As a child, Linda Christensen was always in tune with the subtle shifts in mood of those around her. This sensitive observation of friends and strangers has continued to inspire her work as an artist. Christensen catches people who are in a “private place” and are turned within. This is usually a brief moment, but something that we all do without being aware. Christensen finds something magical in seeing the humanness in others as they turn inwards, reflectively but uncritically.
Linda Christensen’s painting captures inspiration from the Bay Area Figurative Movement, but her work also has the extreme contrast of color and ambiguity of space seen in Mark Rothko’s work. The solitary figures in her paintings are also reminiscence of Edward Hoppers figure. Although Christensen finds inspiration from many different artists, her paintings are purely her own voice.
My goal is to make beauty. The impetus to make paintings is motivated in part by my desire to the express the inexpressible: the inescapable dualities of existence.
I use botanicals as archetypes in my work. I was aware of the suggestiveness of, and psychological meaning attached to some flowers. They are ambiguous, mysterious, a way to get to the paint. and in large scale represent heads, beats, landscape. I use these objects as subject matter, in silhouette. I also refer to my imagery as ‘girlie’ as the motifs and even mere suggestions of flowers and hearts are usually associated with being female, and feminine. My work addresses issues of power, solipsism, hierarchies by presenting imaginary orders, arrangements that would not occur in the natural world; I am working in response to and partly inspired by both external and internal chaos. I have turned them- flowers, seed pods, skeletons of pine cones, thistles into icons. The motifs are beards; their arrangement a poetic depiction of the internal self.
“I had always wanted to paint a show with only animals as the protagonists. In most of my previous work the animal is always paired with a human and I felt it was time to give the animal the sole focus.
I have been involving myself with Shamanism and animist belief systems for several years. In this belief system there is no boundary between humans and animals. Animals play also a large role in my shamanic journeys in which they reveal themselves as companions that carry, sometimes, specific messages or tasks.
The bear in particular plays an important part in my life as a spirit animal that accompanies me over and over again, especially when faced with new, sometimes leadership tasks. I sense the bear as my guardian and guide. Other animals, like the Jackal were firstly inspired just by their look and may reveal themselves later. I do not need to know.
Painting is an ongoing inquiry in the desire to transmit a sense of energy, a state of being and feeling. When one inquiry feels completed I move on, often revisiting places in my older work, but finding new ways to interact with it.
In my work I try to be as honest and true to myself as I can without losing discernment. I aim as best as I can for sincerity, intimacy and openness in my
paintings. In them I find the beginning of something that touches the universal. It is a place where others can touch the magic and sensuality that gets exposed in the process.
I think deep inside of us lives a longing to experience a sense of 'falling in love'. A visceral experience without words. For that to happen, this place needs to be free of irony, social commentary or conceptual humor. I am looking in my work to find the point in which we feel a certain ache – the ache caused by the knowledge that life is full of light and dark, sacred and profane, beauty and ugliness, life and death.