Next in line, good pal Linda Martin who I had the pleasure of meeting in Sue Gianotti’s class at SAMA. It was a huge (but silent) wave and YAAAAAY!!!!! 😉 We hit it off immediately – but I think she has a way with people and hits it off with everyone she meets. Really a very special person – warm and generous.
Linda has always been creative. Always. In high school she carried around a sketch book with her everywhere she went. Whilst living in Hawaii, she sat on the beach crocheting bathing suit tops she sold for “gas money”. She came across mosaics while perusing a craft store with her then 8 year old son: “He always got inspired on a trip to the craft store with mom so I picked up a little mosaic garden plaque for him to do. We started to do it together but I think he lost interest, or I took over, or maybe he lost interest because I took over, in any case I caught a mosaic fever.” 🙂
After that venture, Linda borrowed books from the library and studied them, researched the internet and spent hours studying other artists’ work. “I began to play around with breaking glass, dishes, and tile, ordering supplies and tools from the web, experimenting with everything I could get my hands on.” One of her first projects was covering a lava lamp with broken dishes which she called Shab-a-delic. “At the time I was quite pleased with myself, but looking at it now…. Ahhhhhhh!” LOL!!! Don’t we all have a million of them somewhere?!
Linda also made lots of picture frames, and a license plate cover for her car, all of which she says fell apart as she was using the wrong materials. “These early projects took me forever to complete and were not very good, but I was having fun and learning.” I always say there’s no better way of learning than by doing… Her “coming-out” was with a mannequin titled “Courting Laura” which Linda entered into a fundraiser for breast cancer.
After moving back to her native California, she was conveniently located an hour or so from the Institute of Mosaic Art, in Oakland. “I started taking classes there… lots of classes. That’s how it all began…”
Her future direction is in therapeutic mosaics. Linda has been an Occupational Therapist for a good portion of her life and has done a few projects combining both – mosaics with her patients: “I have the license as an occupational therapist, the skills as a mosaic artist, and the time and resources to go further”. Producing community murals is big on her list of to-dos. I love that. I’m such a fan of art-with-meaning, as opposed to art-for-the-sake-of-art. Not that I don’t appreciate that either…
Linda says, “I want to focus on mural projects with parents and their children, bonding, communication skills, and improvement of quality of life. Now, when I say parent/child relationship, parents of younger children comes to mind. But I want to work with the older population, the elderly parents and their adult children. That’s the bond I want to facilitate with the murals.”
Linda reminisces, “I remember once when working in a skilled nursing facility, aka nursing home, I was doing water colour paintings with the patients. This one female patients’ daughter loved her mother’s picture so much she had it framed and it looked stunning! Two months later the mother died. Her daughter came up to me and thanked me for the work I did and especially for the painting, a final memento of her beloved mother. It’s bonds like this I want to continue.”
Linda’s mosaics can be seen this summer in the juried show “Art on the Wharf”, July 19th at the Santa Cruz Pier. A show consisting of only 30 artists.
And finally, the artiste herself, sitting atop her community arts project she led also as an occupational therapist.