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In “plein air” or airplanes, Lynn LeCorre offers a perspective on nature

Lynn LeCorre at her exhibition Alberta Bound at the Kiwanis Gallery in 2019.

Nature can be fascinating, if you’re paying attention. Visual artist Lynn LeCorre fully appreciated that when she moved from her native St. Albert to northern Alberta, living mostly in Grande Prairie, but even as far north as High Level. It meant a lot of time driving in remote, beautiful country.

“You spend a lot of time on the highway when you want to go south,” she laughs. “You start to see the landscapes from the highway perspectives.”

LeCorre has seen nature from numerous perspectives: campgrounds, ski hills, even small airplanes. Having lived all over the province, she’s seen the diverse flora and fauna Alberta has to offer, and understands that there’s more beauty than just in our national parks.

“Nature always has something beautiful to offer,” she says. “It really comes down to the act of observing.”
It’s why nature is such a dominant theme in all her artwork. LeCorre doesn’t expect to compete with the artistry of Mother Nature herself, but wants to share with viewers her feelings and impressions of the captivating and contemplative moments.

“I’m always drawn to nature. Nature is my muse.”

Primarily a landscape painter, LeCorre prefers to paint “en plein air,” sitting outdoors in the scene itself, trying to quickly record her experience, rather than using reference photos.

“I need to paint that (scene), because that light is fleeting,” she explains. “I don’t have that same emotive response to a photograph.”

This practice results in a looser, expressive style. LeCorre’s mixed media drawings, on the other hand, tend more toward realism, and are “a little bit more conceptual.” Rather than just momentary impressions, she wants the viewer to grasp more specific messages.

One of the best examples was her 2013 exhibit at Grande Prairie’s Centre for Creative Arts, Nature of Trees, which included wet felting and installation pieces. She’d won local honorariums and awards for that body of work.
“It was very unique and different, and taking a risk for me,” she recalls.

A notable piece, Real Estate, depicts an owl in a tree, reminding us of what happens when we log to build our own homes.
“We are wrecking one ecosystem to build an environment for ourselves.”

But her messages aren’t always about man versus nature. Nature provides its own drama. A flight over a northern forest showed her what massive devastation pine beetles can wreak. That experience led to a series of drawings on deforestation.

“The impact, to me, was huge.”

Of course, one needn’t fly in an airplane to see nature. Even in the kitchen of a city home, the vegetables we turn into our meals provide a connection with nature, if we stop to notice. That recognition led to a series of still-life pastels called Nature’s Bounty, shown recently at the Velvet Olive.

Vegetables are “really quite beautiful,” she says. “As an artist I want to offer people another perspective in looking at the world.”

For more information on Lynn LeCorre’s art, visit lynnlecore.com.

Real Estate, a mixture of stitched paper and drawing media, reminds us of the conflict between providing homes for ourselves and conceding homes for nature’s other animals.

Road East is an acrylic on board, painted along the David Thompson Highway.