I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

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Friday, December 7, 2012


I remember a woman from church visiting my mother when I was little.  I sat on the floor in the living room with my wooden blocks and listened to them talk.  I looked up at the woman and knew she was plotting and lying, and my childish self did not approve.  She looked down at me and knew I didn’t approve too.  She got rather snappy and irritable and started suggesting improvements for me.  I continued to play with my blocks, but I watched the women out of the corner of my eye.  I knew nothing good was going to come from “improvements”.

I don’t know why I remember this.  My memory is littered with little moments like this.  I’m just a little kid playing with blocks.  I’m not a threat to you, but if your actions can’t take the light of a little kid’s observations, you need to look inside and fix something about yourself.  It’s not like I said anything to that woman either, so I didn’t figure I merited improvements, but I started to catch on that I might be different.

Kids are wells that absorb all the groundwater.  They see everything, but they’re still close to creation, and have an innate sense of right and wrong.  A friend’s infant son gave me a look once when my friend and I parted ways for a while.  His look was sorrowful, with a little bit of the “you could fix this if you tried hard enough” thrown in for extra guilt.  He was right too, but it took us grownups a while to figure that out for ourselves.

Exploring isn’t just covering ground; it’s noticing what’s on the ground we’re covering.  Being an artist, and just being human, is a growth process.  First we learn how to repeat what we see, then we realize that just duplicating something isn’t enough.  We have to share our observations, and those observations aren’t just the surface of a perfectly painted canvas.  This is the same as saying that what someone looks like isn’t the same as knowing who that person is.

This was a very fast painting, or at least very fast for me. I was in a phase when I didn’t want to paint at all, and I had mixed feelings about the person I was painting. His dad asked why I made his forehead red. I laughed. “Why do you think his forehead is red?” Poor dad of the subject got a disturbed look on his face and didn’t answer. I think he had conflicted feelings too.

The painting is what it is.  Most of the time it hibernates in my box of stuff I don’t look at very often, and when I do see it, I get a little annoyed that it exists, or maybe that he exists.  But at the same time, the painting and the subject were lessons for me, something I explored – and every painting I’ve made is a part of the journal I keep of my life.

I look at this painting now and wonder how much of what I painted was subliminal or intentional.  When I’m in the zen of painting, they are often the same thing, and the act of it can lead me to greater understandings of things I don’t know how to understand without going through the process.  I need the deep meditations of making things with my hands and letting my mind get “into the flow” when I lose track of time and the present.

Non-artists often ask what’s going in artists’ heads, or what makes them different.  Maybe it’s as simple as artists have to observe and explore?


  1. I like this exploration and the two varieties of personality depicted here. (Sometimes it's not good to know what's going on in the head of an artist.... bwahahahahah!)

  2. Shhh Rand! We can't talk about that stuff without the secret handshake!

  3. I really love the 2 extremes of your art here Linda and as always the written stuff is just as enjoyable ;0)
    Jane x

  4. I think most of us have experience that kind of deeper understanding of others you are talking about here, without being able to consciously expression the feeling. Maybe that's why art in many ways becomes a link between the subconscious mind and our ability to express those feelings, simply because art is so much more subtle - or can be at least. And when you are indeed able to express those deeper sense through your art, that's when art becomes something magic. And yes, I think as kids we are more susceptible to these under currents.

  5. The wonderful thing about what we do is that we are explorers continually peeling back the onion skin and learning.

  6. The first sketch reminded me of Geof's Thanksgiving cover he created when he was 59 1/2 years old. The painting invoked a sense of Judas. The writing was insightful and thought provoking. Thank you!

  7. Judas fits, hence my mixed feelings :) I like Otto's observation that art can be a more subtle form of our expression. I often like painting things that make me happy, but there's something to be said for working out our deeper feelings with tougher subjects. We just can't really get away from those onion skins. Thanks for the comments everybody!

  8. It has a biblical look to me. I like the profile. And the red. The red is the Linda treatment. Something you saw that needed to come out.

  9. Your comments regarding children are spot-on, Linda! Another fascinating post!

  10. Linda, it has that biblical look to me, too! Maybe because he looks peaceful and I love the combination of colors that depict him and the mood(whether it was his mood or yours). :)

    Your experience as a child, sent a chill through me, since I had similar experience as a kid, too! Children are the conscience of the times, I just wished people spent more time listening to them, than telling them what to do ALL the time! You always open up the channels for deeper thoughts.

  11. Your drawing is similar to a drawing that I do as a signature on most of my letters and cards; the hair on mine is different though. :) Anyway, it's making me think about why I do it. Is it the child in me? Hmmmm...

    Your painting is sad. He may be the Judas that the the others have spoken of, but I still feel sorry for him because he is miserable and probably has to live with that always. That is the "character" I see.

    As for your childhood memories - strong and deep; makes me wonder what my kids will take with them into their adulthood.

  12. I draw that picture of myself on my cards too. When a friend made a comment on it this week, I thought I'd put it on the blog too. I don't want my friend to get me confused with some other Linda who gave her a card :)

    Kids do listen to more than what we pay attention to. It's just a reminder to all us grownups to do what's best instead of what's most convenient.

    Thanks for the comments everybody! It's so interesting to see what you think about things!

  13. Very interesting questions, and very interesting post. I think I am not very conscious when I am working on art projects. I'll have to pay more attention. I usually fall in love with whatever I am doing, with who the portrait becomes, so it might be tricky painting someone I had conflicting emotions about, but then I think perhaps even that might not matter, because in the process of making the drawing (for me, it's always drawings), it ceases to be about that person, and becomes process, and I am loving the lines and shapes and forms, and who the person was originally completely stops mattering....

    (Thanks for prompting these thoughts!)