Linda Maureen Wilkes
I knew the moment I met Linda in her little house perched on a mountainside, her inspiration came from much more than her surroundings. The paintings and pottery displayed in her lounge told the story of her life and travels. The watercolour painting of a stone house caught my eye and she explained the house was no longer there but you can see the church tower of Parcent in the background. Amongst the sunning scenery of the valley the moorish influence merges with what remains today and Linda sees it all portraying the sense of history within her pictures.
Linda studied Art back in the day, at the William Grimshaw School in Muswell Hill in London. “We had three excellent art teachers’, she says proudly. She later went to Hornsey art college where she studied figurative drawing and art history. Her teacher would arrange trips to London where students could make sketches of the historical buildings and train stations.
Linda travelled extensively to Granada in Spain, Ibiza, Formentera, wandering in the marvels of Italy, above all Florence and Venice, she has travelled through Greece and the former Yugoslavia and on to Turkey appreciating the many distinct cultural influences. Yet coming back to Spain and to the Costa Blanca it is here she has settled, where she can replicate at ease the stories she needs to portray on her canvas. Only she can know what is behind that hill or tree or little stone hut leaving the onlooker to decide how to complete the story.
‘So, with all these many adventures one begins to appreciate and take part in this glorious scenery,’ she tells me. ‘After, many moons, having settled in this area, whether on the coast or inland. One really appreciates all that it has to offer.’ ‘The mountains and spectacular landscape, entice me to venture out with my easel and paints to capture this glorious scenery, allowing me to change and develop my style over time.’ Most of my paintings have been done in situ, some have been worked from a photo I have taken, others, adapting the scene into a story which I have read.’
For some years now, Linda has been working with clay, preparing ceramics and sculptures, which she thoroughly enjoys. It means a lot to her that you take as much joy from those as well as her paintings.