Linda Kelson

Jemili • Image and Text

Linda Kelson was born in Boston, Massachusetts and has painted just about all her life.  She attended the Art Institute of Boston and later earned her degree in Fine Art at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.  She has been painting and selling her work in San Diego since 1983.

Linda uses a combination of media utilizing oils, oil pastels and gold leaf in many of her works.  Her preferred subjects are people, animals and landscapes – all living things.  But the real joy of each piece is color.  “I love to experiment with different combinations of colors and textures, seeing how they interact with each other, vibrate off each other.  My goal for each painting is to make the colors and the textures convey the mood of the subject while creating a pleasing piece of art.”

“My main influences in art have been the Impressionists and the Expressionists, as well as the Secessionist painters of the early 20th century.  I suppose my work has evolved over the years to include a combination of all these styles.   A painting is never merely decorative though.  It always has a deeper message.”  

While Linda does paint some commissioned portraits, most of the work is full of social commentary.  “I guess painting has always been cathartic for me.  If I feel strongly about something that is happening in the world or around me, I feel that I have to ‘speak out’ about it.  Painting is one way I can do that.”  Linda has been active in environmental and animal causes for many years, and has donated the proceeds from many of her sold paintings to several animal welfare organizations.  Linda and her husband have rescued feral cats and have always had a few cats of their own.  In fact, their cats have been frequent models in Linda’s paintings.  The cat series of paintings have been both experiments in color and allegorical portraits expressing thoughts about much broader subjects than just beautiful felines.   Her other animal paintings concern animal exploitation or the threat of extinction.  “I can’t just paint a portrait of a wild animal without finding a way to convey the special circumstances of that glorious being.  We owe it to them all to tell their stories, not just show their beauty.”   

Jemili • Image and Text