Rapid River Art & Culture Magazine

Linda Cheek is a former illustrator who has been painting en plein air since moving to Marshall, N.C. in 1990. In her new exhibition at 16 Patton Gallery " Landscapes: Of Hope and Glory"" in October. Linda has decided that she will concentrate her painterly efforts on images of place and on the mood of the timelessness of this region.

Q.When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist ?

A. My mother and aunt were both artist and interested in art, so I was encouraged early on and Ringling School of Art trained me. It has always been something I could not do with out. I guess, as my sons say, I have always pushed a pencil or brush, but I do love doing what I am blessed to do.

Q. What other Artists have influenced you and how ?

A. Being primarily a landscape painter, I'm drawn to some for technical reasons and some others for just the pure emotional power of the work .George Iness, John Singer Sargent, George Bellows are more emotional and I think of N.C. Wyeth,Richard Schmid more technically inspiring. Ken Auster sum this up well "Understanding intellectually, then painting passionately this is the key to successful painting."

Q.What inspires you to paint and how do you keep motivated ?

A. As far as being inspired ,well it is all around me.What a creation ! One of the great things about working all that time as an illustrator is I have been sincerely trained and because of deadlines there is no time for just waiting for the mood to hit you. You must find the motivation.

Q. Could you tell me more about your work ?

A. Because of the process I use to paint (plein air and alla prima), I feel I have the best advantage for capturing what I am after--- light, shapes, color, value and composition. There is a very good reason to take your studio outside, it is much easier. As Winslow Homer said "I prefer every time a picture composed and painted outdoors. The thing is done without your knowing it."

Q. What is the best and worst part of being a full time working artist ?

A. The best part is I have complete freedom and control over my art.The hardest thing for me is the business end. I would much rather be out doors at my pochade box painting.

Q. What advice would you give an artist just starting out?

A. As artist living in a high tech world, the aesthetic cards of creativity are stacked against us, but for me the catapult has always been the practice of painting on location for one to two hours as often as possible. Just keep drawing, drawing, then paint; looking ,looking and looking again."Love the art in yourself and not yourself in art." My Life in Art,Stainislauski.

Linda Cheek's work can be seen at the exhibition, " Landscapes: Of Hope and Glory" opening October 4- and running through November 16. at 16 Patton Fine Art Gallery (located in historic downtown Asheville on the corner of Lexington Avenue and Patton Avenue)

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