How Lynda Todd discovered painting (and where it leads to)
How Lynda Todd discovered painting (and where it leads to)
Lynda Todd is an abstract artist from Peterborough, Canada, near The Great Lakes. She was born with very limited sight and is colour blind. Nevertheless, she started painting not so long ago, in 2018. The result was surprising, as you can see.
Lynda Todd explains: “I never embraced creativity due to my physical disabilities. I was encouraged to take a day painting workshop in 2018. The experience was electrifying and freeing. Having no formal training I was not limited by any constraints such as colour theory or principles of design. My work was intuitive and colour choices were spontaneous. By the end of that day I knew this was what I was meant to do. It was sheer joy. In spite of my disability, after disability, I could create work that people would gravitate to and it would resonate and bring them joy.”
It has become an empowerment for her. “Coming from a place of insecurity and reluctantly taking a course and then ‘finding’ a passion for it. This is something that anyone can embrace and find joy and satisfaction.”
Opening up to everyone with disabilities
Art should be accessible to everyone, is her firm belief. “Having spent most of my adult life believing that I had no artistic ability due to my lack of eyesight, I wanted to open this door to everyone including those with disabilities. If not for them to create art, at least for them to be able to experience it. At a 2019 art exhibition, a totally blind woman by the name of Devon asked me to describe a piece of art to her. It was incredibly difficult to do this and it made me want to make my art tactile so a blind person would be able to experience my work through touch. I began to build interesting layers using a variety of mediums including epoxy resins and sculpting materials to offer a beautiful feel to my pieces. I have begun to title my work in braille directly on the canvas.”
The desire for accessibility of her work to all people is the result. Viewers of her pieces are invited to touch it, to feel any communication by braille, to experience the textures, and to finger the movement of the paint on the canvas.
Does Lynda have a Key Work? She has. “It’s my painting entitled, ‘Dancing Angels’. It has numerous intricacies and seems to draw the viewer into the piece letting them use their imagination and giving them an opportunity to travel in their mind and create their own story. This was the first piece that taught me to paint with intention. The viewer can then craft their own opinions and responses to the piece.”
It is obvious, Lynda Todd wants her art accessible and enjoyed by all. She has started creating tactile art so those who are blind or visually impaired can touch the painting and understand the shape, movement and flow of the piece. So that they can feel the story and understand the emotion behind it. “I have found that even fully sighted art lovers appreciate the freedom to hold the art and get a true grasp of the piece.”
Full-time professional artist
She entered the world of art creation in 2018 by taking a one-day workshop and has been creating and exhibiting since. She is now a full-time professional artist. Lynda: “Every exhibit keeps leading to another level and opportunity.”
She won the Fine Art Award in the Spirit of the Hills Art Association contest. “This affirming win motivated me to make art my career and delve deeper into exploring opportunities to the next level. Creating a website, exhibiting on a regular basis and incorporating a variety of mediums.”
There was a lot of publicity including a front-page feature story for the art exhibit and people were very complimentary. That helped quell her self-doubt and encouraged her to continue on. It boosted her self-esteem and self-confidence.
She has had numerous exhibits including the Migration of Art, Zitacuaro, Mexico Summit and was the sole Canadian artist invited to lead a workshop at the Curious Mondo Art Resin Symposium. Her works have been featured on the cover of Occupational Therapy Now magazine, with feature stories in several magazines, radio shows, print articles, vlogs and documentaries.
She was honoured to receive the Holnbeck Lifetime Achievement Award for her advocacy work in helping others with disabilities. “I work with an organization that helps to end the social isolation of adults living with a disability through integrative and inclusionary activities. It is expected that with recurring exposure to outings and group events people will be more comfortable and willing to become more active in the community.”
People becoming collectors
Art opened up many opportunities for her. “It is a gracious gift when people buy it. It was self-affirming. People became collectors. It is amazing that people came back and purchased multiple pieces and their homes became the forever place for my art. When someone feels passionate about a piece that I create and it elicits such emotion in them that they want to admire it daily, it is so satisfying.”
Finally, what is her philosophy? Lynda Todd: “The most important thing to me is what effect my artwork has on others. My artwork and methods appear to encourage people of all exceptionalities to delve into their own hopes and dreams and most particularly, into the world of perhaps even creating their own art or finding their own passion.”
1) "Atmosphere". Acrylic top coated with resin on an 18" x 36" gallery canvas, 2)"Blossom", Acrylic on 3' x 5' canvas, Spirit of the Hills Fine Art Award Winner, 3) Resin tray made with alcohol inks, mica powders & fire glass, 6" x 14", 4) Lynda Todd pictured with "Mica", 35" x 48" acrylic on gallery canvas, 5) "Dancing Angels", 3'x5' acrylic on canvas, 6) "A River Runs Through", 24" x 24" acrylic on gallery canvas, 7) "Dragon" acrylic on 3' x 5' canvas pictured with purchasers and collectors Msrio & Leslie Yee at solo exhibit in Ontario, Canada, 8) Lynda was the sole Canadian artist to provide a resin workshop at the Curious Monda Resin Symposium, 9) "Resilience", 8"10" canvas, acrylic with resin coat and hand crafted rsi resin butterfly. This was the submission to the Mexico Zitacuaro Summit, 10) Acrylic with fire glass in resin, 18" x 36" gallery canvas, 11) Triumph", 8" x 10", acrylic on canvas, resin topped with hand crafted resin butterflies, 12) "Flow of LIfe", acrylic on gallery canvas, 18" x 48" on gallery canvas, 13) Lynda Todd pictured with the Canadian Council of the Blind 2022 calendar with her award winning piece, "Blossom", featured on the front cover and a second piece, " A River Runs Through" featured on the centre page.