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, Venice Art Center and Englewood 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. Through her paintings she hopes to educate the viewers on the beauty, importance and vulnerability of native plants in our environment.
When Lynne began painting, she didn’t paint roses, orchids, or iris. The plants that grew in the woods and prairies in the Midwest were her favorite subjects. She particularly enjoyed the plants in fall and winter with their interesting shapes, colors, and textures. When she became a snow bird and moved to Florida for the winter her subjects changed. She’s still working on this transition, but her process hasn’t changed.
Her paintings begin without preliminary studies, drawing pencil lines on the paper or relying on photographs. Instead, her inspiration is the physical plant “close up and personal”. Pigments are limited to Viridian, Permanent Rose, Burnt Umber, Hansa Yellow Light & French Ultramarine; Current paper is Canson Moulon du Roy hot press 140 lb. Brushes are Jack Richeson 9000 series #3/0, #0/0 & #1/0 and Grumbacher Golden Edge #4620 round #3/0. The resulting paintings have been in solo exhibitions, botanical gardens, arboretums and group exhibitions throughout the United States and U.K. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Janesville Rotary Gardens, New York State Museum, Racine Art Museum, Springfield Museum of Art, Zurich USA, and many private collectors have purchased her watercolors. She received the “Best in Show Award” from the New York Horticultural Society, a “Silver Medal” from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society and many “Purchase Awards” while participating in a variety of juried exhibitions. Her work can also be seen in many publications including “Today’s Botanical Artists”. She is grateful for the opportunities that have opened up to her and the artists she has met in a career that began after retirement.
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 an art collaborative Skyway 2020/21. My paintings were displayed in the Museum of Fine Art, St. Petersburgh. The other participating museums were The Tampa Art Museum, The Ringling Museum of Art and the University of South Florida’s Contemporary Art Museum. Additional exhibitions are listed on my Exhibition page.