Artists of Note | Lillian Winkler

Reveling in the freedom and beauty of art

Lillian Winkler, Splendor, mixed media, 54 x 80.

Lillian Winkler, Splendor, mixed media, 54 x 80.

This story was featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Lillian Winkler was just 2 years old when she and her family emigrated from Croatia to Chicago, IL. Drawing and painting always came naturally to her, but Winkler’s parents discouraged her from pursuing fine art as a career. She eventually attended design school and became an interior designer. In the mid-1980s, she and her then-husband moved to California. “I really didn’t want to leave Chicago back then,” Winkler says. “But if I hadn’t, I don’t think I ever would have become an artist,” she muses. Soon after arriving in California, she got involved with the Laguna art scene, and she’s been painting ever since.

“I first started exhibiting my oil landscapes with the California Art Club,” she says. Later, while going through a divorce, Winkler was encouraged to experiment with her art. One day she started playing with the paint and found herself reveling in the freedom of abstraction. Today, Winkler creates both representational oils and abstract mixed-media works. “I love the challenge of going back and forth between the two,” she says, explaining that each style teaches her something about the other. “It’s kind of like being a musician who plays both classical and popular music.”

No matter what medium or style she paints in, Winkler’s inspiration has always come from the natural beauty of landscapes. “I love painting beautiful things, and I’m not ashamed to say it,” she says. “We see so much ugliness in this world—I think we all need a bit more of the beautiful in our lives.” —Lindsay Mitchell

Winkler’s work is at

Featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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