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Lynette K. Henderson is a working artist in drawing, painting and mixed media, with a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (1986), MFA from the University of Minnesota (1989), and a Ph.d. in Art Education from Arizona State University (2006). Henderson currently works and resides in southern California, U.S.A.

Artist Statement

My artwork includes different series' about animals and environments: their beautiful and varied shapes and patterns, animal behavior and relationships, the concepts of predator and prey, and how animals manage to survive both in and outside of human-created enclosures.  Unacknowledged as part of nature, humans tend to project themselves and their desired or imagined characteristics and emotions onto animals. Preserved in zoos, common to both rural and urban environments, the animals are considered by visitors to be either extraordinary, as pests or even despised rather than admirable, based on human perceptions and imaginings of the value of different species.  Artworks examine animals within both healthy and polluted environments, in captivity and with contemporary reduction/loss of species.

Series' Statements

NARRATIVES          These story-telling paintings tend to be more complex, including multiple animal figures, grouped together within various environments. The combination of characters and spaces are intended to represent a moment in time, and tell a brief story about the animals and their unromantic environments. Sometimes it is intended to emphasize the extraordinary but inhospitable setting, an environment that is teeming with land, air and water creatures and the detritus of humans, within a compressed space. 

WILD LIFE          These artworks are close-up views of various species seeking to present the living presence of individual animals, including their interesting shapes, forms, colors and textures. This is achieved through expressive composition, detail, a clear sense of bone structure and anatomical accuracy in rendering the creatures with paint. In addition, often the animals present a direct gaze into the viewer’s eyes, intended to convey a message – confirmation of existence or perhaps, a question.

ENVIRONMENTS         These paintings have an emphasis on animals existing within environmentally polluted spaces (air, land and water). My first series of three paintings (‘DDT I, II, and III’, 2022) focused on individual barrels of DDT waste that had been dumped in the mid-20th century and still lie at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, near South Catalina Island, southern California. (DDT is an insecticide for use in agriculture, now banned in the US.) Later works include a variety of ocean creatures with the leaking barrels – whales, fish, starfish and others.

LANDSCAPES      These images are pure enjoyment of the beautiful colors, textures and visual elements that I can capture with my camera and in painting.  I hope to capture both urban scenes and what remains of wilderness in the U.S. and abroad.

Bio & Artist Statements

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