Linda Shepard uses pastels bright with color, light and energy to capture the incredible beauty of nature. Find more of her portfolio on her website.
Life is better with art…
Art is my obsession. I love to create it. I love to view it, collect it, study it, talk about it, teach it, share it and think about it. And I suspect if you’re reading this article, you too are my people. I’ve always been able to see how shapes fit together to create form and see exactly where colors fall on the spectrum.
I believe that like most disciplines, artistic skill can be learned.
People have always said that I have talent. Talent is a funny thing when it comes to professional artists. Some bristle at the term, thinking it diminishes the time they’ve invested in perfecting their skills.
Very early in my career, I think talent prevented me from learning anything new. In college, most students in my art classes were there for the humanities credits. Many had no desire to do anything professionally with art, and many lacked what most people would define as talent.
Professor Charles Staats at Charleston Southern University had incredible insight into how to teach art, resulting in amazing transformations in the artistic abilities of all students. I say this because if you have any interest in making art, don’t let talent or lack of experience hold you back. Go. For. It.
I’m inspired by simple things and moments all around us that we must consciously make an effort to appreciate. I enjoy landscapes of shared spaces like public parks, forests and bike trails. They are some of the most beautiful and fascinating places to visit—and they’re available for us all to enjoy for free.
I like florals because flowers can recalibrate our sight from the mundanity of our manmade, utilitarian environments to one of exciting color and organic form. I’m inspired by anything that can create a sense of respite from all that clutters our minds.
I work in both pastel and oil. It’s a never-ending struggle to overcome the construct of how I know things to be versus how they actually appear—like overcoming the urge to paint a tree branch from tip to trunk in a single unbroken line. Branches typically disappear and reappear with lost and found edges. I pay special attention to negative shapes and edges for a more genuine result.
Art is a counterweight to ugliness in our world. It’s a continuation of those before us and those who are yet to come. Art is personal. I’m thankful for those who value original art over mass-produced art.
Attend an exhibition, an event or join a local art community to experience the enrichment that the arts bring to our lives.