Artist Feature

Lynn LeCorre: OUR West Country

Lynn LeCorre loves the outdoors and painting the landscape en plein air.

She can often be found hiking in the mountains with friends, snowshoeing or even kayaking. Alberta’s changing weather provides many opportunities for both Lynn’s love of outdoor activities and just slowing down to enjoy and immortalize nature in its stillness.

Together with 4 other central Alberta artists, Lynn rose to the challenge of painting en plein air last summer in an area of her choosing to help highlight the vast and amazing landscapes of the region – landscapes that are at risk of human-made changes.
She has been painting the landscape as she sees it for over 15 years. Lynn’s work has been shown in various galleries around Alberta, but her favorite place to be is outdoors with her paints and easel. There are many ways to approach ‘en plein air’ painting, and every artist has their own style- but all artists need to start with a sketch and quickly paint in the basic forms and values of the land before the light changes. The challenge of painting outdoors is the elements and the changing sky.

Lynn LeCorre, at the opening event for OUR West Country

Lynn LeCorre, Afternoon at Crowsnest Lake, 2021, acrylic on board, 5”x 10.5”

About painting en plein air in Alberta’s West Country

Lynn’s process is very spontaneous, and we are happy to share her process with you as told by her.

“Nature is my muse. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist. Exploring the land and immersing myself in nature, keep me inspired to keep on keeping on with my art practice, plus I love a road trip! The land is a rich resource of never-ending beauty to try to capture in paint.

When I drive, I am inspired to just pull over and paint what I see. I pull off onto secondary highways, road allowances or any safe space that gives me the view I wish to paint. Armed with an easel, folding chair and paints, I start sketching a composition. Then I paint quickly before the fleeting light and sky change. This is my challenge. I have been painting the landscape en plein aire for over 15 years and continue to search for new compositions and new challenges. I prefer to be immersed in nature to fully respond to the light and shadows. It is the whole experience of painting outdoors that I’m drawn to. The solitude and silence (except for the big trucks driving by), the fresh air (except for the dust kicked up from the big trucks on gravel roads) and the elements (yes, even wind, rain and bugs will not stop me) that challenge me to capture the essence of the land before the moment that inspired me changes (or my paint has dried up on the palette from too much wind).

I continue to be inspired by the landscape and whenever I do a road trip, it’s like I’m seeing the landscape – it’s colours, forms, textures, and space – for the very first time.

The Alberta landscape: its diversity is all in balance – both ecologically and visually. We need to protect this balance for nature’s sake and ours. We need to keep the mountain tops and water supply clean, protect our forests from clear cutting and our prairies from being bulldozed into urban sprawl. We can choose to be part of this ecological balance or not, to live in harmony with nature for our wellbeing and survival. Painting the landscape has so much more impact than just visually documenting a space, it is a reflection of being at one with that space in that moment.”

Check out the exhibit OUR West Country: Plein Air Painting in Alberta’s Eastern Slopes (on display until March 12, 2022) and see Lynn’s paintings in-person!

Lynn LeCorre painting at Abraham Lake

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