” Creating a quiet narrative with a little mystery is something I am always trying to achieve. My hope is to create works that communicate emotions that are universal, from experiences and shared histories. I gravitate to the beauty of realism with the added element of narrative”
Linda is a contemporary figurative painter. Using oil painting as her preferred medium she enjoys creating images based in realism with a strong narrative and elements of the fantastical.
Name: Linda Adair
Birthday: February 9
Colour: Favorite color currently on my palette is Prussian Blue
Book: Too many, some recent reads I’ve enjoyed are Hunters and Collectors by Matt Suddain, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Name of the Wind and Wise Mans Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, of course HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe short stories are always favorites.
Movie: The Fifth Element
Food: Top favorites are Italian, Mexican and French cuisines, with Thai a close runner up.
Quote: Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. -Oscar Wilde
A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people. -Edgar Degas
For how long have you been in art? How did you start?
I’ve always had an affinity towards art, but I was 13 when I remember deciding that it was my lifes passion. It was the joy of creating something from what I saw. Throughout my teenage years art was my freedom, it enabled me to travel and support my dreams. I found myself through my art and was able to use my craft to make a difference in others’ lives too. Communicating shared emotions, experiences and narratives.
How would you define yourself as an artist?
A figurative realist painter.
Would you tell us some things about yourself? Please include a few little known facts about you as well.
Born in Canada, although I grew up traveling. By the time I was 14 I’d been to 14 countries and lived in 7. I left home at 16 and traveled on my own sketching portraits to fund my travels. I met my Australian husband in Mexico, got married in California and we have 3 children. My family and I currently live in Germany.
Where do you find inspiration?
I would say the majority of my inspiration comes from literature. But it varies, depending on the series or works of mine you are referring to. Some are inspired by my travels and experiences, others are conveying an emotion derived from a personal experience. With that intention I re-imagine the setting yet attempt to retain the essence, the feeling or emotion. The inspiration for this new series of paintings I am working on started with reading histories of famous duels and finding there were several noteworthy ones fought by women. From there instead of just painting the scenes, I imagined the stories being played out by a theatre troupe and reenacted in that setting. Pushing further I wanted to take only the ideas from the original story lines, and convey part of the dueling dance that occurs in human intimacy.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Primarily emotion. I want to create works that are communicated, understood and relateable.
I take an experience, and then try to abstract it or distill it down to the emotion, the feeling and from there I can re-imagine it. I create pictures so I don’t have to explain or talk about the experiences. others may not have gone through what I have, but, they’ve gone through other things and it’s the emotion, at it’s foundation, that feeling that people can relate to. I am trying to communicate underlying thoughts, feelings and emotions that don’t necessarily have to involve their origin.
You don’t need to specifically tell your story, but boil down those feelings you’ve experienced and you’ll find others can relate. Feelings of being an outsider, anxiety, imposter syndrome, heartbreak, the emptiness of loss/death, hopelessness, being invisible in a crowd, feeling lost, being different and not understood, feeling trapped … whatever it is, someone else is experiencing it too. Perhaps from a different angle, or circumstance, but the feeling, the essence of it is the same.
I can re-imagine that essential feeling or emotion and create a completely different perhaps more palatable scenario. If you can translate that, and communicate it, you’ve succeeded. I’ve personally experienced many things, from trauma, abuse and danger to exhilaration and real joy. I am not ignorant enough to believe I am unique in this. That is why I know I can communicate some of these experiences in their most basic form and I will find resonance in others. I know this, because I’ve found it to be true.
I enjoy hearing the other side of the conversation when people talk to me about my work, the memories and feelings that a particular image of mine has brought back in their own lives. There are ones who say if we can’t talk about our work and describe it’s intention, then that makes you as an artist an amateur or less than. I disagree. For some of my work, I choose not to talk about many of the actual experiences I draw inspiration from. After all, like Edward Hopper said, “If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint”. I can talk more generally about a piece or more in depth if it’s a more recent experience that provided the inspiration. When I say I like hearing what someone thinks about a piece, I sincerely am. And I find more often than not, that description has found that essence, that feeling that I couldn’t describe in words so I painted it, created it visually.
What art do you most identify with?
I am inspired by the 19th century realists and classical masters like John W Waterhouse, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Frederic Lord Leighton and the like. Also many contemporary artists like Jeremy Lipking, Nick Alm, Brad Kunkle, Aron Wiesenfeld, and many many more.
Why do you do … what you do?
I feel compelled to create. I am driven to improve, to strive for greatness. Essentially to make the best art I am able to.
What does “being creative” mean to you?
I suppose it’s a mindfulness, a way of thinking. As an artist you have to do more than see an object, you must observe everything about it. It’s shape, weight, edges, color temperature etc. As a creative, when you create, it’s so much more than just a collection of shapes, colors and all the technical elements involved. It’s also communicating a narrative, it’s conveying an emotion, from the ideation to the creation. There is often so much more to being creative that involves the way you think and approach the subjects you intend to create. I particularly love talking with other creatives and artists as I find their depth and thought processes so fascinating.
Any shows, galleries, or publications where our readers can find your work?
Recent Gallery shows:
Inner Visions at Abend Gallery 2016, Helikon Gallery 2017
Echoes at Distinction Gallery 2017
ARC International Salon 2017
Spectrum 23, Infected By Art books 2-5, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, American Art Collector Magazine, Artists On Art.
How do you cultivate a collector base?
By staying true to your vision and creating work that speaks to you. Do what you love and you will find it will resonate with others who will appreciate and collect your work. I’ve also found that being active on social media is important with making your work accessible to new collectors.
Which is your most cherished piece?
That’s like asking which is your favorite child. Some of my paintings are milestones for me and they will always have a special place, others are special for the subject matter or emotion I was conveying. In general, I would say my favorite is the next one. I am excited about the possibilities that the next piece might bring.
If you had an exclusive collective exhibition with other artists work, who would you choose?
Oh my! There’s so many that I would adore to exhibit with. Luckily I’ve had the opportunity to exhibit with some amazing artists that I admire already with the ARC salon this year in the Salmagundi Club in NYC and at the MEAM in Barcelona. Also at the Inner Visions show at Abend and Helikon Galleries this year.
What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually?
Strong concepts and ideas have always been important to me.
What aspect of your work do you pay particular attention to?
Design, composition and narrative.
What Role does the artist have in society?
I came across this quote from W. Somerset Maugham in The Painted Veil which I think sums it up perfectly, as a beautiful life can be a work of art.
“I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.”
What for you is the most enjoyable part of your art?
The initial ideation, and then the end, as I finish the final painting. Although sometimes I feel sad towards the end and prolong the final strokes just to make the process last longer. I often feel emotionally connected with the people or characters in my work and the creation is like bringing them to life.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how?
Besides my love for the 19th century realists, I would say I am influenced by the Golden Age Illustrators like Howard Pyle, NC Wyeth, Mead Schaefer, JC Leyendecker and the like. I love their masterful narrative paintings.
What other interests do you have outside of art?
Travel, spending time with friends and family, cooking, experiencing life.
Some short questions now:
more colours: Grey
Define your art: Realism, Traditional oil painting
Describe your style: “Define yourself”… An old soul
Art Fairs: Illuxcon (IX)
Museums: Love them! Especially the old masters.
Cities: Places to meet new people
Travels: Essential for a healthy world view
Artists: People with the skill to bring creative ideas to life.
Music: Everything is better with it, work, fitness, art, cooking, eating, drinking, relaxing, everything!
Cars: useful to get from A to B
Mobile App: Instagram: @linda_adair
You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today?
We love museums and go as often as we can, and go to friend’s gallery openings and exhibitions. As for films, my husband is quite the movie buff so any film education would be his doing.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art?
I would have to be dead. I feel like I would find a way to create otherwise.
Which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction?
Each project as I’m working on it feels the most exciting and satisfying, and then there’s always the next one.
Who are the writer’s you admire the most?
HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, William Gibson, Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, Matt Ruff, Patrick Rothfuss, Matt Suddain, and plenty more.
What about architects and designers?
Traveling in Europe you get to appreciate some beautiful architecture, I do love some of the Art Nouveau rooms and buildings designed by Alphonse Mucha.
What else are you working on at the moment? Next projects?
I am currently working on a series of paintings called Theatre of Duelists.
Share something you would like the world to know about you?
That I’m an artist on a lifelong journey to create enduring works that communicate on an emotional level.
Define “Klassik Magazine” for the audience?
An awesome multi-faceted international magazine covering many of the topics I love! From modern and contemporary art and fashion to design, film, travel and gastronomy!
International ARC Salon / Honorable Mention – Courting Death / 2016
Infected by Art 4 / Grand Prize Winner / 2016
The Chesley Award (Finalist) / ASFA / 2015
Echoes / Distinction Gallery – Escondido, CA / Special Feature Solo Show / May 13 – June 3rd 2017
IlluXcon 9 Symposium (Commissioned Artist) / Reading, PA / October 2016
Imaginary Realism / Abend Fine Art Gallery – Denver, CO / Curated by Patrick Wilshire / October 2016
The Cauldron: A Beautiful Brew / The Lovetts Gallery – Tulsa, OK / Curated by Jack Summers / October 2016
Point of Visions – Celebrating Women Artists in Fantasy and Science Fiction / Society of Illustrators – New York, NY / Curated by Irene Gallo and Lauren Panepinto / June – August 2016
The Enchanted Brush: Welcome to the Jungle / Mazza Museum – Findlay, OH / Curated by Dan Chudzinski / July 2016
Fahrenheit – A Miniatures Exhibition / Lovetts Gallery – Tulsa, OK / Curated by Jack Summers / June 2016
MOCCA Fest / Society of Illustrators – New York, NY / April 2016
IlluXcon 8 Symposium / Allentown, PA / 2015
IlluXcon 7 Symposium / Allentown, PA / 2014
Hornsby Art Prize Exhibition / Sydney, NSW / 2011
The Bald Archies (Finalist) / Sydney, NSW / 2011