Lynda Norman was born in Kelowna British Columbia and is a self-taught artist. Her body of work primarily includes watercolour and alcohol ink, and ranges from subtle to vibrant, often incorporating elements of Abstract, Post-Expressionism and Fauvism, which, above all, valued individual expression - the artist's direct experience of her subjects, her emotional response to nature, and her intuition are all more important than academic theory or elevated subject matter.

Most of her paintings are created from an instinctive response, rather than a detailed study of her subjects, and she prefers to use colour to enhance or understate certain elements of her work.  Exploring the possibilities of colour, form and perspective in this way often results in an abstract look and feel.

Understanding that by combining elements of colour and shape, the viewer’s eye is encouraged to blend the colours so that each individual experiences the painting differently,  her work leaves her subjects and their relationships open to interpretation – an invitation to viewers to experience their own feelings and thoughts.

Lynda has always known that creativity is a natural part of being - that we are meant to fully participate in life on earth, and that we are meant to express and share our creativity.

Ban Draoi (pr Ban Dree) Studio is an extension of her vision to create opportunities for each and every person to experience the benefits of creativity in ways that are meaningful, fulfilling, healing, positive and essential to personal wellbeing and a thriving community. 

Her work has been shown at Worldbeat Gallery, The Marmalade Cat Gallery, Kelowna Arts Council Artist Corner, Arts on the Avenue Kelowna, and is currently on display at Ritchcraft Gallery and Fresh From the Farm in Kelowna.

 

Her popular workshops are available to all ages.

Painting with watercolours and creating art with alcohol ink are the main activities I enjoy in my home studio. I am particularly inspired by the natural influences of the world  - by what immediately surrounds me and by what I see and feel in my imaginings.

 

In 2016, Ban Draoi (pronounced Ban Dree), appeared as the name for my studio.  It means Female Druid, and although I am not a practicing member, much of what is Druidry resonates true for me. 

 

To give you a sense of what that is, here are some excerpts are from the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids:

…the greatest characteristic of most modern-day Druids lies in their tolerance of diversity: a Druid gathering can bring together people who have widely varying views about deity, or none, and they will happily participate in ceremonies together, celebrate the seasons, and enjoy each others’ company – realizing that none of us has the monopoly on truth, and that diversity is both healthy and natural.

Nature forms such an important focus of their reverence, that whatever beliefs they hold about Deity, all Druids sense Nature as divine or sacred. Every part of nature is sensed as part of the great web of life, with no one creature or aspect of it having supremacy over any other. 

Creativity - The goal of creativity is also central to Druidism because the Bards have long been seen as participants in Druidry.  Many believe that in the old days they transmitted the wisdom of the Druids in song and story, and that with their prodigious memories they knew the genealogies of the tribes and the stories associated with the local landscape.  

 

Today, many people are drawn to Druidry because they sense it is a spirituality that can help them develop their creativity. Rather than stressing the idea that this physical life is temporary, and that we should focus on the after-life, Druidism conveys the idea that we are meant to fully participate in life on earth, and that we are meant to express and share our creativity as much as we can.

Druidry’s reverence for Nature encourages us to love the land, the Earth, the stars and the wild. It also encourages a love of peace: Druids were traditionally peace-makers, and still are. Often Druid ceremonies begin with offering peace to each cardinal direction, there is a Druid’s Peace Prayer, and Druids plant Peace Groves. The Druid path also encourages the love of beauty because it cultivates the Bard, the Artist Within, and fosters creativity.

The love of Justice is developed in modern Druidry by being mentioned in ‘The Druid’s Prayer’, and many believe that the ancient Druids were judges and law-makers, who were more interested in restorative than punitive justice. Druidry also encourages the love of story and myth, and many people today are drawn to it because they recognize the power of storytelling, and sense its potential to heal and enlighten as well as entertain.

In addition to all these types of love that Druidism fosters, it also recognizes the forming power of the past, and in doing this encourages a love of history and a reverence for the ancestors. The love of trees is fundamental in Druidism too, and as well as studying treelore, Druids today plant trees and sacred groves, and support reforestation programmes. Druids love stones too and build stone circles, collect stones and work with crystals. They love the truth, and seek this in their quest for wisdom and understanding. They love animals, seeing them as sacred, and they study animal lore. They love the body and sexuality believing both to be sacred.

Druidism also encourages a love of each other by fostering the magic of relationship and community, and above all a love of life, by encouraging celebration and a full commitment to life - it is not a spirituality which tries to help us escape from a full engagement with the world…

 

You can learn more about Druid philosophy through The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids

 

I have always held a vision to create opportunities for each and every person to experience the benefits of creativity in ways that are meaningful, fulfilling, healing, positive and essential to a thriving community.

Currently, I coordinate the art and live music at the Marmalade Cat Café, freelance as a business start-up and development consultant, am the founder and organizer of OUR Coffeehouse, and am one of the partners and co-visionaries in Songwriters Stewdio Productions Inc.

 

In the fall of 2012, I, along with a small group of like-minded creatives, recognized the need in our community for art, culture and heritage to be offered in an inclusive and holistic way.  I formed The Association of Artists for Creative Alliance as a not-for-profit society and have continued, as the Executive Director, focusing my energies and knowledge in promoting arts and culture through the organization.  In July 2015, the ACA officially became Kelowna Arts Council. 

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