Artist Profile: Lynda Meurk Anderson

  • Fri Jul 30th, 2010 10:55pm
  • Life

As if by alchemy, the old violin case becomes a whimsical deer, a sparkplug morphs into a dragonfly, and a wooden bell takes flight as a bee.

For anyone who’s seen the work of local resident and artist Lynda Meurk Anderson, such magic informs the substance of her sculpture and multi-media presentations.

In the artist’s statement for her current show on display at the Lopez Island Library through Aug. 13, Anderson writes that there is “great joy” for her “in imagining ways to transform ‘junk’ into amusing and humorous combinations.”

Among the pieces being shown, “Deerwinkle” is a cherished work because she “rescued the violin case from the dump here on Lopez. The antlers and vertebrae were found on our land and the eyes are bone I bought for about three dollars combined with pupils from old earrings of mine. A friend gave me the piece of wood for the nose and the ears are leather samples from my days doing interior design.”

It’s all about being resourceful for Anderson, a quality she calls “her favorite thing.”

Working from her home and studio—the Garage Gallery—on the way to Iceberg Point, Anderson finds ways to incorporate not only native materials into her work but the seasonal variety of life as well. Life on Lopez helps her stay aware of the changes in climate, tides, and seasons.

The variety of these changes is reflected in the many facets of Anderson’s art. “I’m a complicated gal,” she says through her laughter.

The laughter fades when she begins to share the story of another work. “I remember when the towers fell on 9/11; I immediately did this print of the towers falling while surrounded by crows. This whole process of creation has to do with the depths of your feelings, with trying to stay open and compassionate and receptive.”

Openness to her subjects and materials allows her to incorporate materials (such as wasps’ nests) and themes from her local world as well as her extensive travels. In her collage, “Red Bird at Sintra,” Anderson pays homage to an ancient city in Portugal she and her husband and sometimes collaborator, Dean, have visited in their travels.

“The arches in ‘Sintra’ are those of an old castle in Portugal and the cave entrance where the bird is standing is from an older ruin there.”

When asked about her travels, Anderson begins cataloging places faster than they can be written down. She tells how several pieces now being featured in her Lopez Island Library show arose from what she’s seen around the world. “Bagatelle” was inspired by a Parisian rose garden and time spent in China prompted “Flooding of the Yangtze.” Of this latter work, she notes, “The birds in this piece are ghost birds because there are no birds on the Yangtze.”

Anderson tells how her sculpture also demonstrates the design of her own life, beginning with explaining how Dean, a retired dentist works with her. Using dental stone, he casts the heads of many of her sculpted pieces from her childhood dolls.

Drawing on her own training and background as a Costumer Design major and a textile designer, Anderson has been drawn to do “a lot of knitting and dying and weaving, though I’ve kind of let that go for collage, because of the layering. I have this thing about time and the seasons and the layers in collage give me a chance to feel what is being created all the way through.”

Anderson’s unique work has been featured at the Pratt Fine Arts Center, Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery in Bellevue, and Gallery At The 400 in Bremerton. The Garage Gallery is also featured on this year’s studio and home tours.

In addition to the Lopez Island Library, her work and studio can be viewed at www.lyndameurkanderson.com, which features a “Bumblebee’s eye view” of her studio and gardens in a film made by her son, Todd.

Anderson does accept some commission work and can be contacted at lyndalma@gmail.com or 468-3245.

Whether it’s the exotic or the commonplace, the world Lynda Meurk Anderson is bringing into being is a world of magical transformation.