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Meet Linda Stelling of Linda Stelling Art in Culver City and Downtown LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda Stelling.

Linda, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As an artist for all of my life and from a family of artists (my grandfather painted frescos in churches, an uncle was a famous painter for a major newspaper and my father and mother gifted craftsman and floral designer), I was constantly invited to art museums or dance (another lifelong passion) in some stage production or attend an orchestral production, by way of my family. I was more shy than bold so I had to adopt “It will only hurt for a minute” attitude. From little on I drew or painted or created sculpture in clay to satiate my creative spirit. It was a wonderful way to incorporate my dreams into my life. I began to show my work, early on, through a wonderful art instructor and then through my BFA in painting and ceramic sculpture, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My first studio was in an old trolley car station in Grafton, Wisconsin where it was so cold I worked in mittens most of the time. The small space froze solid some days and I had to wait for the “oil truck” to come, so everything would thaw out. It was both wonderful and challenging at the same time. From there I graduated to an old woolen mill on the river and my studio on the third floor overlooked a dam which was harnessed for the blacksmith on the first floor. The building had been set up as studios for working artists. I was part of a group of artists; glass blowers, weavers, jewelers and painters. It was truly heaven as my studio and gallery sat above a crepe shop so my space always smelled delicious! My heart yearned for warmer weather so I came out to LA and got a job as a commissioned artist for LA ART PROJECTS for 5/hour. It was not easy paying rent on that and a test of my resilience to just get by. It was, my first experience in Los Angeles with “I promise to pay you a commission for everything that sells…” or, make sure to get it in writing I began to study in earnest with nationally known muralists and specialty finish artists, picking up every trick I could enabling me to make a living doing high end finishes and murals for movie stars and designers. That served me well for many years as I matured and gained insight as to who I was. My priorities shifted as I had a family and grew a thousand fold from their love and enthusiasm. It taught me to really love life and to appreciate the little things. Fast forward to present day where I show in several galleries in Los Angeles (Fabrik Projects, Gloria Delson Contemporary Arta, Gallery 825), and in many other cities, as well as Paris. The work I do is so rewarding, I can’t wait to get up and get started. I am in the studio almost every day, and when I am not, I am dreaming and planning for the next moment I can go back to having the time of my life. My work is based on (mostly) Jungian dream theories and I have allowed my dreams to permeate and shape my color and images. The work is free and abstract without constraint. I am excited to be allowed to create. It is a gift that I do not take lightly.

Has it been a smooth road?
Most people will agree life is full of hills and valleys and the unpredictable will surely turn up. Has it been a smooth road? No, not even but I guess if it were uneventful no one would savor the flat places we all get to stretch out and grow. Moving cross country to a new place was probably the most difficult and most challenging as I was not anywhere prepared for the financial shock that was to come. Who knew it would take a village to just get through a normal day? Or that one would need to work three jobs to get through that day! I can’t say I love change but I do love a good challenge and I am so up for the next story. Early on after leaving the field of commissioned artwork, I found it difficult to find my own voice. I was so used being given parameters inside which to create I found it challenging to land on my own island. When finally I decided to return to my abstract expressionistic work, and create from a place I know, which is color and movement, a whole new flood channel of ideas and enthusiasm kicked in and hasn’t stopped.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Linda Stelling Art – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My approach in my work revolves around the curvilinear form. I am fascinated by the evocative feel of the shapes that seem to pull one in visually. Often the forms are biomorphic-suggesting forms of living organisms. Also I am immersed in the enveloping pull of clear color. I have always been interested in the effect that color feeds into the image… the ability to change the perception, alter the mood entirely. The large color driven paintings I produce are meant to instill a “psychic vibration”. My work is also driven by the Jungian dream interpretation. The many theories in dream study, its many symbols and interpretations, have given food for my abstract work and provided an approach for some of the intentions in the paintings. Based on my own dreams, I work with dream residues of layered emotional images. The work is both cathartic and receptive to mythological energies, which are simply meant to send the viewer on their own positive path. Light, color, and strong movement propels an uplifting creative surge that empowers the viewer. It is a study that will take me a lifetime to pursue.

What are your future plans?
I am not a long distance planner nor do I set huge goals for myself that I find come and go and have the potential to disappoint. Instead I work at my craft and try to constantly be open to learning new ideas and how to implement those ideas. I also find that stretching my wings in other related areas of art (I am a musician, I build stained glass windows for fun, I love to design and build interiors) keeps me from digging a rut and jumping in! Small changes in how one sees the world can make interesting changes in my work.

Contact Info:

  • Website: lindastelling.com
  • Email: handpaintedstudio@sbcglobal.net
  • Instagram: @lindastellingart
  • Facebook: The Art of Linda Stelling

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Dennis Ervin

    October 23, 2018 at 12:25

    I absolutely had no idea of the inner thinking related to the brilliance put on canvas by Ms. Stelling. Her life journey is inspiring.

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