Featured Artist – Linda Moyer
In 1971, Linda Moyer, a single-mother and high-school art teacher who wanted to be a better painter, embarked on a journey of study, travel, and concentration that led to national recognition as an artist and teacher.
Every creative individual must find his or her own way. This quest for artistic meaning along with technical excellence often results in a lifetime journey. Linda Moyer believes, “Though challenges may slow us down a little, perseverance makes us stronger.” “I was a single parent in my 20s, and the stress of financial problems and arranging for childcare for my very young son precluded any production of my own work for a number of years,” Moyer explains. In 1971, she took a leave of absence from her occupation as a high-school art teacher to spend nine months in Europe and concentrate on painting. Despite 42 paintings during those months of focus, she was dissatisfied. “Technically, I seemed to have reached a plateau I couldn’t move beyond.”
Moyer didn’t give up. She continued her study and immersion in the art community, which eventually let to two masters degrees. Peter Alexander, one of Moyer’s instructors helped her determine direction. “Up until that time, my attitude was (and still is in the ranks of watercolorists) that if you haven’t finished a painting in four hours, you’ve overworked it. Alexander’s philosophy was to stay with a piece until it was resolved–no matter how long it took!” Moyer embraced his teaching, which enabled her to create a distinctive, identifiable style for her work using an extensive layering process over a period of four days to several months for a single work.
As she explored the layering process (vs. mixing colors on palette and then applying the mixture to the paper), she also felt the need to paint larger. Her subjects were natural scenes and objects. She wanted to expand the presence of these unobtrusive portions of nature. Further, Moyer relates, “My understanding of color and the depiction of light continued to expand. I’ve always been aware that the light in my work goes beyond representing form. For me, light has always been symbolic of the presence of the Creator in the natural world.”
“Because my work had improved technically, I came to a point where I wanted my paintings to communicate more explicitly how I felt about the subject. . . . With that in mind, I began the Creation series with the idea of incorporating a natural object into each work along with a line from Genesis.” For example, in the fifth day, she incorporates transparent watercolor, Genesis 1:20 “Let the water bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life…” in aluminum leaf, gold leaf in the negative spaces and a mounted fish skeleton to top it off. As she continued the series she found she had resolved much of what was on her mind and with subsequent paintings established a kind of “dialogue” in which each revealed what was appropriate for that work. “For example, I stopped including lines from Genesis. I also stopped attaching natural objects–even after I went through the trouble of climbing down into the flamingo exhibit at the zoo to retrieve a feather for The Seventh Day.” Instead, she used ancient Egyptian symbols in The Seventh Day, working them into the gold leaf design, the flamingo postures and the surrounding foliage.
In 1998, Moyer moved from California to Tooele County. It was hard to leave California, but here “everywhere I look there is a new vision of painting.” Snow, for instance. “I thought I could paint snow easily, but I quickly realized how much light and color there is and enjoyed the challenge.”
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Linda L. Moyer holds a BA in art from UCLA and two masters degrees (MA, MFA) in art from California State University at Long Beach. She has an exhibition record that includes numerous juried, group and invitational shows as well as eleven solo shows. The Laguna Museum of Art and The Maturango Museum have both hosted her work in one person exhibitions. She is the recipient of the AWS Gold Medal of Honor and Walser S. Greathouse Medal, First Award in Watercolor West, Allied Artists of America Gold Medal of Honor for Watercolor, Utah Watercolor Society Exhibition Best of Show, Challenge of Champions Watercolor Art Society – Houston Best of Show and a number of other national and international awards.
Her work has been featured in numerous books, including Make Your Watercolors Look Professional by Carole Katchen, Enliven Your Paintings With Light by Phil Metzger, Understanding Transparent Watercolor and Exploring Painting by Gerald Brommer, Splash 1, Splash 2, and various publications of American Artist and The Artist magazines. Linda is listed in Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in the West. Linda’s new book Light Up Your Watercolors, Layer by Layer published by North Light Books is now available in the Watercolor Online Store.
Linda is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West. She is a past president and life member of Watercolor West. Linda’s work is included in many private and corporate collections, most notably Home Savings of America (24 paintings), La Jolla National Bank (6 paintings), and Springville Museum of Art. Linda has instructed in local college and university classes as well as presenting workshops and jurying exhibitions nationally.
For more information about Linda Moyer and her work, please visit http://www.watercolor-online.com/LMoyer/.
Sources: Interview with Linda Moyer 3/11/2013, http://www.watercolor-online.com/LMoyer/, and Watercolor Magazine 1998 article featuring Moyer.
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