Norlynne Coar

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Meditation on Space, 2012 Oil On Canvas 60 X 48 X 2 Inches © Norlynne Coar
Meditation on Space 2, 2012 Oil On Canvas 60 X 48 X 2 Inches © Norlynne Coar
Meditation on Space 3, 2012 Oil On Canvas 60 X 48 X 2 Inches © Norlynne Coar
Meditation on Space 4: Fiat Lux, 2012 Oil On Canvas 42 X 52 X 2 Inches © Norlynne Coar
Quick Facts
Brooks Institute of Photography and Film, 1997, n/a
University of California, Santa Barbara
landscape, photography, figurative



Norlynne Coar, Artist

I am a searcher, wondering what lies beyond what I see. I am a dreamer, fantasizing about things that were, things that could have been or could be. The process of creating art takes me on a journey of discovery where sometimes the stars and planets align.

Nature paints with the greatest finesse, the grandest palette and the broadest variety of strokes. I look for something beyond what we see and know of this world and space. My journey there is not external. I look for it by traveling inward and attempting to discover it through the process of creating images. I cannot capture what nature paints, but I try to discover and convey another dimension or something else in my art. I am always looking for something beneath or beyond the surface; an experience, a feeling, understanding or insight. It may come as an allegory, a dream, a story, a fantasy or a vehicle that transports me to a place of joy or stillness, silence and peace.


My paintings usually include a grid structure. Sometimes the grid is horizontal, like a musical staff, and sometimes it is square, like a net. As in music, the horizontal structure provides rhythm or a beat for the imagery to flow. Free form meets structure; free form passes through structure. The structure inspires changes in coloration or density so that I see transitions like chord modulations within the piece. In a sense the image travels or passes time. The image of a net structure – or a square grid – is philosophically significant to me because it represents the interpenetration of all things, as characterized by the Buddhist parable of Indra’s Net:

Suspended above the palace of Indra -- the Buddhist god who symbolizes the natural forces that protect and nurture life -- is an enormous net. A brilliant jewel is attached to each of the knots of the net. Each jewel contains and reflects the image of all the other jewels in the net, which sparkles in the magnificence of its totality.[/quote]

The net or square grid provides the unifying framework for the image or images in my paintings, sometimes suspended in space. The square net brings back my memory of one summer day, when sitting outside a taverna on the Greek island of Amorgōs, looking at the terraced hills across the bay, I thought, “Someone, a person, built those walls by placing one rock on top of another, over and over; it must have taken forever.” Ancient walls built over how many centuries? These terrace walls virtually cloak the islands, as if to form nets that hold the islands onto the face of the earth. Extrapolating and moving out into space, the square net is like a measure for the symmetry of space, and structure for energy, and all that is or is not.


I love the notion of walking into color, becoming one with the color or entering space, like in a meditation. Sometimes I frame a field of color that is like a window. Other times I like to center one’s focus within the color with an image of an object or symbol. I like rich color density; layers of color, sometimes opaque hiding what is underneath; other times translucent, revealing indications of what lies beneath. When I print monotypes, I double drop the plates to create rich color density and to allow one image to penetrate another. Often the surface of my work is like the frosting on a cake: something else – mystery, shapes, images or other colors – lies beneath.


I love the ocean and the sky. They are at the heart of my inspiration, although my immediate environment, landscapes, figures and other natural objects populate my work. Themes that recur in my paintings usually originate in an oceanic environment – waves, divers falling freely or diving into water or space; swimmers; fish; personal memories and fantasies of experiences by the sea. At times the sky becomes my ocean. Recurring gestures or shapes in my work include an arc -- like the shape of a wing or an exultant Greek statue (La Nizza or La Victoire) -- which for me represents energy. Another is the Japanese ensō (a circle form similar to the Greek ouroboros or snake eating its tail). They symbolize the universe, the void, cyclicality, the eternal return and infinity.



2012 "South Bay Focus," juried show, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA

2012 "all media" juried show, Palos Verdes Art Center, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

2012  "CA101" Pop-Up Gallery, Palos Verdes Inn, Redondo Beach, CA

2011  Power of Art, AES, Redondo Beach, CA
2010 Easy Reader Photo Contest, Honorable Mention, Hermosa Beach, CA
1996 “Photographs” in collaboration with Margaret Nes, Edith Lambert Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
1994 “Sculpture at Bareiss, 1994” invitational exhibit, Bareiss Gallery, Taos, NM
1993 “Taos Spring Arts” juried show, Civic Center, Taos, NM
1993 “Voyeur” A Show of the Erotic”, Rod Goebel Gallery, Taos, NM
1993 “Monothon” and Exhibit, College of Santa Fe, NM
1992 “Infinite Landscape” invitational exhibit, ArtVentures, Santa Fe, NM
1992 “Monothon” and Exhibit, College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
1991 “Taos Sring Arts” juried show, Civic Center, Taos, NM
1990 “Taos Today, Taos Fall Arts Festival” juried exhibition, Civic Center, Taos, NM
1992 “Sculpture” invitational exhibit, Stables Gallery, Taos NM
1991 Art Expo (Joanne Chapelle / Editions Limited), New York, NY
1990 “Taos Today, Taos Fall Arts Festival” juried exhibition, Civic Center, Taos, NM
1990 Group Show, Courtyard Collection Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1989 Art Expo (Fidelity Fine Arts), Los Angeles, CA
1989 Art Expo (Fidelity Fine Arts), New York, NY
1988 Group Show, Toluca Lake Galleries, Burbank, CA
1988 Art Expo (Fidelity Fine Arts and Toluca Lake Galleries), Los Angeles, CA
1987 Art Expo (DesignArt), Los Angeles, CA
1979 Mujeres de Taos, Taos, NM
1979 Four Independent Artists, Old Taos Armory, Taos, NM
1979 “Mythic Masks” one person show, Clay & Fiber Gallery, Taos, NM
1979 “Open Awards” juried show, Stables Art Gallery, Taos, NM

Selected Collections


Embassy Suites, Portland, OR
Caesar’s Lake Tahoe, S. Lake Tahoe, NV
The Sahara, Las Vegas, NV
Westin Maui Resort, Maui, HI
San Francisco Hilton Hotel, San Francisco, CA
Alaska Hilton, Anchorage, AK
Marriott Beverly Heritage Hotel, Costa Mesa, CA
Taj Majal Hotel, Las Vegas, CA
Las Vegas Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, NV


San Diego University, San Diego, CA
Quad Galleries, Pewaukee, WI
AT&T, San Ramon, CA
Touchstone Films, Los Angeles, CA
NBC Studios, Burbank, CA
AtchIson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, City of Industry, CA / Albuquerque, NM
First Interstate Bank, Oakland, CA
Home Savings Bank of America, FL
Tampa Airport, Tampa, FL
Pete Marwick & Associates, Los Angeles, CA
Mellon McMahon, San Francisco, CA
CBS Television, “Dallas” grand finale
High Rise Productions, Los Angeles, CA


University of California Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
Kaiser on Sunset, Los Angeles, CA
Kaiser Permanente, San Dimas, CA


Kelly and Richard Rothschild, San Pedro, CA
Mary Spletter, Oakland, CA
Mary Williams, Redondo Beach, CA
Paul & Janice Johnson, Taos, NM
Dorsey & Whiteney, Minneapolis, MN
Florence Takeyama, San Diego, CA
Stern Neubauer, Santa Monica, CA
Michael Langer, MD, Los Angeles, CA
Linda Shuman, Chicago, IL
Mark Neubauer, Los Angeles, CA
Susan Williams, San Diego, CA
Esther Surden, North Caldwell, NJ
Dr. & Mrs. Jason Abber, Los Angeles, CA
Tim Rhode, Chicago, IL
Greg Kusic, Warren, NJ
Jerry Hendershot, Los Angeles, CA
Rick Halpern, N. Miami Beach, CA
Robert Cunningham, Littleton, MA
Dan & Mary Cowan, Stuart, FL
Dr. & Mrs. Art Garcia, Santa Fe, NM
Deborah Aitken, Redondo Beach, CA
Lyn Crowl, Taos, NM
Dr. Robert Bell, Santa Fe, NM
Rubin Aguilera, Los Angeles, CA
Kaiser Hospital, Montebellow, CA
Arda Darakjian & Paul Clarke, Redondo Beach, CA

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