Emerging Artists: Irene Lynch

Cape Cod Art  /  Annual Art 2018 / ,

Writer: John Greiner-Ferris

Little art, lot of heart

Artist Irene Lynch grew up on the beaches of Cape Cod. When she was 5 years old, her mother was taking her to the beach and told her how lucky she was that she could go to the beach whenever she wanted because some children’s mothers only took them to the beach two weeks out of the year. Five-year-old Irene said those mothers are so mean.

When Lynch was considering changing her major from business to art, her mother also impressed on her that it was important to love what you do, and art was what she loved. Then, five weeks of studying painting in Florence, Italy awakened her to a world she never imagined. There, she was inspired by the street artists and was introduced to watercolors, and she loved how portable watercolors are: She could take them to the beach.

She could also take her sketchbook to work at a Cape Cod restaurant, and when things were slow she could sketch. Once, she accidentally left her sketchbook behind, and the next day her co-workers all wanted one of her drawings. “That’s when I realized I could sell my work,” she says. Lynch began selling her work at the Wellfleet Flea Market, Cottage Street Bakery and Knotty Anchor. She was amazed that people wanted to buy her paintings of what she thought of as typical, recognizable Cape Cod scenes, and that they gave them such joy. For example, there was the woman who bought a scene of the place where she told her husband she was pregnant with their second child.

At first she sold her original paintings, but later she learned to print them, making copies and setting a reasonable price. “I want my art to be affordable,” she explains. She also does commissions of people’s favorite Cape scenes. “It’s fulfilling for me that people take home a little part of me,” she says. “Every painting is how I saw the world that day through my eyes, what I thought was beautiful that day. ”

Lynch’s paintings are small—she sells her prints at 4” x 6” and 8” x 10”. “Small works aren’t intimidating,” she says. Through her work, Lynch celebrates the Cape in her own small way. “I think I’ve found my place,” she says.

See more of Irene Lynch’s work at or @irenelynchart on Instagram.

John Greiner-Ferris

John Greiner-Ferris is a writer and playwright. He is the co-founder of Boston Public Works Theater Company and the founding artistic director at Alley Cat Theater. John has written many articles for Cape Cod LIFE over the years, including artist profiles for our annual Cape Cod ART issue.