Coconut Grove artist Lynn Fecteau has been painting beautiful pictures for as long as she can remember, and her work just seems to get better as she moves along in life.
“I’ve been painting for my whole life,” she said. “I don’t remember when I never did artwork or didn’t think of myself as an artist. Even as a little kid, I remember doing it.”
Fecteau grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ, where the family had a boat and they would spend the summers on the Jersey Shore. Those early days had a profound influence on her. She has developed a cottage industry around her window-framed views of the ocean.
“I was always fascinated by the ocean,” she said. “I loved to sit on the beach or go to the end of the jetty and sit there looking out at the ocean. So, it does make sense that I’m painting oceans now.”
Fecteau began painting her ocean windows decades ago and she says they were a hit from the start. The theme has become her trademark work.
“I had my first show at the Riviera Country Club many years ago and that was the first window I ever painted,” she said. “It was pretty crude because I didn’t know much about perspective back then. But it sold! Everybody loved it. So I decided to try it again, and it worked! They have become so popular. I think people just like the idea of looking at a blank wall and seeing a painting of something calm and serene.”
Fecteau’s paintings carry a simple formula of a window sill, flowers and an ocean.
“If you look at one of my paintings, you’ll see a window sill in the foreground and I usually put things on the window sill. And then there are flowers and in the background is the ocean. I think about that consciously and if you look at the painting and go through it, it almost tells a story.”
Fecteau said nature is her muse and that is what keeps her focused.
“I love nature and I love being around nature,” she said. “When I feel stressed out, I always go someplace where there are natural surroundings. It just makes me feel really good. I try to show the serenity of nature in my paintings and how it can really affect you. And I think people get it in my paintings.”
Fecteau agrees that most of her window paintings have a view of the ocean, but she says she is moving to alter that concept somewhat.
“Yes, I am starting to change that a little bit,” she said. “I’m changing the color theme and making the pictures a little more vivid. That’s because of late I have been seeing things more vividly.”
Fecteau also is attempting an amazing new concept with her work, capturing and presenting a three-dimensional image on canvass.
“The structure of it is built with triangles and you have to close one eye to really see the three-D,” she said. “The triangles are put together in such a way that it tricks your eye and makes it look like it’s opening and closing when you walk by it.”
Fecteau shows her work in the Effusion Gallery, 1130 Ocean Dr. in South Beach, and one of her three-dimensional paintings is on display in the front window.
“They have one of my larger three-dimensional works on display in the window,” she said. “Sometimes when I go over there I find a crowd of people walking back and forth in front of the window and looking at the painting with one eye closed. It’s really amazing that it draws so much attention and to see people doing that.”
Fecteau readily admits that she is not the first artist to paint in a three dimensional concept and notes that many other artists have used the concept.
“The first one was painted in the Vatican,” she said. “I saw a California artist do it and I thought it would be great for my windows paintings. When I did it, I didn’t know if it was going to work. But, I figured it out and I was excited about the result.”
Fecteau only produces about three or four original paintings in the course of a year and those are then reproduced by a Giclee ink-jet printing method in her print shop.
“My originals are pretty expensive,” she said. “For example, my newest three-dimensional painting that I’m working on now is only $3,800, but that’s because it is so small. The larger painting in the Ocean Drive gallery is selling for $12,000. I take a very long time to do each of my paintings. Then I reproduce my own prints, make my own frames, everything. And I also print for other artists.”
Fecteau also has begun accepting commissions to paint murals on houses and buildings, a concept with which she has long wanted to experiment.
“I have just started doing these murals and I am really excited about it,” she said. “The mural business could be really good for me. It started with my neighbor down the street who hired me to paint a mural on the side of her house.”
For more information, call 305-854-0891 or go to www.lynnfecteau.com.