet brush. This “lift-out” technique allows me to create a very detailed portrait of the object. I know I have succeeded when viewers say “it looks so real…. like I could touch it.”
My paintings have been in solo exhibitions, botanical gardens, arboretums and group exhibitions throughout the United States and U.K. I’ve received a variety of awards while participating in these juried exhibitions.
In botanical art, it is a requirement to portray the plant accurately in form, size and color as well as create beautiful work. We specify both the common and Latin name of plants. In making accurate identifications I began to realize that many native plants were threatened by both climate change and introduced, invasive plants. In 2019 I was included in three exhibitions that identified these issues: “Uprooted, Plants in a Changing Climate” at the James Watrous Gallery (Madison, WI.), “Know Your Natives” featuring the native plants of Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy (Williams Bay, WI.) and the American Society of Botanical Artists “Worldwide Exhibition”. The later exhibition traveled for three years throughout the country and included images of native plant by premier American botanical artists. Simultaneously, twenty-five countries launched similar exhibitions. My mission continues with the acceptance of five watercolors depicting native Florida plants into Skyway 2020.