Lynda Youmans, whose paintings can now be seen in the upstairs gallery at the Merritt Bookstore, began painting seriously only a few years ago. Although she used to draw with her sister when they were children and later studied art at college, marriage and a family left too little time for painting to be anything more than a pastime.
Six years ago Youmans enrolled in a class at the Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie. First it was one class a week, then two and before long she was working at her painting every day. Later she took art classes in Woodstock, NY. She now lives full time in Stanfordville and takes the train into the city two days a week for classes at the Art Students League.
In the last two years Youmans has been concentrating on portraiture taking classes from the realist painter, Beth McKenzie. Nonetheless her exhibition at Merritt Books is comprised of landscapes as well as portraits. Youmans works in both pastel and oil. Although she feels more proficient with pastel, her oils are especially evocative of Hudson River scenes. I especially liked her painting of sunflowers past their prime as well as two scenes of the Vanderbilt Mansion on the river.
This is Youmans’ second exhibition at Merritt Books. She also shows her work at the Artists’ Co-op of Hyde Park which she says provides great support for area artists.