Lynda W. Nicholson, of Laguna Beach, passed away quietly at her home in late January 2016 at the age of 81. A free spirit with a passion for life and art, their beauty and complexity, their mysteries and chaos, she will be missed dearly by family, friends and the community.
Nicholson moved to Laguna in 1976 to pursue her interest in ceramics and her love of the ocean. Responding to the artistic atmosphere, she began taking pottery classes at the Laguna Beach School of Art. And for the next 20 years, participated in the Sawdust Festival (ca 1977-1989) and Festival of Arts (1986-1996) for her ceramics. Her work was also commissioned for a local hotel and represented in the gift shops of the Laguna Beach and Newport Harbor Museums.
A life-long learner and adventurer, Nicholson was always traveling and taking classes in art (printmaking, silk painting, watercolor, plein air, figure drawing, collage, jewelry-making, and ceramics). At age 62, she was chosen as a ship’s mate to journey 18 days on a 65 foot racing skiff, the Alaska Eagle, from Tonga to Fiji. A “dream come true,” she announced, beaming.
Perhaps as a foretelling of the artist she was to become, at 17 (1951) she wrote a composition titled “Watercolor,” a description of a foggy morning by the ocean where “the opposite shore was blotted out by the fog, making the sea climb right up into the sky,” and “the sun seemed to slide through these elements,” “transforming” the scene into a continuous, vertical “glowing brilliance” of yellow and “tints of the lightest blue.” The finale of the composition read, “It was a freshly painted watercolor that should have been hanging in a yellow room.”
Nicholson was the youngest child of two, born to Ken and Marcella Nicholson in Robinson, Ill. She grew up in Long Island, N.Y., and graduated from Huntington High in 1952. In 1956 she graduated from Bucknell University, and later that year, age 22, she married Terrance H. Tennant and moved to Claremont, Calif., to raise a family.
At the time of her passing, Nicholson was survived by her three children, Katy Brian (Mark) of Park City, Utah, Tracy Tennant (Chuck) of Riverside, and Alex Tennant (Taryn) of Dana Point; grandchildren Krissy Brian, Jacky Brian and Riley Tennant.
Please consider making a donation in Nicholson’s name to the Laguna College of Art and
Design: http://www.lcad.edu/give/, or other art-inspired institution. Messages of celebration of Nicholson’s life may be sent to: [email protected] or by post in care of Tracy Tennant, 5758 Eugene Street, Riverside, Ca., 92506.
A favorite poem: “If I Wanted a Boat”, by Mary Oliver in “Blue Horses,” 2014 Penguin Press.
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