An Artist Interview: Linda Williams – Mixed Media Artist – Hampshire, Illinois

Art Collector, Art Marketing, Art Show, Artist Bio, Flootie, Social Media

Our roving reporter Ginny Brennan strikes again! This time in Illinois

Ginny: When did you start painting?

Linda: I started drawing things like my mom’s cookie jar at age ten in pencil. In high school, I was awarded an art scholarship to the University of Wisconsin in Wausau, by taking first place in an art competition for a contour pen and ink drawing. I still have both of these! I received a paint-by-number gift; which was the beginning of my love of painting. I can still smell it!

Ginny: How have you trained as an artist and what other jobs have you done?

Linda: In my teens and early twenties I painted in oils taking a few private lessons. I attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago as well as various art programs at several local colleges. I received an Associate’s Degree in both Interior Design and Commercial Art while attending classes at night and working at a downtown Chicago Ad agency. I transferred to the University of Illinois at Chicago receiving a BA in Visual Communication, focusing on design and photography. I owned a design studio and worked as a graphic designer for many years. I have two boys and didn’t paint for a while during my boys’ early childhood. I have also taken online courses with Albert Handell and Gabor Svagrik.

I began painting realistically. After having my children and stepping away from art for a while, I then began exploring new techniques and mediums; landscapes, portraits, florals and abstracts in oil, acrylic and pastel.

Purple Dahlia
Purple Dahlia

Ginny: What inspires your work?

Linda: Nature, walking in the forest, a closeup of a flower, a facial expression that sparks my interest, happy accidents. I love exploring. I am very passionate about color. Sometimes I will take a photo and start playing with it on my computer until something speaks to me. An example would be a photo I took called, “Red Dahlia.” The image to me was beautiful on its own, but I had to push it a little further. I used filters to create a different image I called, “Purple Dahlia.” I was very excited by this new image. I decided that this not only would be a very unique photo but that it would be the subject of my next painting.

Ginny: What is integral to the work of an artist?

Linda: Knowing the technical aspects so you can deliver your message and understanding color theory is only the beginning. Become aware. Study other artists and their techniques. Fill your life with new experiences. Each artist is a special mix of personal history and inner philosophy that makes them unique. For me, it begins with a vision that I feel inside. I experiment with it, exploring color combinations, textures, techniques and imagery and it takes me on a journey. This is the creative process that I think is integral. It has to come from the heart, from the spirit.

Ginny: How has your practice changed over time?

Linda: Not only has my art moved in different directions as I have grown as an artist, but I have embraced new technologies and have begun creating all my own websites. It keeps evolving.

Ginny: What work do you most enjoy doing?

Linda: The thing I enjoy most is the creative process, the journey. Where it started and where it ended up. I find that when I’m working I lose track of time. No matter where I am in my art, I’m so focused, everything around me stands still. I’m currently exploring abstract painting, portraits, and painting in a looser, more impressionistic style.

Ginny: Which one of your artwork pieces is your favorite?

Linda: A photograph, “Purple Dahlia” and a recent portrait in oil called, “Olivia”. I’ve reached a whole new level of color mixing I have never achieved before. I also really enjoyed working on my first two pastels drawings, “Entering Heaven” and “Quiet Inspiration”.

Ginny: What’s your favorite art by another artist?

Linda: I love Van Gogh, one of the masters – I love his dynamic brush strokes and thick paint and the way he altered perspective. Another favorite artist I follow is VOKA, the Austrian “Spontaneous Realism” Artist. Also Georgia O’Keefe, Gerhard Richter, John Singer Sargent, Renoir, Jim McVicker. There are so many…

Ginny: What is the best thing about being an artist?

Linda: I stop to notice the small things and call attention to them. I express my unique vision and satisfy my need to explore and create. I feel that my photos or paintings are a vehicle to inspire others. If I can make people feel happy or joy by creating something beautiful or inspirational, then I have fulfilled my purpose. Here is a quote I like—
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift


Ginny: What is the worst thing about being an artist?

Linda: Getting recognized as an artist takes both time and money. An artist wears many hats. I keep taking one small step every day toward my goal of being able to make a living as a full-time artist. Next year when I look back, hopefully I will have made a lot of progress!

Ginny: How do you feel when people interpret your artwork differently?

Linda: I love it. I have encountered this especially with my abstract work. I’ve had an experience listening to others view my abstract work and I love their interpretation and how they relate to my art.

Ginny: Did you ever feel like giving up?

Linda: There was a time when I was younger I felt burned out. Now with technology the opportunities for exploration are huge! I continue to be curious and excited.

Ginny: What advice do you give aspiring artists?

Linda: These are things I have learned and want to share with aspiring artists. Follow your passion and your heart.
Believe in your talent. Believe in yourself. Do it today, don’t wait for tomorrow. Take small steps every day and you will make progress. Challenge yourself. Don’t take the easy way out – you won’t learn anything. Expose yourself to other art and artists. You can always learn something. Finding your “voice” will show itself after you have put in the work. Explore. Live Life.

Ginny: Do you try to make a statement with your art?

Linda: I’m not a political artist. My work falls into the emotional category. I hope my work makes people feel something. It emerges as joy or happiness and sometimes love. This comes out in everything I do as a celebration of life.

Ginny: What is your dream project?

Linda: To have a solo art show and a big one. I would enjoy seeing most of my work in one space and enjoy the feedback.

Ginny: What is your favorite or most inspirational place?

Linda: The forest, I love being surrounded by trees, lakes and nature. It fills the well back up for me and makes me feel whole. Also, after recently returning from Arizona and hiking in the desert, I have found a new inspirational place. I have just created a photo book called “The Beauty of Arizona” by Linda J. Williams you can get on the Blurb site.

Ginny: Professionally, what is your goal?

Linda: This year my goal is to have a solo show. I would like to travel, exhibiting at art fairs in neighboring states. I want to keep learning by taking workshops by artists whom I admire. I also want to start painting en plein air. I would like to be an inspiration and teach.

Ginny: Do you have a website, or other places we can see your art?

Linda: I’m currently a member of Oil Painters of America, the Portrait Society of America, the Chicago Pastel Painters, and Art for All, Elgin, Illinois. Recently in Elgin, Illinois, I have exhibited my work at the HOTI Gallery, Hemmers Cultural Center, the Gail Borden Library, Art & Soul on the Fox Art Exhibit and also have an upcoming spring show at the Elgin Art Space Gallery.


My Website:

Fine Art America Website:

Facebook Page:

LinkedIn Site:

Blurb Book:

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