Do you have something you’re drawn to time after time? Perhaps it’s landscapes, flowers, the human form or something more abstract, such as color, line or texture? Early in 2016, I began to explore chairs as an ongoing theme in my work. Doing so allowed me to work with a whole variety of mediums and approaches while keeping a consistent thread throughout my work. A signature, if you will.

I’ve always liked chairs. From a structural point of view, the chair divides space into interesting positive and negative patterns. It’s something that has always intrigued me.

Who doesn’t relate to a chair in some fashion? We all have at least one favorite. Perhaps, one for reading and another for watching TV. We can often identify a person by their favorite chair. I have a small wing chair that belonged to my great-grandmother. And I always envision my father in a simple office chair or a straight back wood farm table chair.

Chairs have personalities just like people, so it’s not surprising the chair’s structure is named after the physical characteristics of the human form. Chairs have seats, backs, arms, legs and feet. They also have shoulders and knees, and some even have knuckles and toes. A few might even have faces.

Because of the intimate relationship between chairs and people, there is a long history of using the chair as a metaphor for much of the human condition, particularly the “empty” chair. Loss or absence on the one hand and anticipation or welcome on the other are rich themes to mine. What a wealth of possibilities to explore!

If you are looking for inspiration, then look no further than your own interests. Consider fleshing them out by experimenting with different approaches and mediums. No matter your discipline — writer, dancer, or visual artist — this is a great way to explore a theme. So go for it!

Warmly, Lynn

Untitled 1969, Lynn Foskett Pierson

Abstract painting of a chair in shades or blue, pink, purple, black, titled Carnaval by Lynn Foskett Pierson, 2018.

“Carnaval” 2018, Lynn Foskett Pierson

Lynn Foskett Pierson, PCF Artist in Residence.
Lynn Foskett Pierson

Lynn Foskett was born in South Florida in 1949. She grew up and attended schools all over the U.S. and abroad. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from Northern Illinois University. Since moving back to Florida, Pierson has been active in the Tampa Bay arts community. She currently serves as the Artist in Residence for Pinellas Community Foundation.