The work at right, "Cascading Color," is as bright, bold, intriguing, complex and original as the person who painted it. I've known Linda in and around the art community of the Tri Valley area of Livermore-Dublin-Pleasanton in California for a few years now. And not only as an artist. Linda also has an interest in her community and served as Mayor of Dublin, CA as well as other elected offices. Her website offers a brief biography as well as a gallery of her work and information about where she exhibits her art work.
Linda graciously agreed to be interviewed and shared her thoughts on a few things.
Q: Are you currently involved in any political position now? Do you have plans politically for 2010?
Linda: I am still working to promote BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] to Livermore and to make sure that we make the right decision as to the route. I do not hold a political office now. I served my community for 17 years as an elected official. It gets in the blood to be active in the community so I will always do that.
Q: How would you define the term "abstract?"
Linda: Abstract art is any form that ignites a feeling, thought, or concept without showing a graphic representation of the subject. It could be the use of color to project a mood, or a certain texture to demonstrate an idea. When I did some research on "abstract" art for the LAA [Livermore Art Association] show at the library, I found as many definitions of abstract art as I found artists. Abstract is definitely an "in-the-mind" type of art. Where representational art is evident at first glance, abstract art invites introspection and study. I love to watch people look at my abstracts and hear their comments. Their observations are often different from my original concepts, but they find exciting interpretations that I find interesting. It just goes to prove that art is in the eye of the beholder.
Q: Why the medium of watercolor? What do you find it does for your artistic expression?
Linda: I use watercolor because of its fluidity and brightness. Originally I started with watercolor because I had heard that it was the most difficult to master. If I started out with an easier medium, I might not have gone on to learn other types of painting. I am currently experimenting with acrylic in conjunction with watercolor and having some success.
Q: What particular benefit do you find Yupo gives your work?
Linda: Yupo offers a painting surface that gives me new ways to be creative. The surface is slick, so paint does not necessarily stay where you put it. It is a challenge to mentally develop the concept that I want to portray and at the same time understand the properties of my paint as they interact to each other on the slick surface of Yupo. Every artist loves to get the "happy accidents." Yupo is full of them. With practice, painting on Yupo is a controlled experience that allows you to have fluidity that creates interest. With Yupo you have to be cognizant of paint thickness, drying times (and when to take advantage of dryness/wetness), and the chemical reactions of paints with each other. Because the paint is not absorbed by Yupo, as with other papers, the colors sit on the surface and are much more clear and bright.
Q: Is there an artist [historical or current] who inspires you?
Linda: I am inspired by many artists and have a large collection of art literature. One of my favorite modern artists is Judith Greenberg. Her work is watercolor. She understands abstract and is not afraid to venture into mixing media. I think any type of painting is interesting and I have learned from all types. A recent trip to the Louvre in Paris was a wonderful experience. I saw [works by] Degas, Gauguin and many of the other past masters. Each has a painting signature to be admired.
Linda: Recently I have been experimenting with mixed media. I am using acrylic and watercolor on Yupo and regular watercolor paper. Also, I have been incorporating some ink in my work. I love to play. Experimenting is fun.
One of Linda's representational works at right: "Dijon Square"
My thanks to Linda and I so agree with her points about abstract art and experimentation. It's funny, but my earliest lessons in art were while watching my grandfather paint. He painted seascapes and California missions primarily. Funny because I ended up being an abstract colorist - for me it is all about manipulating colors and forms/shapes. For him it was expressing his vision of what he saw. His painting style for his seascapes was raw - he used a palette knife and you could feel the spray coming off the waves as they hit the rocks he painted. As the observer his seascapes I could see the colors and the shapes...I think this is what informed my early ideas about art.