The second contest of the “Artist of the week” was full of interesting participations and surprises, as we had again two talented winners and three winning artworks. Linda Dunbar, a talented painter who lives in Tulsa, is the one of the two winners. She participated in the contest with her two works, “The Blue Birds” and “Pansies in copper pot”, and both her paintings gathered the same votes with the drawing of the other winner, Miro Gradinscak. Today, we will meet Linda Dunbar, who I think she is the perfect example that talent and creativity will always find the way to be expressed and bloom.
FAWbyJWP. Would you like to tell us few words about yourself and your life as an artist for introduction.
Linda. Being an artist was not necessarily something I chose to do, but something that chose me. When you have this drive to create, you cannot seem to help yourself from doing it. Even the years I had no paints or other good artistic supplies, I still found ways to either draw or create art in some way or another. I used to get scolded in school for doing detailed pencil sketches of my friends instead of paying attention in class. As a mother there was never time to sit and paint, but when my children were grown and on their own, I began oil painting. This is only my third year to paint, but I am trying to make up for lost time!
FAWbyJWP. What do you think that played a significant role to your decision to become an artist and expose your work?
Linda. There were no art classes in my school growing up, so all I knew was mostly what I learned by doing. Then my family gave me the gift of lessons and supplies and now it is my life. Recently I studied at the prestigious Scottsdale Artist School in Scottsdale, Arizona. There I studied under the American Master, David Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, Rose Frantzen, (Who had a showing at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and Greg Kreutz. They shared so much and helped me begin to gain confidence in my work. Locally I study each week with a teacher and attend local workshops with Derek Penix and Kelli Folsom, both award winning painters. Derek has helped me begin to explore the more loose impressionistic style I have currently been enjoying.
FAWbyJWP. Could you explain how and why you choose the themes and the mediums you use?
Linda. My preferred medium is oils, but I have tried and enjoyed just about everything from acrylics to pastels. As to how I developed any theme, I am not there yet. Still learning what makes a good composition and what does not. Certainly some things are just more appealing to me and that now is what tends to lead me in any certain direction.
FAWbyJWP. How do you think that your work differs from the rest artists, who are so many here on FAA, but also in the internet and in the market?
Linda: Certainly I must admit to having to learn so much and gain confidence to share my work with the public. Each work becomes such a part of your and at first you don’t believe you could ever part with them. Then as you paint, the fear subsides and you realize the paintings are not the most important part of it. The most important part to me is the process.
FAWbyJWP. Do you think there is a key element to success and what are your goals in this year, regarding the promotion of your work?
Linda. Right now my goal is to paint at least one or two small paintings or studies each day. I want to explore light and air and movement. To be successful, you must put in the hours of work and study. After all, it is called Art WORK! Much time is needed to hone the craft of painting and develop eyesight. My hope is to really put in the time to study each day in one form or another..
FAWbyJWP. If you could choose any work of art, classic or contemporary, that have inspired you most, what would you pick and why?
Linda. There is no one reason for art and no one style of art that is more relevant than another in my opinion. I love all good art and get inspiration from many of the 19th century painters, however I am still mystified by multi media abstract art even though I don’t believe that will ever be my style.
FAWbyJWP. Do you believe that art of any kind can make the world a better place?
Linda. Yes, art does make the world a better place and I feel united with artist all over the world. I was saddened to learn so many artist were aboard the Malaysian airliner that is missing. We artist feel a kinship with each other.
FAWbyJWP. If you could share a quote or a word that inspires you most, what would say?
Linda. I have several favorite quotes, ‘Painting, unlike music, rarely runs in families’ David Leffel. On how to get a painting in a gallery, ‘Simple, you need to paint a masterpiece!’ Greg Kreutz. And my favorite, ‘Every time I paint a portrait, I loose a friend!’ John Singer Sargent.
FAWbyJWP. Would you like to add something more for the end?
Linda. My hope to help and encourage other artists and to share the journey as it develops for me. I am learning that no all artist are willing or able to share and that’s okay, but for me I want to be part of the community and grow with each other.
Linda Dunbar is currently living in Tulsa, Oklahama, and she is a member of the Oil Painters of America and The American Impressionist Society. You can find Linda and all her beautiful artwork in her site.