By Christine Cole
MOUNT DORA — Nobody has as much fun making art as Lynn Whipple, who paints, creates collages and uses mixed media to make herself and others happy.
The Winter Park resident once painted a self-portrait by placing the canvas at a distance from a mirror and roller-skating back and forth.
“You try not to control it too much,” Whipple said. “You create a space where something unexpected happens.”
The award-winning artist will be among 288 artists selling their artwork and vying for a portion of the $20,000 prize money at this weekend’s 41st annual Mount Dora Arts Festival. Tens of thousands of people from Central Florida and beyond will jam into downtown for Lake County’s signature event.
Whipple is known for her whimsical collages, in which she cuts into old photographs of people, changing their shapes and adding oddball embellishments, such as pointy hats, rabbit ears or glued-on objects.
“They celebrate our flaws,” she said. “Every time I make one, they make me want to laugh. Everything else has been built on that.”
Her newest work includes large, vivid paintings of flowers, which can include human legs as part of the bouquet.
“The legs were part of the underpainting,” she said. “Leaving them in made it funny for me. When I paint the florals, I play loud music. I move around — it’s like a dance. There is an enthusiasm to it, being in the moment.”