May Artist – Linda Wandt
Linda has always made things, starting with pencil, watercolors and acrylics, copying book covers as a kid and sketching all the time. When she was young her nose was always in a book and she very much lived inside her head. She’s grateful that her creativity was always encouraged. Originally from Long Island, New York, Linda moved to Texas in 2000 and eventually studied oil painting at the University of Texas at Austin and earned a B.A. in Studio Art in 2006. While in school, she also focused heavily on literature and philosophy, topics that still greatly influence her work to this day. She has shown her work in countless local businesses, galleries and art fairs, winning the Juror’s Choice Award at Art City Austin.
You can see Linda’s work in Austin City Hall for the 2019 People’s Gallery and in May during the West Austin Studio Tour at a group show at the Neill-Cochran House Museum. She is #274 in the catalog. Linda will also be part of a group show this July at Link & Pin Gallery.
A great deal of my work focuses on how we come to be who we are – the choices we make, the conflicts we feel, the rift between our inner worlds and the reality we find ourselves in, as well as the empowerment of self creation and of revealing repeating patterns in nature. Exploring the bridge between the conscious and subconscious mind has been a significant focus of my work. In the portraiture, the subjects tend to stare directly at the viewer, which can be seen either as a confrontation to be acknowledged or an invitation to enter their world and to contemplate the figures and what they are offering. They often hold items in their hands, presenting these concepts for consideration through symbolism. The works are narratives that focus on personal dialogues examining how we chose to create ourselves, and if we can in the first place. Lately I’ve been finding nature, space and science are all holding a bit of weight in my creative exploration, now linking the human mind to its external surroundings. Turning my focus from internal questioning to external questioning feels like the natural progression of my practice.
After many years of intensive self-study of artist materials and oil painting techniques while working at an art supply store, I recently started taking lots of workshops and classes with the best artists I could find, always looking to grow and improve. I love making surreal or magic realism infused portraits, and figure painting with a live model is an important part of my regular art practice. I spend as much time outside as I can manage, so it feels natural that after years of intensive focus on the figure, landscapes have been creeping their way into my artistic expression as well. The portraits are carefully planned and organized, while painting a place is an expression of freedom in color and brushstrokes. The honey bee series grew from a piece that incorporated giant bees on either side of a figure. The intricate details of their anatomy are very soothing for me to paint, and creating them is a meditative process that I get lost in.
Linda’s studio is located at 1109 Shady Lane, where she is available by appointment. She takes one commission at a time as she works on her personal series. You can email her directly to inquire.