Featured Artist Lynn Tsan

Enjoy the boldly colorful “graphical collage” portfolio of mixed media artist Lynn Tsan and view more of her work on her website.

 

abstract mixed media dimensional wall art by Lynn Tsan

“Alphabet 1” wood and ink, 56” x 56”

 

I never wanted to be an artist. I couldn’t draw. I could sing. I could dance. I could write and talk a blue streak. For a while, though, I thought that sculpture might be interesting and tried art school for a few years. This was back in the “old days” (even worse than the “nowadays”) when it was okay for some to strongly suggest that sculpture was not for “girls.” I was seventeen and took the hint. I dropped out. At some point, I dropped back in somewhere else, years later, and ended up with a master’s degree in journalism, three kids, and then I was suddenly single.

 

abstract mixed media dimensional wall art by Lynn Tsan

“Alphabet 2” wood and ink, 55” x 55”

 

Minneapolis was no haven for newbie journalists at the time, so I wrote copy for small businesses. Copywriting morphed into creating brochures, logos and such; eventually I backed up into art making again at the ripe old age of fifty.

 

Artist Lynn Tsan's studio

Artist Lynn Tsan’s studio

 

I moved to Chicago four years later—the world of art, technology and newfound materials opened up. I discovered a makerspace in a tiny room in Chicago’s downtown public library. It was free and fascinating! I learned how to operate a laser cutter and honed my computer skills to bring some of my graphical collage drawings to life.

 

abstract mixed media dimensional wall art by Lynn Tsan

“Hoops” multicolored acrylic, 36” x 12”

 

A graphical collage is my term for a composite of an entire series of art. A finished piece might include anywhere from three to one hundred separate, unique pieces of artwork. They are usually made up of square shapes with one exception—a seven rectangle piece.

 

abstract mixed media dimensional light box art by Lynn Tsan

“Lightbox 1” wood, cast acrylic and light, 16” x 16” x 4”

 

Each square can stand alone, but together they create a dynamic that can sometimes take up to a month of rearranging to realize.

 

abstract mixed media dimensional light box art by Lynn Tsan

“Lightbox 2” wood, cast acrylic and light, 16” x 16” x 4”

 

Layering and experimenting with materials has added depth and texture to the work, which, as of now, mostly consists of wood or cast acrylic pieces. A fabric piece is coming and I dream of my “Chicago” piece reworked in glass, steel and light making the original 10’ x 4’ piece a tiny, little prototype.

 

abstract mixed media dimensional wall art by Lynn Tsan

“Rome is Burning” wood and paint, 49” x 49”

 

I love patterns, but hate predictability. Because all of the pieces in a finished work are like those in a series, they share images, a color palette, shapes and style. Only two pieces seemed to require repeating squares: “Rome is Burning” and an older drawing called “Match Game” (a 25-square piece with five matching pairs–differing only in color and orientation).

 

abstract mixed media dimensional wall art by Lynn Tsan

“Mirror Image” cast acrylic, 44” x 44”

 

Someday, I’d like to work with architects, designers and fabricators. The future, for me, is making art that fills entire walls—art that is the wall, the floor, the ceiling. Art that is built into the architecture and made of materials that maybe haven’t been invented yet. It’s the thrill of discovering how things work and how far one can push them that keeps me going. Someday my biggest current work will be dwarfed by what comes next.

 

Artist Lynn Tsan invites you to follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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