CHILLICOTHE — Lynn Carden has been creating works of art for over 40 years. This November she will be showcasing the history of her work at the Pump House Center for the Arts.

At 82 years old Carden is a passionate artist whose style and subject matter have changed over time as she continues to paint or sketch almost daily. As a college student, Carden was only able to work in black and white as the school was very traditional and made students practice drawing and using no color for two years before they could explore more. During this time she did lots of line work and paintings of the human body.

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While in school Carden said there were little to no female artists being featured in galleries. While women could make and study art they were often encouraged to quit to get married and raise a family. She even had a professor tell her that even though she was doing great in all her classes, she should look into stopping to become a homemaker.

A collection of painted works by artist Lynn Carden in her studio at her home on October 24, 2023, in Buouneville, Ohio. Carden will be showing a 60 years collection of her artworks in November at her upcoming show

While she let the discouragement stop her from following her passions, she continued to paint and learn more about art history. Even when she did take a break for several years to raise her family, Carden always kept a pinky in the art world.

“I had a confidence that I could make it,” said Carden. “Whatever ‘it’ is.”

Artist Lynn Carden stand in her studio among her painted artwork at her home Buouneville. Carden will show a 60 years collection of her artwork in November at her show titled

Whether it was a small luggage room on campus or a loft in a barn Carden has enjoyed the many studios she has had as she has moved around as they give her a place to create.

“It was heaven for me,” said Carden of her small loft studio.”

Now, at her home in Ross County Carden has a beautiful studio next to her house with large windows and skylights that let her look out into nature, her main source of inspiration.

These days Carden works primarily in watercolor, she has however started to use more oil-based paint since odorless versions came out. Almost all of her paintings and sketches are from the nature she sees in the area and on her travels. Much of her work also highlights small but amazing details she believes some people miss. For example, one series she has is of the hidden parts of plants including the roots, seeds and stems.

A collection of paintings by artist Lynn Carden are shown in her studio at her home in Buouneville.

Many of the botanical works by Carden are inspired by her garden as she planted different flowers and watched them grow and change over time. She would even take her supplies outside to capture the flower in its different stages of life. Her sketches showcase this love of nature, as she has several pages of the morning doves that roosted near her window.

“I find it quite beautiful,” said Carden of the small things in nature. “It is something happening before my eyes and I have to capture it.”

Since she is the only artist in this gallery Carden is able to showcase her bigger pieces, many of which are several feet in length and take up considerable amounts of space. Carden said she enjoys working on larger pieces more because it is a physical challenge.

Having painted for so many years and created thousands of works some would think it would be time for Carden to feel burnt out or uninspired, however, this could not be further from the truth. She still gets excited about putting the “beautiful” and “interesting” subject matters that she sees all around her into a painting.

Carden’s show will hold its reception from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the Pump House Center for the Arts. The show will continue to run through Nov. 26 with pieces being available for purchase. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 12 Carden will be at the gallery selling pieces of unframed work from her studio.

“I’m really grateful for this opportunity,” said Carden. “I feel very privileged to have been able to spend my life this way.”

Shelby Reeves is a reporter for the Chillicothe Gazette. You can email her at or follow her on Twitter@Shelby_Reeves_