Linda’s Letters

Dust Bunnies

Dust Bunnies

 

We love our house in Cave Creek, Az.  It has high ceilings,  big windows, lots of light, beautiful landscaping and everywhere you look, a glimpse of our Sonoran Desert.  The ten years that we have lived here, I have not regretted one moment of living here.

The casita that I put my dubs on for a studio, however, was a bit of a problem.  It had southern exposure.  Yes, I had a large picture window in front of my easel, but nonetheless I was dealing with south light.  Luckily, there were  several trees already planted in the area which did give me some shade.  I called  a landscaper, and we designed an area in front of my window that would not only cut down on the south light, but the various bushes and plants we choose would attract the birds and animals.  We added a lovely big fountain, lots of shrubs, and more trees.  I call it the Budge sanctuary.  Every morning, I take out several large scoops of bird seed and scatter it in the sanctuary.  My efforts have paid off.  I have dozens of birds that visit every day.  We are often entertained by the local bobcat, a bunch of coyotes, deer and javelina.  I’ve put a hex on mountain lion.  It’s the perfect solution for a wildlife artist such as myself.  I draw a lot of inspiration from my special “south” window.

Linda’s letters

Bunny Browse

Bunny Browse

 

I went to a dinner party last night and was seated next to a person that was also a painter.  She told me that one of her biggest difficulties in getting started was choosing a subject.  That sometimes she would put off painting for days, sometimes weeks because she couldn’t think of what to paint.

When I was just a little girl, and painted the winning poster in a contest, I had selected rabbits.  Why?  I think my passion for animals is in my DNA.  As much a part of me as my passion for art.

For me painting what you love is important. I think if you are true to your passion and love, your creativity will simply flow.  I suggested to her that she sit down and list everything in her life that was a passion.  Was it flowers, scenery, still life, maybe portraits.  I will look forward to our next conversation and see what happened in her artistic life.

Linda’s Letters

a yearling buck in velvet standing in the Lupine

Lupine

 

As a kid in Utah, I collected unforgettable memories; the vision of clear, blue mountain lakes, the morning sun turning the world into a “golden time”, a moonlit night with moonbeams dancing thru the aspen trees, hearing a mountain stream bubble and froth over the rocks as it splashed it’s way toward the valley, seeing a doe standing very still with only her ears and nose twitching.  Leaving my world full of sights and sounds that now find their way to my canvas recreating those memories of light, drama and my experience of nature.

Over the years of exhibitions, art shows, studio tour shows, one questions seems to pop up over and over again, “Do you use photographs!”  Other than the obvious, can you actually pull a deer out of your memory banks or is the Modern world questioning the validity of realistic art.  “Did you use a photograph?”

I have been told that realistic art is simply copy art.  Anybody can take a photograph and copy it.  Boring!!!  Somehow, the painting becomes less important, because the artist used a photograph.  Copied!

But then isn’t landscaping painting, a copy, portrait painting, a copy, a still life a copy!  It isn’t something that you conjured up yourself, merely a copy!

I disagree.

Certainly memories remind me of those moments when I initially encountered the beauty of God’s creation.  And then, I would have the desire to put it on canvas, to share the experience, not as a coloring book experience, but to create a painting that is not only accurate, but has an emotional connection, a wonderment, an amazement, a feeling of awe for God’s world.

I may use a camera, but I don’t project or just copy.  I use a camera for information, a reference and for accuracy.

My husband and I visited the new western art Museum in Old Town, Scottsdale, Az.  To my absolute delight, they had a couple of Carl Rungius paintings on exhibit.  Looking at his moose painting, I felt like I had stepped into the actual scene.  As I was catching my breath, I felt enamored with his exquisite rendering of this painting, the masterful brush strokes and use of color.  An absolute master piece.  It’s a beautiful painting.  Beautiful because he understood what a moose was, where it lived, the beauty of his environment, and Rungius painted it not only with truth, but with his heart.

 

 

 

 

Linda’s Letters

I am often asked, do I use a camera”?

 

Yes, I do!  And I have a lot of fun photographing a number of things, although for my art, I do use it to capture wildlife.

I don’t often run into a wild animal that is willing to pose for me.  A lot of my photographs are the tail end of the story,

jumping thru the underbrush or disappearing over the hill. I rarely get a photo of wildlife that is posed perfectly.

This is where I have to insert a rather important statement.  Know more than the camera.  *Underlined twice!

I have taken comparative anatomy workshops, sketched at the zoo, observed wildlife in their own habitat, studied,

taken classes, taken workshops and read. I feel very comfortable moving legs, adjusting ears and tails and creating

Moonlight

Moonlight

expression.  So, if I don’t get the exact photo, I can create my own pose.

Linda’s Letters

June 17, 2015

 

Four elements of art….shape, value,  color and edges…..everything seems to fall within those perimeters.  When I first start thinking about doing a painting, I will first focus on shapes and how they fit within the boundaries my canvas has set for me.  What will this composition look like?  How will it hold the viewers eye  Are there any lines that fall off the edges of the canvas.  This is the time to answer all of our compositional questions as it is very difficult to change your direction in mid stream

This is the time to set up your center of interest as well.  All lines and shapes should lead to your center of interest.  So shapes can be an important element to start with.

Brand New

Brand New

There are shapes within shapes.  Say for instance you have brushed in the silhouette of a saguaro.  In order for that saguaro to look realistic, you will have to decide where the dark, mid tones and highlighted shapes of that saguaro will be placed.  Each piece of value and/or color is a shape of it’s own.  There relationship to one another will be like pieces of a puzzle coming together to form the total picture.

One good way of seeing all these shapes, particularly shapes with shapes is to squint your eyes.  I always laugh to think of the struggles I go thru to prevent wrinkles, and then turn around and tell you how important it is to squint.  Of well, life is full of contradictions.  Squinting for an artist is a good thing  Learn to squint?  It will somewhat blur your subject and give you the answers that you’re looking for.