Artist says she was destined to paint
Vail CO, Colorado
Name: Astrid Lynn Byron
Medium: Oil and pastel
Date and time of show: Through Aug. 29
Location of show: Avon Public Library, 200 Benchmark Road
Name of show: Art in Avon
More information: Call the library at 970-949-6797
Astrid Lynn Byron: I got involved in painting as part of my spiritual life and my search for God, which led me to a man named Angelo de Benedetto. He has since passed, but his reputation has remained. He picked me from a group of people in 1960. He was extremely liberal about letting people find their own language. He guided you in the direction you were already going. He never guided me into anything realistic; he said you should be finding your own language. A couple of years later I had a painting in the Denver Art Museum.
ALB: I knew when I was a little girl. I used to draw all the time. I would lay on the floor with pencils and pens and draw while listening to music on the radio. In 1959 I went to an art appreciation class and that’s where I met Angelo. I was so inspired and he guided me. I knew then I was going to have to paint to live.
ALB: I think it’s a part of my spiritual life. I think there are people in the afterworld that are guiding me, muses if you will. Angelo and another man named Lee Simpson inspired me. They were very instrumental in encouraging me. Most of it is self-taught. I bought books by the hundreds. I know everything about abstract expressionists. Color is what inspires me at the moment.
ALB: I get in the mood by listening to classical music and jazz. When I’m hot, I’m hot. It’s something I treat as a job. I get up in the morning and get in my studio and paint, even if I only paint a couple of hours. It’s my destiny and what I need to do to survive in this world. I try to keep pure thoughts.
ALB: I felt myself drawn into abstract painting by my love of other artists.
ALB: I call it lyrical abstraction because it sings to me. Maybe that’s because of my love of music, both classical and jazz.
ALB: I think it would be Joan Mitchell. She lived in France and passed away about 10 years ago. Her art communicates to me; it communicates serenity and order. It’s a spiritual communication.
ALB: It’s always the one I’m working on because each painting is derived from the one before. It’s akin to writing a book, going deeper and deeper. I may see my next painting from the one I’m doing currently. Would I like to own something? Yes. I would like to own a Joan Mitchell, but it’s a little out of my price range.
ALB: I sell through decorators. My daughter is a decorator and she places a lot of my work. I enter shows. I’m limited by my age (81) and energy from doing too much marketing myself. I have given away more paintings than I’ve sold. I’ve shared my work and I want it to be seen, I don’t think I hang onto much. All of my friends have a painting, whether they purchased it or I gave it to them. There are paintings at the Avon show ranging from about $200 to $2,800.
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