Introducing Lyndia Radice

To me, a true artist is someone who answers the creative call -- who listens to the call, dives deep within themself, wrestles with all of the doubt and despair, gathers the disparate inner voices and weaves something beautiful from the chaos. This can be with paint, wool, paper, words, sounds, or in more worldy ways -- a chef, a housekeeper, a nurse, a mother - it doesn’t matter -- it is about listening to the call, following the clues, completing the process and producing something authentic. Artists are the wayshowers --- they are keepers of the creative process and by their efforts they shine light on the twists and turns of life’s path. If they are truly authentic - they paint the road maps, sing out the roadsigns, show the next step in the journey.

Work of Lyndia Radice

Drawing from Spirit
Interview with Lyndia Radice

 

 

Lyndia Radice draws from the spirit.

I never expected to be, at long last, exhibiting artwork in galleries or selling my work. Drawing was always this thing that I did because I needed to do it --and I did it while I was also playing music or making a living as a paralegal, teaching, doing therapy. etc. My mission has always been self exploration and expression but, over time I have come to realize that it is the search for authenticity in every area of my life.

Sometimes when people ask what I do, I answer - "on what day?", or "in what year?" because I do so many different things. After many years of searching and growing, I have come to the realization that I am not any one descriptor -- woman, artist, musician, teacher, therapist, developmental evaluator, elder, vegan, etc. etc, because all of these are small pieces that make up the whole. The whole is still emerging and changing and hopefully, will continue to do so until I leave this plane.

I spent the first 10 adult years of my life as a freelance classical musician - I was a classical trumpeter playing with orchestras and chamber ensembles in NYC, and I also toured Europe and the US with different opera and dance companies. After I gave up being a career musician (which was traumatic and painful and too long a story to address here) I was lost for several years. I worked with computers and for a short time as a paralegal to make money. I returned to drawing as a creative outlet. I couldn’t listen to or play music for years.

Art was just something I did. I never considered myself an "artist" and still struggle with that label daily. I don’t think I internalized the possibility of that identity until my musical career had ended and I had started to question why I was here and what I was supposed to be doing. Meeting Frederick Franck, author of "the Zen of Seeing" and his wife Claske was a turning point in many ways. We met at one of Frederick’s silent 2 day workshops - "seeing/drawing as meditation" - and there was an instantaneous feeling of recognition. One of the goals of these classes was to begin to connect the eye to the hand to the heart. Frederick watched as I drew a leaf from memory and he then acknowledged the drawing in silence with a bow. In that silent bow I felt that I was greeted respectfully as a fellow artist. Later, he spoke about my work (which was always exhibited anonymously in his classes) in front of the group and pointed out the lyricism of some of the lines and wondered if the drawing had been done by a musician. It was the first time the two parts of my life had been linked up.

I then visited them at their home and realized that I had found a sort of artist/parents -- people who recognized my abilities and wanted to foster them. Frederick, who at 97 just published his 18th book, is not just an artist - he is also a philosopher, expert on Zen and Christianity, metaphysician and amateur musician. So I was exposed to so many things while spending time in an environment where art and music and literature and so many other things were revered. It was through them that I returned to music -- I began to housesit for them and finally, after months of hovering near and moving away -- I was able to play the piano again.

Around the same time, I entered psychoanalysis which provided a safe place to dive into the dark places. This eventually led to my return to graduate school where I earned a Masters Degree in Special Education and a Masters in Social Work. I focused on child psychotherapist and also trained as a sandplay therapist -- which is a form of therapy (based on jungian principles) where clients use a variety of 3 dimensional objects to create their world in a large tray of sand. It is non-verbal, creative , very powerful and deep and not unlike dream therapy.

I then worked for about 14 years -- as a special educator with autistic preschoolers, as a therapist for hospitalized psychotic adolescents, as a therapist with severely emotionally disturbed children in a residential treatment center, as a parent educator and as a professor in graduate school. I also had a private practice for 5 years. I forced myself to develop my second language skills -- the hospital where I worked had a huge hispanic population - and very few therapists who could speak Spanish. I had a few years of rusty Spanish from college - and pushed myself to use it. Eventually I was able to qualify as a bilingual therapist.

I have always been fascinated with the interweaving of daily life, culture and the sacred. My current work with immigrant mothers and babies from South America has enriched my life and brought new colors to my palette. In 2002, I lived for three months with an indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon while helping the women start a kindergarten. (And thank goodness for my ability to speak Spanish). Living in the jungle brought about a dramatic change in my artwork -- a move away from realistic images to an evocative inner landscape peopled with fantastic creatures. A recent trip to the Brazilian Amazon unlocked more treasures. To borrow the words of the esteeme Sufi Poet, Hafiz, I try to be a hollow tube - to allow spirit to move through me onto the paper. There is no forethought or planning of a drawing - the images leap onto the page - often during long subway trips to the inner city as I visit the families with whom I work.

To me, a true artist is someone who answers the creative call -- who listens to the call, dives deep within themself, wrestles with all of the doubt and despair, gathers the disparate inner voices and weaves something beautiful from the chaos. This can be with paint, wool, paper, words, sounds, or in more worldy ways -- a chef, a housekeeper, a nurse, a mother - it doesn’t matter -- it is about listening to the call, following the clues, completing the process and producing something authentic. Artists are the wayshowers --- they are keepers of the creative process and by their efforts they shine light on the twists and turns of life’s path. If they are truly authentic - they paint the road maps, sing out the roadsigns, show the next step in the journey.

Current and Upcoming Exhibits

ARRIVAL, 8.5 x 11 drawing was exhibited in the Fantastic Visions Show at Limner Gallery in Phoenicia New York in September 2004

"PARACLETE, INTO THE TREES, and ARCHES" , 8.5 x 11 drawings were exhibited online for the Dawn to Dusk - Rites and Rituals Exhibit sponsored by Caladan Gallery in Salem Mass in October 2004.

WISDOM, 8.5 x 11 drawing was exhibited in the"New Directions '04" National Juried Contemporary Art Exhibition October 23rd - November 20th, 2004 sponsored by the Barrett Art Center/Dutchess County Art Association, Poughkeepsie NY

"SECOND TRANSMISSION", 8.5 x 11 drawing will be exhibited in the 30th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition in March 2005 at Bradley University in Illinois.

"Omolu", 8.5 x 11 drawing, is being exhibited by Womanmade Gallery for the "Devils and Dolls" Exhibition in January 2005.