Julie Ray (520) 891-8098

March 14, 2016

Octogenarian artists present fine art website for their second act

(Tucson, Ariz.) — Creating art has always been essential to Sydney and Vince Flynn, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in June. As octogenarians, they’ve joined the online marketplace, launching in December. Their work includes acrylic, watercolor, and mixed-media paintings, as well as pen and ink drawings.

The couple’s collaboration began in 1956, when Sydney was the art editor and Vince was the fiction editor at the Arizona Kitty Kat, the now defunct University of Arizona campus humor magazine.

Sydney received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art from the University of Arizona; in fact, she was the first ever MFA from the UA art department.

Vince was a self-taught artist, but he was always dabbling, says Sydney. “He was known as the real artist to our friends, who would wait to receive Christmas cards he designed every year, usually, portraying the three wise men.”

“I wanted to become an illustrator,” says Sydney. “My two very different interests were cartoons in the style of Hilary Knight and Ronald Searle, and dark scenes from mystery movies and horror stories.

After Sydney completed her graduate degree, she worked as an illustrator at Hallmark Cards, drawing cartoon babies, cartoon Victorian kids, and long Searle- style skinny women. Everything seemed to be leading toward a career as a cartoonist-illustrator.

Instead, in 1966, Sydney and Vince married in San Francisco, where she taught K-12 art and Vince taught English. With her new husband, “I was up for all that travel,” says Sydney.

After decades of teaching in international schools, from Tokyo to Vienna, and Madrid to Karachi, the couple settled in Tucson eight years ago. But retired, they’re not. They quickly got involved in local theater ⎯Vince as a director and Sydney as an actor. They’re both playwrights, who are active with the Tucson Alliance of Dramatic Artists (TADA!), the Community Playhouse, and Old Pueblo Playwrights. One of Vince’s plays will be presented at the upcoming OPP New Play Festival.

Whether sharing their writing and acting, or offering their artwork online, the Flynns agree, “There are so many benefits to an artistic lifestyle⎯from creating a painting to making someone happy to own it.”