A Measure of Life, 2021

On one of my first walks around the neighborhood within the first couple of weeks that I was living in North Adams, MA, I took this picture. I was looking up the trunk of a fruit tree which had not yet blossomed. I printed the photograph and tacked it to my studio wall where I hang images that are interesting to me. The silhouetted forms outlined in the picture were bold and stark and invited understanding. I waited for months before I even approached trying to elevate the blatant linearity and the exquisite balance elicited within the natural forms to a piece of art.

One day, I rolled out a huge piece of paper onto a wall in the studio. I left it blank for weeks. And then one day, I took a medium width marker and just started sweeping it across the page in the rhythm of the predominant curve in the photo and I kept going until I had completed the drawing of what was in the picture. The image did not fit the size of the paper so I had to imagine how to complete the border that remained.

I used the outline of the template I had made from the drawing of the dead branch to fill the width of the outside margin beyond the large drawing. When I realized that was not enough to satisfy me, I stopped for working on the piece for awhile.

One Sunday afternoon, I was lying on my floor listening to music beneath the spider plant hanging from the trim of the window nearby. When I looked up, I could see the answer for how I could would complete the emptiness of the margins. I would draw baby spider plants growing off the unfinished sections of the main tree drawing. (Details One and Two below.)

The bottom section of the unfinished part of the tree drawing still begged for some other imagery.

The first ever outdoor show called Groundwork at the Clark Art Institute was open and I finally went to see it. On the hike around the exhibit near the trails that extend beyond the museum, I took the next picture.

This photo became fodder for how I would draw the bottom section of the tree drawing. (Detail Three.)

All the visual information I had collected from my new living environment had contributed to a major drawing, the one shown below.

A Measure of Life, 2021, 60 in h x 88.75 in w, ink and marker on rag paper, titled and signed on verso
A Measure of Life, 2021, Detail One
A Measure of Life, 2021, Detail Two
A Measure of Life, 2021, Detail Three

Four Panels, Mountain and Branches, 2021

These panels reflect my new environment. The mountain “lines” represent the Berkshires in MA. And the branches images come from a template I made of a drawing I did of a branch broken off a dead tree/bush once planted outside my door.

The incorporation of the drawings into the panel format demonstrates the influence of Japanese panel paintings from the turn of the 20th century.

Four Panels, Mountains and Branches 1-4, 2021, 60 inch high by total 91.75 inches width, colored pencil on black rag paper
Mountain and Branches 1, 2021
Mountain and Branches 2, 2021
Mountain and Branches 3, 2021
Mountain and Branches 4, 2021
Mountain and Branches, 2021, detail 2
Mountain and Branches, 2021, detail 1

Tree Kimono, 2019

The Tree Kimono is made in several parts. The total dimensions are 70 inches in width by 90 inches in height. The media are colored pencil and ink.

Lyn Horton, Tree Kimono, 2019, 90 in x 70 in, ink and colored pencil on rag paper (several parts)

Lyn Horton, detail left Tree Kimono, 2019, 90 in x 70 in, ink and colored pencil on rag paper (several parts)
Detail, left

Lyn Horton, detail center Tree Kimono, 2019, 90 in x 70 in, ink and colored pencil on rag paper (several parts)
Detail, upper center

Laos Installation, Details, 2014

These images show the installation of the piece, Naga #2, at the Embassy of Laos in Vientiane, going down the wall from left to right. The textiles are all Lao from different regions of the country. They were gathered at markets and from mills on my visits there.

Many of the small pieces of woven cloth are often incorporated into clothing as borders on skirts or jackets. Some of the large tapestries are used as hangings.  The horizontal center blue & Tai Daeng weave tapestry is an antique.

The black “line” is velvet cording, weaving in and out of the spaces between the tapestries. In some places, examples of the silk thread used in weaving the tapestries were stretched out to intertwine with the materials laid out on the wall. I used two thousand brass nails to mount the cording as well as the tapestries. At one point in the middle of the installation, I believed that I was going to run out of nails. So I decided to use the velvet in broad strokes taking it straight across the materials on the wall instead of curving it over or around the tapestries. To some, this falsely appeared as though I was holding up the tapestries when, in fact, it was a pragmatic decision to save the number of nails that I had left. The straight “lines” complement the angularity of the Lao designs; the textile version of the Naga is an example.  

The title, Naga, is the name of the mythical dragon-like creature that protects the country. It lives in the Mekong River. Laos is not the only country which reveres the Naga.

These pictures are the only ones that were taken of the piece. I took them when I finished installing it. I take great risk in publishing them here.

 

Naga detail 1

Naga detail 2

Naga detail 3

Naga detail 4

Naga detail 5

Naga detail 6

Naga detail 7

Naga detail 8

 

Naga detail 9
This shows a wedding collar posed in a V-shape. For me, this positioning signified the marriage of the two cultures, that of Laos and the United States, with me as the filter for the latter.

 

Naga detail 10

Naga detail 11

Two Black and White Things, 2011

Lyn Horton, copyright, Black & White Things, 2011, 30 inches x 44 inches, ink on gouache on black paper hires
 60 inches height x 80 inches width, acrylic marker on gouache on white rag paper 

Lyn Horton, copyright, Black & White Things, 2011, 60 inches x 44 inches, ink on gouache on black paper hires
60 inches height x 44 inches width, ink on gouache on black paper

 

Connecting Series 1-6, 2006

This is a series of six mixed media works on paper; each is 43 inches square.

connecting(blue)06, 43 inches x 43 inches
Connecting Series (blue)

connecting(orange)06
Connecting Series (orange)

connecting(purple)06
Connecting Series (purple)

connecting(yellow)06
Connecting Series (yellow)

connecting(green)06
Connecting Series (green)

connecting(red)
Connecting Series (red)

Large Black & White Drawing, 2019

Lyn Horton, Large Black and White Drawing, 2019, 72 inches square approx., mixed media on rag paper
Gouache, marker and pigmented pen, 72 inches square

Traveling With Angels Series, 2003

This series is concerned with the death of my mother, my divorce with my husband and the prospect of being alone. Each drawing is 50 inches in height by approximately 72 inches wide. They are mixed media: watercolor crayon and charcoal.

 

Traveling with Angels #1

Traveling with Angels #2

Traveling with Angels #3

Traveling with Angels #4

Traveling with Angels #5

 

Traveling with Angels #6

Traveling with Angels #7

 

Traveling with Angels #8

Traveling with Angels #9

70 ” Square Black & White Drawing, 2014

70 inch Square drawing Black on White, 2014

 

Maxwell MacKenzie Photo of Lyn Horton, 70 in Square Black and White drawing, Lobby of Cafritz Building, Connecticut Avenue, Washington, DC, Architect Eric Colbert
Architectural photographer Maxwell MacKenzie’s photograph of drawing installed in the lobby of the Cafritz building at 5333 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, DC; Eric Colbert, architect.

70 Inch Square Drawing, Black, Silver, Gold, 2014

70 inch Square Drawing Black, Silver, Gold, 2014, 69.5 in h x 70 in w, black pigmented pen, gold and silver marker on rag paper for Website.jpg
Seventy inches square, black pigmented pen, gold and silver marker on rag paper