Lynn Karlin, Journey to fine art photography

I am hard pressed to write about my interview with Lynn. So moved by her work, accomplishments, style, I feel her story of 40 years as a photographer would be better as a book. Lynn approaches life with determination and  flexibility. Her manner: attentive and bright.

Eggplant with Cauliflower by Lynn Karlin

Eggplant with Cauliflower by Lynn Karlin

Lynn Karlin graduated from Pratt University in Brooklyn. Quickly realizing what it would take to “make it” as a fine art photographer, she switched tracks and put her energy to commercial work. As is the case with many artists, the need to support oneself took precedence. She spent 13 years in New York City, building her reputation and career.

'Reliance' Peaches by Lynn Karlin

‘Reliance’ Peaches by Lynn Karlin

A visit to Maine resulted in a change in environment and marital status when she met her prospective husband, moved to the Blue Hill area, and purchased property next door to Scott and Helen Nearing. ” Maine Farm, A Year of Country LIfe,” written by Stanley Joseph, features Lynn’s photographs of their farm and life together.  If you are the fortunate owner of a copy, you may have just an inkling of her connection to the land.

'Summer Crisp' Pears by Lynn Karlin

‘Summer Crisp’ Pears by Lynn Karlin

Later came several iconic books of  Maine gardens, well-known and loved and still available.

'Snow Crown' Cauliflower by Lynn Karlin

‘Snow Crown’ Cauliflower by Lynn Karlin

It is Lynn’s recent work that completely enthralls me. Six years ago she brought home a purple cauliflower from the farmers market and there began the “Pedestal Series”. Her intention: to honor vegetables, placing them at a higher level than we normally think of them, giving them deserved recognition.  The style of the Dutch Masters is evident in her work. She employes strong directional light and a painterly quality.

Wild Ramps by Lynn Karlin

Wild Ramps by Lynn Karlin

We scanned her website, choosing images to include here. It was difficult to decide. Each was unique, engaging, striking. Then Lynn pointed out a large framed work on her mantel. I was completely taken aback! I felt the work was in its rightful place there. Elevated to yet another level of importance. The sculptural design elements inherent in the vegetable was impressive. Lynn’s treatment of such, equally so.

Garlic Scapes by Lynn Karlin

Garlic Scapes by Lynn Karlin

“I feel like I am an artist now,” said Lynn.  I had to smile. After so clear a success for many years, to just now feel as an artist. She explains, “I am now doing something for me, I take pleasure in my work now, I enjoy it. Hours go by without my knowing it. Everything I worked toward has come together in this series.”

Lynn Karlin

Lynn Karlin

Lynn Karlin’s work can be see at Maine Farmland Trust at a solo exhibit entitled, “Attention to Detail.” The show will be on display from June 13-July 14, 2014, opening reception June 20, from 5:30-8:00pm.

Her work can also be seen this summer at Islesford Dock Gallery on Little Cranberry Island. See website for details.



Karen Olson

About Karen Olson

Karen Olson is a photographer, writer, and artist working in metal. Her blogs offer a global perspective, a celebration of art and culture. She 'lives like a tourist' in Midcoast Maine where she makes her home and finds inspiration for art and life in her travels. Follow her creative passion with Renuko Style at and Coastal Collage, a Bangor Daily News Blog at Karen's photography portfolio can be found at