by Sarah A. Peterson-Camacho
Edgar Allan Poe wrote of a portrait artist who could capture the soul of his subject inside the portrait itself, and Fresno portraitist Lynn Hock-Napoli is capable of the same—though not in the macabre sense. After almost 20 years as a ballerina, Hock-Napoli transformed her knowledge of human form and movement into an award-winning career that has spanned almost three decades.
KRL: How did you get your start as an artist? How long have you been doing portraits?
Lynn: I started painting after an almost twenty-year career in ballet, which ended in injury. My grandmother was a Signature Fine artist with the Society of Western Artists (S.W.A.) at the time; I asked her to teach me how to paint in 1988. I studied with her for several years, and when she passed, I was taken under the wing of Lorraine Walter, a graduate of Otis Art Institute and also a Signature member with S.W.A. She was my friend and mentor for almost twenty-five years; I have been painting almost thirty years.
KRL: Did you always have an interest in art, and painting in particular?
Lynn: No, it wasn’t until I started working in an art gallery that it piqued my interest; I was surrounded by beautiful work by wonderful artists.
KRL: Who is your favorite artist and why?
Lynn: Lawrence Alma Tadema; his work is full of life, skill, and beauty.
KRL: Whose work inspires you the most?
Lynn: William-Adolphe Bouguereau, an amazing French artist who had the ability to capture the translucence of skin on canvas; William Paxton, for capturing life in the late nineteenth century in figure painting; and Nancy Guzik, an amazing impressionist from New Hampshire. I had the honor of being invited to one of her workshops, and I learned so much from her.
KRL: What mediums do you work with? What is your favorite medium?
Lynn: I work in both oil and pastel; however, I prefer pastel due to the vibrancy of color.
KRL: How long have you been at Fresno Soap Co.?
KRL: Where have you exhibited your work locally and abroad?
Lynn: I was invited to show and did so, in the N.Y. Art Expo in Manhattan in 2015, and have been invited back. I have shown as far away as Australia, and have works in private collections as far away as Italy.
I have won several awards at Big Fresno Fair and also in the Alliance of California Artists group show. My most special one was when Nancy Guzik invited me to her workshop at the Scottsdale Artists’ School in Arizona.
KRL: What themes and emotions are at play in your work? What themes speak to you the most?
Lynn: The emotions at play in my work are the love of beauty, movement, and form. I want to bring my love of the human soul to expression; that’s why I love painting ballet dancers and portraits.
KRL: Any upcoming events/exhibits you’d like our readers to know about?
Lynn: I will be demoing at Fresno Art Hub on Thursday, June 7, from 5-7:30 p.m. at 2024 Van Ness Blvd. I also will continue with ArtHop on every first Thursday of the month, and various pop-up events.
For more information on Lynn Hock-Napoli and her work, please visit her Facebook page.