Lynn Rathbun

Artist Biography

Born in 1943 in Washington, D.C., Lynn grew up in an artistic household. In 1956 her family moved to Beirut, Lebanon and spent subsequent years in the Sudan and Italy. Lynn studied French and Italian in Italy, attended secretarial college in England, studied biology and art at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., the University of Maryland, Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts, and Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida.

As a consequence of her diverse educational experiences in the U.S. and abroad , Lynn was employed simultaneously as a scientific researcher and an artist (she has been published in both capacities), and was encouraged to pursue those dual interests when she met the zoologist/writer/illustrator Gerald Durrell. While doing research on monkeys at the National Zoo, Lynn met her biologist husband, Galen. The two subsequently moved to Central Florida, and in 1985 to Piedras Blancas Lighthouse for three years, before moving to Cambria. Galen's fieldwork on endangered species has enabled the Rathbuns to travel to exotic places around the world. Since 2000 they have spent several months every year in southern Africa.

"I began my career as an artist doing scientific illustrations in pen and ink. As my abilities grew, I experimented with different media (watercolor, colored pencil, gouache, acrylic) and subject matter, and have now arrived at the point where I really enjoy painting in oil and pastel."

"People often ask me why I don't stick to one particular style or subject. It may seem strange, but the subject matter determines the medium that I use, and the medium often affects my style. Also, my creativity is inspired by my surroundings, including the people, places, animals, and by-products of human culture. This can be confusing to people who are not used to it.

"In my work, through the use of line and color, I try to bring a new level of emotion, feeling and pleasure to everyday places and the natural world."