We had the good fortune of connecting with Lynda DeGrow Kingsley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lynda, do you think college made a positive impact on your life and career? Do you think it was worth the price tag?
I went back to school as an older adult! I had already raised a family and run a family business and decided it was my time for art! I got a studio art degree from UNT at 57. Studio art at UNT changed the way I think about art. They forced me to think differently, to use materials differently. They taught me to think outside the box. I think that was invaluable to my art and my art career. But I was wise about spending funds on college! I took every class I could at Collin College, where classes cost just a fraction of what UNT cost. They have an excellent art program at Collin. They actually have a foundry where I learned the “ Lost Wax” method of sculpture and a printmaking lab! You do not want to start life as an artist with 100K in student debt on your head! My son went to SCAD, an incredible art school, by sending in a video of his art work and received a 90% art scholarship! If you do want to go to an expensive art school, look at every avenue to get funding!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am equally known as a gardener. My art reflects the passion I have for all things organic in nature- leaves, rocks, flowers, seed pods. My business card says “ Organic Abstracts”. I started out by painting close-ups of flowers, so close at times, looking abstract. And this has morphed into 3-D watercolors abstractly bringing nature into mind. I am always taking pics of plants and leaves, and in combination with rusted objects and peeling paint. I find the juxtaposition of deterioration against the freshness of a newly opened flower or leaf fascinating! My work continues to morph. I’m finding new ways of creating in organic watercolors and papers in my 3-D pieces!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live a 1/2 mile from Downtown McKinney, and we have tons of fabulous places to see and eat at! I would sure include Spoons for down-home eats, is head to Ricks for incredible steak and Harvest and Square Burger for high-level chef treats! Then head to the Pantry for some pie and Snug for breakfast . My favorite place downtown is LAST Gallery, there are over 40 artists represented there. We have a ton of variety and frankly, much lower prices than most galleries! And you can see my work there! And don’t forget to stop by Pump for designer shoes, Cotton Hearts for beautiful clothes and lots of antique stores!! And frankly my Granddaughter would yell at me if I didn’t mention the candy store! Actually we have 2 downtown!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
David Collins and Josh West were my most influential professors and artists at UNT!

Website: Ld kingsley.com
Instagram: Lynda Kingsley
Facebook: Lynda DeGrow Kingsley
Other: Email: Degrowkingsley@gmail.com