Monday, June 18, 2012

Flora, Fauna and Mystical-the Art of Linda Gilbert

Flora, Fauna and Mystical-the Art of Linda Gilbert
By Bob Gilbert

Linda Gilbert
"Fit For a King"

The July exhibit at the Gourgaud Gallery is a one-woman show featuring the acrylic paintings of my wife, Linda Gilbert. The show is entitled “Flora, Fauna and Mystical”. The Show will run from July 8-23, 2012. The Artist Reception is July 8 from 1-3 PM. As a special incentive, on the day of the reception, a small matted painting is being offered for free with the purchase of any larger hanging painting.

Here is a little background about Linda – she taught art to New York City public school students for thirty years and retired in 2003. During her career, she was so busy teaching art and being a mom (and wife) that she did not have much time to devote to her own art work. That all changed after she retired, as evidenced by this current outstanding (totally unbiased opinion) exhibit.

Now I will let Linda speak for herself. Here is a Q & A with Linda:

Q: This is your second exhibit at the Gourgaud Gallery, the last one being almost two and a half years ago. How has your painting style or approach changed since the first show?

A. I believe that my painting style has become less inhibited than it was before. Although I started to lean towards doing some mystical or surreal paintings, I have expanded on that concept. Even my realistic paintings reflect a certain “fantasy” that did not quite exist before. This is more my “cup of tea” - using my imagination - getting into the twist of the unknown.

Q: What are your favorite subjects to paint and how do you select them?

A. I still photograph scenes, objects, buildings, and people - whatever I see that can possibly make an interesting subject matter. They may not always be interpreted as the photo dictates, but they are definitely sources for paintings. I love doing landscape, cityscapes and an occasional Still Life. Sometimes, these paintings have a little twist of fantasy to them. My web site is divided into categories of the different subject matter that I paint.

Q: You have amassed a lot of paintings over the past several years, more than can fit in the current exhibit. How do you decide which ones to enter into the show (other than asking me and doing the opposite)?

A. The decision is very difficult. I did an experiment once, sending 25 painting images to 25 friends, asking which paintings they think would appeal to the masses. I received 25 different answers. Selecting paintings is very personal to the artist and the buyer. There is no accounting for taste -it is an individual choice. I ended up choosing a wide variety of subject matter, so there is a wide range of choice.

Q: I have seen you devote a lot of time to painting. Can you describe what you enjoy most about it?

A. Painting is relaxing for me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and joy to see what I can do with a subject. If I achieve the color I am looking for, the way I like it to look (and that may not necessarily be the way it actually looks---which has proven a little more difficult to achieve than doing it realistically), and an overall aesthetically beautiful product, I am then fulfilled in my creation.

Q: When you retired nine years ago, did you anticipate or even imagine that you would get involved in painting to the point of exhibiting your work in galleries and shows?

A. No. I immediately enrolled in a couple of painting courses offered by the United Federation of Teachers when I retired. This was to “brush-up” on my techniques. I painted every day for 1-2 hours when I retired. I felt good that I was finally creating something I wanted to create, other than painting murals and giant scenery for school plays. It is after moving to New Jersey almost five years ago, that I began to expand my painting to larger and more diverse subjects. I am fortunate to have found the Gourgaud Gallery, as it inspired me to go in a direction of exhibiting in a gallery. Now, I am exhibiting regularly in various local galleries throughout the area.

Q: You have been teaching an acrylic painting class for retired NYC teachers for the last few years. What is it like to teach adults as opposed to children, and do they get detention if they repeatedly come late to class?

A. Generally, there is no discipline problem!!!!! I do not have to tell the students, if they do not listen, I will have to call or write a note home. I do have one student who comes late every session. I tell him to get a late pass, but he hasn’t done that yet. No one yet has received detention…but it is a thought.

On the serious side, it is very different than teaching children, as I am working with my peers, and all former NYC teachers. As I walk from student to student to talk and suggest techniques for their paintings, I can also make some small talk about our experiences when we taught for the NYC school system—and how happy we all are being retired!!!!!!

Q: Finally, as an artist, what is it like being married to a guy that can’t draw a straight line with a ruler?

A. My “guy” may not be able to draw a straight line, but he plays a mean guitar. Sometimes I think Jimmy Hendrix is in the den! Let us not forget, music is an art also.

Linda Gilbert
Additional Pictures may be viewed on Facebook: Gourgaud Gallery

The Gourgaud Gallery is located in Town Hall, 23-A North Main Street in Cranbury, NJ: The artwork is for sale with 20% of each sale going to support the Cranbury Arts Council and its programs. Cash or a check made out to the Cranbury Arts Council is accepted as payment.
Hours: Mon-Fri 9 AM – 4 PM
Sundays July 8, 15 and 22, 1 PM – 3 PM