Lynn Wells captures life with a pen and paper.
The Longview artist’s ink sketches and watercolor paintings offer a look behind the scenes at the Texas Shakespeare Festival as its 34th season gets underway.
“I was a graphic designer and I’m retired now so now I’m just having fun,” Wells said Thursday at the TSF Center on Houston Street.
She took out a fountain pen and sketchbook and began sketching Richard Sprecker, TSF’s sound designer and composer from Norman, Oklahoma, as he sat near the center’s main entrance.
Her artworks give an intimate look at the people who create the festival – seamstresses stitching together a costume, technicians rigging stage lights and actors concentrating at line readings.
“Right now, I’m just enjoying sketching. I do watercolor, I’ve done colored pencils in the past but I really enjoy the looseness and the freedom of just sketching. Now, I’m doing what I want to do, just for fun.”
Her passion for art complements her passion for TSF.
She’s been supporting the festival for 22 years, is a member of the TSF Guild and is a board member of the TSF Foundation. Drawing on her skills as a graphic artist, she has designed graphics for TSF and her sketches appear in this year’s ticket brochure.
When Raymond Caldwell, TSF founder and artistic director offered to pay her for her work, she instead requested to be allowed to sketch the company cast and crew as they worked.
In addition to her work for TSF, Wells is a member of Urban Sketchers East Texas, a group which meets twice a month to sketch events and scenes in the local area. She has done sketches of East Texas Symphonic Band, which helped inspire her to begin her TSF sketches.
“When you’re listening to great music and sketching, there’s nothing better than that. That’s kind of where I got started and it just snowballed,” she said.
“I’ve been involved with the festival for so many years and it just grew into that.”
As she completes more sketches in the leadup to the festival, Wells is looking forward to see this season’s plays when it’s time for the curtain to rise.
“I’m really looking forward to ‘Born Yesterday’ because that’s one of my favorite movies and I would just love to see it onstage.”