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Linda Matusich

Linda MatusichSince I was very young, I have drawn, colored, and painted, and now I work digitally, in the computer. Not exclusively, because I still love the hands-on tactile feel of working in traditional media, and it’s sort of hard to teach old dogs. I live with my husband outside Eagle Point, Oregon, surrounded by oaks, pines and cow pastures. I’m inspired every day by the birdlife and wildlife I see, and the ever-changing palettes of colors that goes on around me. We have foxes and raccoons that live nearby and coyotes and owls serenade us in the night. Eagles, ospreys and hawks decorate our skies, while the acorn woodpeckers laugh in the trees.

We have a dog (part Doberman and part monkey), three formerly stray cats, and a bird. We all live together in our very small house with never a dull moment.

I work at my art every day, either with traditional materials or Photoshop. The computer allows me to paint in light with almost endless tools to undo, move or change things that otherwise would be stuck in place and unchangeable traditionally.

What used to take me days to type, paste and design, now takes short hours. But, I must confess, I miss that finished piece of original artwork to hang on the wall when I’m done. When I work traditionally, I work in watercolors, acrylics, pens, pencils and colored pencils on paper. I work in layers, slowly building up colors until the desired depth of color is reached.

This is a style that has evolved over the years. Through trial and error, I have arrived at my methods. But nothing is cut in stone, and I’m constantly trying to discover new ways of doing things, or new ways to present things. I think if I ever stop trying to innovate, I should just hang it up, it’s over.

I officially began my art career at 18 when I did the souvenir booklet for my hometown county fair. I progressed from there to visual merchandising, fashion illustrating, custom painting show cars and motorcycles, painting the Fiberglas whales in the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and all the while keeping up with free-lance design and art in my spare time. It’s amazing to compress a whole lifetime’s work into a couple of sentences.

My hobbies include reading---I’m constantly reading everything from Harry Potter to Agatha Christie--- gardening, and above all, listening to music. I couldn’t live without my music. My choices are eclectic there too --- everything from Mozart to New age and a few things in between. I drive my husband out of the house with opera.

As I’ve gotten older, I think the inspiration for my work has turned inward. I think I’ve collected about all the reference material I’ll ever need: life experiences, pictures, thoughts--- and now I take all of that, mush it together and create pictures that are of things that are important to me, not just things I’ve seen.

I’ve about done it all. I’ve done the wildlife portraits, the landscapes, the designs, but now I want more. I think we need a little magic in this world, a little whimsy, and that’s my direction these days. I try to make pictures that have a bit of magic---something that will touch the viewer, maybe give them a good feeling that they can put away and keep safe, or a bit of whimsy to make them smile.

I think if I can do that, then I’ve succeeded.

It’s been a long and interesting road and it’s not over yet. The best is yet to come. I will continue to paint, whether in the computer or on paper, I will continue to make pictures that I hope will inspire. I learn something everyday, especially about working on the computer. The potential there is immense and I intend to explore that potential.