5 Year Anniversary Art Exhibition – Artist Portfolio Magazine
Lynette Cook – Daly City, CA
One afternoon I took a walk in my Daly City neighborhood, gazed at an ordinary house that I had passed hundreds of times before, and saw it in a completely new way. A large shape with graceful lines crisscrossed the home’s façade. Upon investigating, I realized the Sun was aligned with a utility pole at just the right angle to cast its silhouette. Surely I had seen this all along. I just hadn’t noticed.
Since that day in 2012 I have found beauty in the shadows made by objects within the urban landscape usually considered ordinary or even ugly: utility poles, laundry drying outdoors, and exterior balconies and stairs that create repeating patterns of light and shade. Though these shapes seem fixed, they capture a specific moment in time. The Sun, with its daily march across the sky, ensures constant movement and change.
I am comforted that the city environment, which can seem harsh and impersonal at times, presents these beautiful expressions of the human element in concert with the natural world. The clothing appearing in my paintings adds a nostalgic component, as my mother dried the family laundry in our back yard when I was a child. The variations of color, pattern, and fabric speak to me about human individuality. Simultaneously, the laundry symbolizes that which is universal in human experience and connects us on a basic level.
My favorite pastime is to “make a day of it” in San Francisco. I love wandering up and down Chinatown’s streets on a sunny day, enjoying the activity, sights and sounds. With camera in hand to gather reference material for new paintings, I return to favorite buildings to see the “laundry de jour.” I recognize individual articles of clothing and smile as if they are friends. I always find something new to appreciate, returning home with an uplifted spirit.