Sometimes, the beauty is so intense as to be overwhelming.
Inspiration comes from everywhere — the hint of the sun over a frozen Arctic landscape, waves of hillsides emerging from an encroaching mist, deep colors of a glass of wine among broken bread.
Artist Lynda Brill seeks out those scenes that give her pause — everyday proof of God’s majesty and power.
“I’ve never stopped looking, I’ve never stopped observing, I’ve never stopped being amazed by the beauty of God’s creation,” she said. “Those are the things that remind us that there’s someone who’s created something much greater than we are.”
Brill’s work aims to capture the world around her, be it in landscapes, still-life arrangements or in portraits. Guided by her deep faith, she finds the majestic and magical in the world around her, taking those experiences and interpreting them on canvas.
Each time she picks up a paintbrush, she hopes her work helps others see that greatness and possibly lift their spirits.
“It’s bigger than the life we’ve lived. It’s the experience of the greatness of the life we’ve lived, and trying to be inspiring to someone. It might give them that hope for another day. It might give them that joy and pleasure that life is good,” she said. “We live in such a broken world. I hope my art could be something to inspire people to see that there’s another day out there.”
Brill’s work will be on display at the Southside Art League’s Off Broadway Gallery starting March 29, and hanging through April 29.
Growing up, Brill was drawn to all kinds of creative endeavors. She was drawing, studying music and doing other artistic activities. She was captivated by the ways sunsets and sunrises played off the fields and clouds around her home on a dairy farm on the flatlands of Illinois, which inspired her artwork.
“Even as a little girl on the farm, I’d pause and observe and see what the beauty that was around me,” she said.
Her first art award was in grade school, and by high school, she was asked to study with a group of professional artists.
But her father felt it was better to pursue a career in music and singing.
“That’s what I did. I studied music and had opportunities to sing many solos,” she said. “But I never stopped my interest in art.”
Art did not re-enter Brill’s scope until she had married and had children. As her kids grew older, she hired local tutors to teach them art, and she would study alongside them.
“I knew some of the things, but felt it was a really good opportunity to dive more into the classical training in arts,” she said. “It really rekindled that desire for art.”
Brill focused on expanding her painting skills with her newly stoked interest, which only grew as her children went to college and embarked on their own careers. She started studying some of the masters — Velazquez, Sargent and Rembrandt — which taught her to capture moments in time and space.
The result has been a varied collection of artwork, including a number of pieces that took a long time to finish.
“I’ve had so many unfinished paintings, because as the years wore on, I painted and I would get discouraged. I didn’t have the confidence to finish. I had probably 30 paintings — some really good, some not-so-good — that were incomplete,” she said.
Over the past year, Brill found that her confidence was reinvigorated, and she revisited some of these paintings. Many of those will be included in the exhibition at the Southside Art League.
“By God’s grace, I have talent that can be nurtured and grow,” “When people ask what the theme of the show is, I think it’s ‘completion.’ All of these paintings have been hanging around, and I’ve finally been taking them to completion” she said.
The exhibition also featured new works that Brill has tackled recently, including those inspired by her collection of photographs from around the world.
Her hope is that this exhibition serves as another step in her development and evolution as an artist.
“I’m still very infantile, when I look at the people I admire and I want to be like,” she said. “I believe that I’m heading in that direction.”
IF YOU GO
Lynda Brill exhibition
What: A collection of landscapes, still life paintings and portraits by Brill, an Indianapolis artist.
When: March 29 to April 29
Where: Southside Art League Off Broadway Gallery, 299 E. Broadway St., Greenwood
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; closed Sunday through Tuesday
Reception: Brill will host a pair of public receptions — the first 5 to 9 p.m. April 1 at the gallery; the second, with her and other Southside Art League artists, will be 6 to 8 p.m. April 14. Light refreshments will be served.