Lindy Severns Bio

Lindy Severns
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James Fox
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David Loren Bass
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Paul Chaplo
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I first saw Lindy Severn’s vibrant paintings in an exhibition at the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine, Texas and was immediately struck by their freshness and attention to detail. She has an amazing ability to capture both the bold colors and dramatic formations of the far West Texas landscape, but also the subtle variations in light and shading. Working in pastels, a very difficult medium to master, she can skillfully present the grandest of vistas, but she also equally masters the most delicate details of sand, rock, and grass. She is particularly adept at painting the western sky in all of its drama and color. When I look at Lindy’s work, I feel an immediate kinship with her vision and love of the western landscape. MD

“This is the place I was born to paint—Far West Texas is a land of introspection, of silent majesty. I paint to share that. Besides being a regionalist artist, I consider myself as a ‘sky painter’. My years as a pilot, weaving through cloud formations, bursting out of gloom into dazzling sunlight bestowed an unexpected gift: I know clouds like I know the terrain I hike. I don’t underestimate the skies I paint. When I look up, I see mountains in the sky, or doorways toward heaven, or tumbling, roiling, feathery stepping stones to infinity. That’s the world I want my viewer to step into.”

That is how artist Lindy Cook Severns describes her approach to painting the beauty of the West Texas landscape. Lindy specializes in pastels and brings to her art not only the technical mastery of a difficult medium, but also a deeply felt connection to the subjects she interprets. Her artistic inclinations were nurtured early on by her mother who taught her to draw when she was a preschooler. She also developed an early talent for the business side of art when she sold crayon drawings of Santa Claus to her elementary school classmates for their milk money. She continued honing her artistic skills through high school and college, but she switched her major from studio art to English and biology because she felt that her instructors at Texas Tech University were intent on pushing her away from representational art.

After college, she took another step away from the art world and became a pilot. For many years, she flew alongside her husband, Jim, as the co-pilot of a corporate jet. She survived a near-fatal plane crash with a renewed sense of energy and joy for life. Shortly after recuperating from the crash, she once again turned attention to developing her natural skill as an artist. She took classes from Lubbock artist, Peggy Benton Young, and later with renowned Santa Fe artist, Albert Handell. She credits both artists as major influences on her present career.

By 1980, Lindy was splitting her time and talent between painting and flying. In 2004, she and Jim made a momentous decision. They left their jobs as corporate pilots, sold their house in Lubbock, bought an RV, and began traveling the country. A stop in Fort Davis in far West Texas led to the decision to call that part of the state home. Lindy now has a studio tucked among the pinon and oak on a friend’s Davis Mountains ranch. She and Jim frequently hike the area, as well as the nearby Big Bend region. Lindy now captures the beauty and subtlety of the land and sky of a rugged piece of West Texas in her brilliantly colored pastels. Her time spent as a pilot allows her a deeper understanding of the nuances of the colors and light of the Southwest landscape. She and Jim no longer traverse the western sky as pilots, but Lindy continues to interpret both land and sky with a unique style and skill. Her pastels eloquently underscore her words—“this is the place I was born to paint.”