Beautiful Minds: Evelyn Lynch
For Evelyn Lynch, 90, artist, nurse, and mother, painting has always held a special place in life. She had no art training growing up, but art profoundly shaped who she is today. After moving to Germany over 65 years ago when her husband served in the army, Evelyn brought art into her experience by taking painting lessons in Stuttgart, Germany from local painter, Kurt Schmidt. Schmidt introduced her to oil paintings. Eager to see her work come alive Evelyn couldn’t wait for the paint to dry so she eventually years later took up acrylics which she works in today..
With dreams of building a family, she set aside painting to fully dedicate her time to support and care for her children. When the four children were off to school she followed up on her earlier training as a registered nurse and over the course of 30 years Evelyn cared for thousands of people as a public health nurse and school nurse. She had trained to become a nurse at Mass General Hospital and served in the US Cadet Nurse Corps in World War II. She was recently honored at a ceremony at NIH for that service. She never forgot her love for painting and couldn’t wait to pick up a paint brush again and started painting immediately after she retired.
She studied designing stained glass windows, creating several pieces of window art but eventually stopped with fear that the lead from the paint would cause harm to her and her children’s and grandchildren’s health. One of her stained glass window pieces currently sits in The Mashpee Archives Building, which holds documents, maps, artifacts, historical records, and other items chronicling the history of Mashpee, Massachusetts.
Evelyn credits her painting for bringing her closer to her children and her grandchildren as they all share a love of art. Her family are her biggest fans. Each of her children’s homes has become an exhibit featuring her work, paintings of peaceful rolling hills and cozy New England cottages. They even argue over who will get Evelyn’s latest piece!
She had her first major art gallery exhibition in Falmouth, Massachusetts with just one other artist last year right before her 90th birthday. Other artists and her family came to support this special moment. And she was happy to sell a number of pieces too. Evelyn loves sharing her love of painting with her family and hopes to have an art show with her granddaughter, Lauren, who minored in art while in college.
“I always have my easel set up”, Evelyn said excitedly as she shared the impact art has had on her life. “Painting has made me see things differently and more clearly. I also take a lot of pictures of architecture and landscapes I want to paint. I’m always moving!”
Becoming a local ‘professional’ artist with those sales, she also keeps busy by putting on art shows at local libraries showcasing her best work, which captures the quaint harbors and windswept beaches of her Cape Cod home.
Evelyn has so much more she wants to do with her work. Wanting to develop different techniques, she continues to take art classes in local studios. “I’m starting to create paintings of people now. I like to paint people dancing. It’s different than creating paintings of houses.”
For people who want to live productive and creative lives Evelyn says to “Stay active. See what you are passionate about and go for it! Find something special about the ordinary things.”