Marcy artwork at courthouse gallery

M. Claire May

A transplant from California to Minnesota, artist Lynn Marcy vacationed often in the Black Hills. As a result, the Black Hills are a substantial inspiration for her artwork. Now residing in Custer, an exhibition of Marcy’s artwork is on display at Custer County Courthouse Art Gallery through March.
Marcy narrates her story.
“I have two sisters; I am the middle child. All three of us are quite ‘artsy.’ We learned it from our mom. We always had crayons, paper and paints. I remember many hours at the dining room table, working on projects, making cards and doing other craft projects.
“We moved many times and my junior year in high school I started a new high school again. The art department had no budget so we ended up oil painting all year. That was the beginning of my journey. I got an oil painting set and canvases for Christmas that year, 1971. I spent a lot of time painting. The picture on display of cattle, horse and rider was done that year.
“Eventually, I found my way to southwest Minnesota, met my husband Barry and we raised two boys. I was working in a dental office before retiring in 2011.
“We spent vacations in the Black Hills. We all love it here. We bought some property in the area and would camp on the lot. While my husband cleared the brush, I got out the paint and a canvas and did an oil painting of the driveway. I think there are still bugs stuck in the paint! That picture is on display [in the Courthouse Gallery]. We decided to move here and began laying blocks for our home the first week of June 2011. By October, we had done enough so we could move in. The little trailer was getting too cold.
“I have my mom’s watercolor paints (2009) and had them tucked away. Then, two years ago, I got them out and began watercolor painting. Inspiration comes from the world around me. For example, my husband and I have taken many motorcycle trips, and I get a lot of ideas from those trips.
“I lean toward the western culture. I love hats, boots and especially horses. Love everything about horses. A favorite, Pegasus, is also on display in the art gallery. The mediums I work with are oil paints, acrylic, watercolor, colored glass, kumihimo bracelets, evil eye protection bracelets and other craft projects.”
Kumihimo are a type of traditional Japanese cord. The cords are created by taking several bundles with dozens of threads each, wrapping them around bobbins, and then braiding them together in a diagonal crisscross arrangement. The cords have a long history: their origin in Japan dates to around 700 AD, coming from the Chinese continent and the Korean peninsula with Buddhism. For more information visit
The buffalo on leather developed while working her booth at the Annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup and Art Festival. You can find her artwork at Sturgis Hometown Market, Farmhouse Vintage in Hermosa and Enspired in Windom, Minnesota.    
Painting is therapeutic for Marcy.
“I have a longtime friend in California who says I have decorated her house over the years. Now that I’m retired I have time to paint,” she said. Likely, her best California friend forever will be receiving more Marcy artwork.
“I learn something while doing each painting. It could be something about myself or the world around me. I hope to do better with each painting. I am self-taught and have so much more to learn. Family and friends give me encouragement,” she said.
The gallery is accessible during regular courthouse hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. excluding federal holidays.


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