A Durham College art instructor recently had one of her paintings showcased at one of the art capitals of the world. Lynn Dooly-Marek is a life drawing instructor in the Animation program at Durham and one of her paintings was selected to be featured in Salon des Beaux Arts 2016 in Paris.
The Salon Des Beaux Arts showcases artists from all over the world. The National Society of Fine Arts has organized the show for more than 150 years. The event takes place in the halls of the Carrousel du Louvre, an underground shopping mall connected to the Louvre Museum.
Dooly-Marek’s painting, ‘Color Study of a Provencal Market’, was accepted into the show, which took place Dec. 8-11, 2016. She submitted eight examples of her work and an oil pastel painting was chosen.
Dooly-Marek had to undergo spinal surgery nine years ago, and this is her first exhibit since taking time off to recover.
The painting itself is of a marketplace. It features very loose and vivid brush strokes. Dooly-Marek describes her style as impressionist. Many of her paintings are of bistros and cafés from around the world. She also does life-drawings and paintings, and children’s illustrations.
Dooly-Marek has history with France prior to being accepted into the Salon, having studied abroad during her college years in the 1970s. She credits one incident from studying in the southern part of France as being particularly influential in her art career.
One Friday, she found herself with no money in her bank account. She called her father, and asked him to wire her some. Since it would not arrive until the following Monday, she had to find a way to make some quick cash. She asked a local restaurant, Les Deux Garcons, located in Aix-en-Provence, France, if they would commission a painting.
“I went to Les Deux Garcons, and I said, ‘if I do a painting of your café, will you give me $20?’ And they said ‘oui’,” recalls Dooly-Marek with a laugh.
“That’s how it started. By doing that, I realized I could make money from my art. I was astounded,” says Dooly-Marek.
Dooly-Marek explains that getting a painting accepted into the Louvre is very prestigious to an artist.
“It has mystique. It has something about it. To be able to say I have been accepted by the Beaux Art Society, into the Louvre, into their gallery space, it puts you another level,” says Dooly-Marek.
Before her flight to Paris for the show, she called the airline because she wanted to carry her painting with her. When they found out her painting was heading towards the Louvre, she received special treatment.
She was escorted to her flight from sign-in, entered the plane before first-class attendants, and had stewardesses and the pilot come and introduce themselves. She was asked if she was the “famous artist,” and was asked to pose for pictures.
Dooly-Marek says teaching life-drawing is very important to her as an artist. Passing on her knowledge is something she considers a responsibility. She remembers one piece of advice a colleague gave her, which has always stayed with her.
“He said to me: ‘our duty is to pass on our knowledge to the next generation.’ And I’ve never forgotten that,” she says.