Linsley Lambert

 Artist Statement

Since childhood, I have been obsessed with portraiture. I am intensely curious about people, and since it is socially unacceptable to stare, I do my staring through painting a person or animal’s image. The portrait is a meditation upon the psychology of my subject, through which I desire to reach an understanding of them. I want to convey an essence or truth of their unique reality. At other times I manipulate the image to convey my own message, using that person as my alter ego.

I particularly like to portray intensity, sometimes combined with subtle humor, in my work. In some of my pieces I take images from art history and play with them. At one point, I represented celebrity hockey players as quasi religious icons from the early Renaissance, poking fun at humanity’s ever persistent need for tangible gods.

Making these paintings relevant to today, as well as communicating something universal, yet individual, about humanity is my intention. My aspiration is for each painting to have an impact which will remain with the viewer long after s/he has examined it.


1975 BFA Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
1974 Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, Summer Session
1971 University of California, Los Angeles


Linsley Lambert has concentrated on the portrait since she was able to pick up a crayon. Her first two years of training were spent in the Art Department at UCLA. Seeking to further diversify her artistic background, she transferred to Carnegie Mellon University, where she received a BFA in painting.

After college she moved to Los Angeles from her childhood home near New York City. At that time, the Punk/New Wave scene was just getting started, and all her art friends were forming bands. Sadly, having little musical ability of her own, she channeled that era’s energy and angst into a Francis Bacon-esque style of painting/drawing.

After some time she was compelled, without understanding why, to return to realism (which had always been easy for her). Thus, she came back to her roots, understanding that psychological realism was her true, most satisfying mode of communication. She has been painting detailed, intense, sometimes playfully ironic, portrayals of people and animals ever since.

Lambert has shown in California and Europe, and also accepts commissions. She recently completed a series of 33 portraits for Carnegie Mellon University, depicting their most illustrious donors.