About Linda Curley
When I began my career as a painter I had not yet learned to see. My inexperienced eye had not been disciplined to be observant and patient.
My Grandmother relates that I expressed a desire to grow up and paint at least as well as she did. I don’t remember. I have vague memories of sticky oil paint and a baby food jar of oil I couldn’t open. I had no vision of the potential.
In school art classes, I angered easily when teachers tried to demonstrate on my work, ideas to help me progress. My independence rendered me unteachable and blind.
My parents took me outdoors to places they loved. I wondered why they wanted to spend so much time in a barren desert. Since then, I have found that to the most unobservant eye, ordinary scenes around us every day appear barren and ugly. They wait for the right moment of light to illuminate the beauty otherwise lying dormant.
Opening my eyes to see the beauty that surrounds me, has been a quest and a challenge of the most rewarding kind.
I have always thought it didn’t matter what tools one had, only what can be done with what they have.
I have great tools from many teachers, the most influential have been; Paul Forester, Floyd Brienholt, Harrison Groutage, Osral Allred, Ken Baxter, Dave Wade, Robert Abbot, Greg Allen, Jim Norton, and Jim Wilcox.
The privilege of studying privately with Paul Forester, came as a miracle in my life. I went three times a week, once to class and twice a week to help Paul’s wife Peggy with light housework, projects and cooking, I to this day do not know if she really needed me, she scolded me the first time I came to help her and had no paintings in tow. I learned to dust quietly while she and Paul critiqued and discussed each work in progress. She was a great teacher as was he.
Many award, ribbons and plaques have been granted to me over the years. I have felt honored with each one.
However, the most exciting award I ever won came from a painting I called “Midday Naptime” I painted it enthusiastically from something that I saw as beautiful. I nearly sold it to a neighbor for 350 dollars, but when she stalled I decided to enter it in a show that I erroneously thought of little import, because three fourths of the competition was disqualified. The show was the Utah Mothers Competition.
I found that it was indeed a tough group to compete in and I was surprised when I won best of show! That is not the end, for the painting went as Utah’s entry to the Nationals where I again won best of show and the Natl’Gertrude Fogelson Art award. The Governor of Utah presented me with the $1000 prize in behalf of the State.
It was during the time of study with the Foresters that I rather sheepishly unframed this award winner to take for critique one day. I was desperate for enough work to keep up with three private sessions a week and a family of small children. Paul looked at the work for a long time and finally said he liked the red dot here, he was pointing at the tag in the cows ear that glittered in the sun. I laughed and commented that I was glad he finally liked something that I had done.
Very seriously he eyed me over his reading glasses. His words are an award treasured to me, he said, “ I like everything you do” I had never known.
Other recognition that means a lot to me is signature status in Oil Painters of America and making the list of Utah’s top 100 artists. The greatest award of all is that others consider my viewpoint of worth to adorn their walls.
I have enjoyed the honor of having my work in many prominent places around the world.
There are five large pieces in the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, a mural in the South visitors center Temple Square, paintings in over 60 LDS Temples around the world. Christian reading rooms in Melbourne Australia, Murals in Columbia River Washington, Lubbock, Texas, Monterrey, Mexico, Snowflake, Arizona, The Haque, Netherlands, Brisbane, Australia, Redlands, California, Accra, Ghana, Aba, Nigeria, Manhattan, New York, Draper City hall mural as well as the permanent collection Springville Museum of Art.
I am supported by the most awesome family, my husband Greg and I live in Wallsburg Utah. We have twelve children between us. I never believed that I should wait till the children were gone to follow my passion of painting, consequently each teethed on brushes, (new ones I hope), while I continued to practice.
Sometimes I miss the little fingers helping me, where now none of them would dare to go. Some know how to mix paint and match color for me, some are great framers, and marketing agents. I’ve always wished that one of them would like to learn to paint, I believe I would be a good teacher. I have a few students that help me and I love them as one of my own.
Pricklyrock studio and gallery is always open, by appointment, to visit. We love the company.
What was the desire which taught me to see? I think a desire to capture and share with others something I found phenomenal.
And why do I like to paint? It might be selfish but the thrill of capturing a stunning ray of light, line or color is a powerful feeling of triumph, like participating in creation and being able to recognize “it is good” I know I didn’t create it but I was inspired by it and re-created a piece of art that is added to the collection in my heart.
This desire to share part of me, that which I value and love becomes my gift to you. I hope for the same patience from you in looking for beauty in the landscapes and the faces around you.
This is how I hope to improve the world with my existence.