Linda Thornton Peterson

“My work, whether photography or painting, is about landscape and nature.  Most of my work is done in oils or acrylic with the palette knife.  The physical act of painting allows me to re-experience the feelings I have about a subject.  As a photographer, I enjoy capturing the exact moment, but as I paint I can feel the light and the colors.  I like the smell of the paint and the mushy feeling as I mix paint on the palette.  Also, I like the immediacy of color pencils or oil pastels.  These work well for illustrating the children’s stories that I write. Images of the Illinois prairie inspire my creativity in paintings or as the author of short stories.

My goal is to capture light, color, and atmosphere with fewer and fewer strokes.  At times I look across a landscape and think, this scene looks more like a painting than reality.  I am seeing as a painter (at last!).

I work from my photographs and plein-air sketches.  As I work, I let the painting guide me.  I am open to changes in composition, colors, and happy accidents.  I would describe my work as an American impressionistic.  Currently, I am interested in abstraction; that just means that after I block in my composition on canvas it becomes the basis for an abstraction of the subject, mainly in color-always COLOR.”

Landscape artist Linda Thornton Peterson, a Louisiana native, retired as a licensed mental health counselor from Northern Illinois University.  She holds a Masters from Miami University of Ohio.  As a psychotherapist, she utilized art therapy.  She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western State College of Colorado and has taught university, K-12 and private art students.  Linda has been a stringer-photographer for Associated Press/the Denver Post.  She attended Universidad Ibero Americana, Mexico City and studied art and photography for four years at Louisiana State University.  In 1961, at LSU she studied Josef Albers’ color course (before his book was published) with Professor DuFour, a Yale graduate and student of Albers.  In 1985, she did graduate work at Western State and Colorado Mesa University and obtained a K-12 art teaching certificate.  In 2005, her miniature landscape painting was selected in a national contest for publication in the North Light Book Club’s December issue.  Her paintings and photographs have been exhibited in Colorado and Illinois and are in collections in many states, Spain, and Mexico.  She has been represented by Colorado galleries, the DeKalb Gallery and the Bliss Beads Gallery.  In 2009 and 2010, her work was well received in two solo exhibitions at the Bliss Beads Gallery of DeKalb.