BY INDIANA NASH
NISKAYUNA- Perhaps some of the best things in life happen by chance. Or come along when they’re least expected.
At least that’s how Christine J. Lynn feels about art.
“I call myself the Accidental Artist,” Lynn laughed. But “The Accidental Artist” is written atop her business card and it’s a nickname she takes seriously.
Working as a paralegal in Albany and caring for her two children, Abbie and Catie, she never took the time to paint or draw until 2011 when she moved into a new home.
“When I moved here, I didn’t have anything for the walls. So I told myself that I would make my own decorations,” Lynn said.
Prior to the move, she’d only taken a few art classes and doodled.
But she set out to create something beautiful for her home so she began to teach herself some painting basics.
Then she took drawing classes at the Arts Center in Troy and called on artist and teacher Heather Hutchison to give her painting lessons.
“I still have the very first paintings that I did hanging up on the wall as a reminder of where I’ve come from,” Lynn said.
Her art didn’t make its way out of her home walls until she was snowed in one weekend.
“So I painted the snow storm,” Lynn said.
From her bay window, she spent the weekend painting the snow banks and the freezing winds.
“I sent out a photo of what I’d done to a few friends and one immediately emailed me back and asked if she could buy it,” Lynn said.
She was surprised at first, but then it struck up a string of similar situations.
“Then I had someone clean my windows and he saw me painting, saw what I was working on, and asked me to paint something for his wife,” Lynn said.
A few law offices also contacted her and asked for various paintings.
Despite being new to the art scene (and with recently developed artistic skills) Lynn exhibited at Ambition Cafe last year.
“It was exciting,” Lynn said. It gave her more exposure and it also helped to build up her brand as the Accidental Artist.
As she still works full time as a paralegal, Lynn said that the only time she really has to sit down and work on her artwork is over the weekends.
But it’s something that she dedicates many weekends to and because of that she’s seen her style develop.
“It used to be folksy,” Lynn said. A few of her first paintings are wintery scenes of colonial style homes. Over the last few years, Lynn has gone well beyond folksy and has a more developed style.
She now focuses on seascapes, still lifes and abstracts.
“People often don’t realize how much goes into this,” Lynn said, referring to not only developing her style, but on creating and selling her artwork.
When someone sees an original she’s working on and ask to buy it, Lynn has to take the piece to a professional photographer and then to a print shop and to a framer.
“There are a lot of extra steps in the process,” Lynn said. Because she often does not want to sell all of her originals, unless it’s a piece she’s been commissioned to do, she ends up going through several different entities before she can finally sell the piece.
Lynn said that she doesn’t create her pieces solely so that they will be sold. However, when someone wants to buy a piece, it gives more confidence to her craft.
“It’s just an extra bit of validation when someone says ‘I want to buy that,’” Lynn said.
For the upcoming year, she’s making a few painters’ resolutions.
“I want to keep developing my style this year,” Lynn said. She’s also going to be diving deeper into turning her commissioned work and turning her pieces into greeting cards.