Linda Bowling ---

The visual arts have been an integral part of my entire adult life. I graduated with a B.A in Art Education from Westmar College, a small liberal arts college in NW Iowa, in 1979. During the years of 1979 – 2011, I taught art to students from Kindergarten through High School.  My husband, Gary Bowling, has been a professional artist for almost 40 years and we have lived in SW Missouri for over 30 years.  We recently purchased property in Louisville, KY and have just finished developing a studio space for each of us there.  We spend about half our time at our home/studio in Missouri and about half our time at our home/studio in Louisville, KY.

 

I have been involved with managing the art business side of my husband’s career for over 30 years.  I taught art for 26 years and Gary taught art for 11 years. We approach so much about the visual arts in our lives as a partnership, that I believe that neither of us could imagine a life without a shared support and commitment.  After retiring from teaching, I took some time to process much of my “art” life. I have reflected on all of the art lessons I have taught through the years and remembered back through so much of the wonderful imagery from my students’ creations. I have also had time to reflect on rich art experiences my husband and I have had together.  We have celebrated at many opening receptions for his art and also at many openings of mutual artist friends.  We have shared wonderful art at museums and galleries across the United States and in other countries.  We have spent countless hours together observing and photographing the landscape while finding inspiration for Gary’s landscape paintings. I have been able to be there for many of his art lectures and presentations. We have had a fortunate, shared life in the arts.

 

Now I find myself emerging with my own creative vision, an awakening.  What is developing is uniquely mine but still somehow spiritually connected to my husband’s work.  Partners, always, as our lives continue evolving. After retiring from teaching art for so many years, I have had this much appreciated time to reflect on, think about, and find my creative motivation once again. I find myself revisiting the same themes that have always sparked my imagination; color, patterns, reflected light, broken light, shadows, and textures.  I have done thousands of photographs based on these themes. It has been an unfolding process and I have come to realize how much I have been influenced from studying Gary’s work over the last 40 years. More than any of the art I have seen and studied throughout my life, his art is the art I know intimately, like the back of my hand.  The familiar color combinations, brushstrokes, textures, and patterns. In his lectures, Gary often paraphrases the words of Marshall McLuhan, “Art make the invisible, visible.” as his personal mantra.  In one wonderful moment, it all clicked, became a cohesive pursuit for me…. exploring the paintings I know so well would be my own muse, my own personal inspiration.  It was so clear once I made that leap.  I started photographing the surfaces of his paintings to find the nuance, patterns, and colors that I have always responded to so much, the parts of the paintings that can be “lost” to the bigger vision of the landscape waiting to be mined of their riches.  I was on the right path. Developing compositions and paintings from the intimate abstracted parts of his larger realistic landscapes has proven to be a very motivating and satisfying endeavor for me.

 

The paintings that I have been creating for the last three years have all been developed from discoveries I have made through this process.  I like to think of them as “echoes”.  Iterations that develop from parts of Gary’s vision that have now become my own vision. Sometimes the abstract imagery develops directly from sections of one of his finished paintings and sometimes the compositions develop from a piece or variation of one of my own completed paintings.  I see each painting I finish as an “echo” of a former painting’s image.  Each painting I complete is a necessary step for the next painting to happen. Each painting is a reflection of the past but turns into something new. The process seems natural, fluid, obvious. I have come to realize that all of my past art experiences have led me here. This is what I am supposed to be doing.  Full circle.  ‘Art makes the invisible, visible again”. 

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last updated 22-nov-15

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