Although largely self-trained, Lynley van Alphen has done various workshops with the likes of John Crump, Ben Ho, Wayne Edgerton as well as a week-long plein air workshop with John Wilson in Alice Springs, Australia.
Always a teenage dream, and always having wanted to make a living as an artist, Lynley fondly remembers sitting on the hillside above the Tarras (Central Otago) primary school, sketching with crayon the distant Hawkdun mountain range. She has continued to paint and sketch during her free time. The sad passing of her husband, seven years ago, enabled her to take the step to pursuing her artist’s dream more fully. ‘He told me when we first found out his terminal diagnosis of motor neuron disease, that he’d like me to follow my art dream when he was gone. Focusing on that helped me overcome the grief that comes from losing one’s life partner.’
She has been deeply inspired by the late Douglas Badcock. ‘Probably fifteen or more years ago I got one of his books from the local library and on opening it I remember thinking – now that’s painting! There are others of similar generation that also enthralled me but it was Douglas for me who stood out. I was just drawn to his expressive brushstrokes and use of colour, and the free manner that he depicted our New Zealand landscape, as well as the fact that he painted on site. The discovery of Australian palette knife painter, Richard Musgrave-Evans in the last two years has furthered my interest in outdoor palette knife painting and my move to more abstract-like landscapes.’
Being outdoors and seeing the play of light on the countryside, really fires up her creative soul. ‘There is nothing more mesmerising in my opinion. When painting outdoors I feel as one with nature, absorbing the atmosphere and getting totally lost in the moment of just being. I love the freedom to choose my creative path.’