Artist Interview with Linda Langerak

Linda Langerak
Beaverton, Canada
As the Night Draws Near
Acrylic on Canvas
40″ x 16″

APM Blog: Thank you for taking a moment to tell us about yourself and your artwork. Let’s start with your background.

Linda: I grew up in British Columbia on Vancouver Island, in the beautiful city of Victoria.

Several members in my family were very creative, so crafts and drawings were part of everyday life for me.

I was very much into athletics and competed in every sport possible growing up, until I was a passenger in two bad car accidents (both in 1986), that found me in weekly physio-therapy sessions for the next twelve months to strengthen a very injured neck. Because of this, sports were not much of an option for me, so I immersed myself in learning all I could about various techniques, styles etc., as art became the focus of what was important to me.

I moved out of my parent’s home at the age of 18, and three months after graduating with honors and a scholarship in art, I stepped on a plane for the first time and came to Toronto to make my way in the world and be immersed in what I believed to be the art mecca of Canada.

Career wise, funny enough, I spent the first 18 years of my life in Finance (something I had dropped while in high school), and for the past 5 years I have worked in the Private Security sector. Both of these jobs aren’t considered to be creative, but they certainly require much thought, organization, preparation and are challenging in their own right – mentally. I need that balance. I need to be challenged both mentally and physically (maintaining top fitness standards are necessary for Private Security), and I need to express what I feel inside. So at present, I can say that I am truly living the best of both worlds, for what works for me.

Because of the career path I have taken and making painting (my true passion), my “other job”, I find that when I do have free time and am able to put my brush to canvas the feelings and emotions just flow. Painting is a sheer pleasure and nothing is ever forced. I never have a mental block and wonder what to create.
APM Blog: So did artwork start as therapy for you? Or was it something else? There is something psychological about your work.

Linda: I wouldn’t say it started out as therapy, but it definitely has become therapy for me.

There was a time, in my late teens through to my twenties, when I wrote a lot of poetry. Somewhere along the line however, I decided that I didn’t want to just spell everything for everyone to see so clearly in black and white. I wanted to express myself in another means that could tell even more, but not be so clear to the viewer, unless they specifically asked what a piece was about. Painting allows me to shout out to the world what I am thinking and feeling. Poetry only allowed me to state it.

My art is absolutely psychologically and emotionally driven.
APM Blog: Let’s talk about the artwork you submitted to our international juried art competition. Is this part of a larger series? What are some of the ideas behind that work?

Linda: The artwork I submitted to your competition was:

1. Title: As the Night Draws Near

2. Title: It Starts with a Stirring Inside

They are not part of a larger series per say, but I have completed several pieces on the same size canvas (40″H x 16″W), and in the same style, so they certainly could be displayed as such.

My paintings are all based on emotion I feel from personal experience, or as related to me from another (either directly, or indirectly from the vast reading I do), and how that impacts my state of mind.

In a nutshell, the underlying theme of the submitted pieces (like most of my 2012 work), is about rising above negativity and adversity. They are about conquering challenges with a positive spirit that believes, hopes and never gives up.

APM Blog: Is reading an important part of the creation process for you? Tell us more about the process behind your work.

Linda: Reading has been a staple in my life ever since childhood. Like my other family members, I am avid reader, and therefore it would make sense that this would in some way have an impact on my creative process.

Although I read up on a varied amount of topics, my biggest joy and the majority of my reading comes from non fiction pieces where the human spirit soars above a tale of woe and/or extreme adversity and prevails.

I start a piece when I have a story, or a feeling, that for my sake, needs to be told. It’ll be something that ticks inside my head, and that I feel in my heart and my gut, and in order to take the weight off my system I paint what needs to said. It soothes me and allows me a release to get past something or mark it’s place in my life’s time line.

I exclusively work with acrylics these days. I like the way they mix and flow and I enjoy the challenge of working against the clock of the speed of the paint drying. I use small brushes to coat the canvases in colors that represent the emotions felt; layering and mixing on the canvas as I go. Once this is complete the painting will be very soft and feathery to look at. I will then use palette knives, and color shapers to cut into the layers hiding the softness and revealing much more depth and emotion while at the safe time preserving and safeguarding the soft underbelly initially shown – only to me. Every single stroke is made with purpose and intent until I feel that I have said all of what needs to be said.

APM Blog: Are there other artists who influence you?

I have a great love for several of the Abstract Expressionists; Rothko, Pollack, Motherwell and Newman to name a few, but I have to say it is Rothko’s work that rises above all for me.

I absolutely love Mark Rothko’s work. I see his art and I just get it. I have had the privilege of standing before many of his original artworks and they just envelope me in their world… It’s a very personal thing.

I am influenced by him in the sense that I am inspired to create greatness. I am inspired to create pieces that speak to others in a way that can make them feel – something! I want to move people. I am also influenced to hone my technique to the level where I am able to create large scale pieces that consume the viewer and bring them into their world as I have been captivated by Rothko’s pieces.

“There is no such thing as good painting about nothing” – Mark Rothko

My artwork is not about something that just happened when I put my brush on the canvas. It is not about creating a nice design, or pretty colors. My art has to mean something to me, and be an outpouring of some kind or the process would be a deceit to myself.

APM Blog: Where can our readers see your work?

My work in on display in two different galleries at this time (in Canada), and will continue to be displayed until the end of December 2012. My work can be seen at the “TAG Art Gallery” in St. Catharines, ON (http://www.tagartgallery.ca), and the “Leonardo Gallery” in Toronto, ON (http://www.leonardogalleries.com).

And there is also my website,

http://www.lankyratcreations.com

Contact Linda Langerak:

City and Province: Beaverton ON Canada
Email: linda.langerak@    gmail.com
Website: www.lankyratcreations.com
Linked In: Linda Langerak

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