Linda S. Watson is an award-winning artist whose tactile abstract paintings are inspired by the volcanoes of Hawaii, minerals and the cosmos. They celebrate the magical and mystifying relationship we have with our natural environment.
In this interview she shares her inspiration and offers some helpful advice to artists.
Born and raised in Northern California, Linda moved to the Big Island of Hawaii to continue the art career that began in San Francisco. Her undergraduate and graduate training included interdisciplinary studies in art history, studio art and art research. Her art has found its way into many art collections and a few galleries that have shown her work include the Palo Alto Cultural Center, the Mendocino Art Center, and the Olive Hyde Gallery. Linda is also a member of the curated online Artist Showcase Gallery at Manhattan Arts International. To learn more about her and her art visit her website at www.lindaswatsonartist.com
Linda, it’s amazing how your art reminds us of the vast universe that exists beyond the realm of our comprehension. When did you first become interested in creating art and why?
Iʼve loved making art ever since I was a child. My desire to become a painter was solidified by a visit to the M.H. de Young Museum in 1971; it was there that I saw a major exhibit of Vincent Van Gogh and my life was changed forever.
Although you were trained as a classical artist why have you chosen to create abstract paintings?
I paint abstracts because early on I discovered that there is infinitely more to art than just painting reality. Painting in this manner gives me the freedom to throw out all the rules. Abstraction allows me to tap in to my feelings, intuition and inventiveness, and work in a more spontaneous manner. I enjoy a creative process in which nothing is ‘wrong’ and the joy comes from playing with materials, colors, shapes, ideas and design. I invite the viewer to share with me the intangible mysteries that abstract forms evoke.
“I am a huge fan of social media.
I love posting photos of paintings that I have sold…”
~ Linda S. Watson
What art marketing activity do you put into practice that works most successfully for you?
I am a huge fan of social media. I love posting photos of paintings that I have sold, work that is currently in the galleries that represent me and art that has been juried into a show. If someone else writes about my art, I share it. I also frequently share the links to my website and the gallery websites that show my art online. The shares and comments from my followers on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help to widen the audience for my art.
For the many artists from around the world who will read this interview what is the most valuable art business lesson you learned as an artist?
Improved communication skills, both oral and written. This is an ongoing process for me. I am extremely introverted and shy. It is hard for me to be open up to strangers. However, I have learned to describe my art to prospective customers in a single phrase: “I paint highly textured abstracts in oils and acrylics that reflect my response to the natural world”. I try to convey this in the most friendly, sincere and confident manner, always with a smile and good eye contact.
Linda’s abstract paintings glow with the
spellbinding iridescence that is found in nature’s cosmos.
What message, feeling or idea would you like viewers of your art work to receive?
Spend some time in nature with eyes wide open and prepare to be surprised.
Do you have an essential philosophy or belief that guides your creative expression?
I think Andy Warhol said it best when he quipped: “Donʼt think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if itʼs good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.
Painting abstract art gives me the freedom to throw out all the rules. Abstraction allows me to tap into my feelings, intuition and inventiveness, and work in a more spontaneous manner. I enjoy a creative process in which nothing is ‘wrong’ and the joy comes from playing with materials, colors, shapes, ideas and design.
Aside from Vincent van Gogh what artist or work of art has had the most impact on you?
Claude Monetʼs huge ‘Waterlilies’ installation in the Musee de LʼOrangerie in Paris. The monumental scale, the colors, the brushstrokes, the subject matter. . . .everything about it was like a religious experience for me.
Linda, what is the most memorable comment you received about your art?
One of my collectors Grace Mattioli best expressed it when she wrote, “She is one of those rare artists who is able to capture the essence and natural beauty of the world though her art. This is due not only to her immense talent, but to her ability to see past the surface value of everyday things in her surroundings.”
What article did you enjoy reading the most on this website and why?
My favorite and the one I reread most often is “Avoid Getting Rejected in Juried Art Competitions”. In the past, a rejection would send me into a deep depression and make me doubt myself as an artist. However, this article points out that there are factors outside of my control that can influence the jury and have nothing to do with the quality of my work. The excellent advice in this article helps me keep a positive attitude during the competition process.
What gifts that you received from your mother are you most grateful for?
My mother always made sure I had plenty of art supplies. Crayons, pencils, drawing paper and coloring books were readily available to me at any time. I never had rules regarding my art, such as ‘you can color when you are done cleaning your room’. I could create anywhere throughout the house even in the middle of the living room or all over the kitchen table.
What artist from the past would you like to spend a day with and what would you do together?
I would go back to New York in 1950 and spend a day painting with Joan Mitchell in her West Tenth Street studio. Afterwards, we’d go to an art opening at the Betty Parsons Gallery on East 57th Street and then wrap up the evening at the Cedar Tavern in Greenwich Village, hanging out with other Abstract Expressionists like Franz Kline, de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.
Linda’s paintings “Nirvana” was chosen for The Healing Power of ART 2016 exhibition, July 20 – September 20, 2016. View the online exhibition at Manhattan Arts International.
Visit her website at www.lindaswatsonartist.com
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