My name Is Linda Millar and I am an artist. It's pretty thrilling to see those words in writing! I was born into a first generation German family, in Windsor Ontario.
Our family was poor and moved often. I was expelled from high school 3 months into Grade 10 because I didn't own the uniform that made up the school's dress code. In hindsight, I'm pretty amazed I managed so long just by borrowing uniforms from friends! I didn't return to finish high school until I was 37 years old. It was a life-changing, awesome adventure to befriend a bunch of teenagers and discover I was an adept student. In fact, at graduation, I was named valedictorian. After receiving several scholarships, I entered the Journalism/Print/New Media program at St. Clare College; the Windsor Star hired me before I graduated. I'd like to say I had an interest in art during those years, but life was so busy with family, school, and work, I didn't have time for creating. And then I moved to Northern Ontario. I was so lonely, I bought and learned to use pastel pencils.
I was 48 years old. At first, drawing was a way to fill in the isolated, dreary winter hours. It wasn't long before I was using chalk pastels and to this day, this is my favourite medium. Acrylic painting became a passion a couple of years later; I was drawn to it because the paint dried fast, and I could gesso over any messes I made (which were many.)
I am self-taught and because of this, I don't have a lot of confidence as a painter. I don't belong to any artist groups, although I'm considering this as I go forward. Recently, I've begun to paint with watercolours. I created a series of Christmas cards, made prints of them, and sent them to family and friends. I was so surprised to see how well they were received - many people framed their cards! This really boosted my confidence. Still, I tend to work quite slowly as an artist, mainly because I use art as a meditation. It requires me to be present in each moment I'm working, and this has a deeply calming effect on my perspective and state of mind.
Being able to create something that didn't exist before I picked up a paintbrush, feels spiritual to me. I am most content and 'at home' when I'm working on a painting. Even when things aren't going well, I feel harmony with myself, God, and creation, when I paint. Art gives me a sense of doing what I was intended to. The whole creative process brings me joy, peace and a sense of being who I really am. I'm learning about light these days. How light bends our perception of an object through things like water or glass, is really interesting to me. I'm also learning to depict how water magnifies or distorts an object it's covering. Colour theory is an area I am determined to make greater progress in, but I know the time has come for me to receive some professional instruction if I'm to do this.
For me, painting feels the same as writing. I am communicating something about myself in every stroke of the brush, or pastel. And I often learn important things about myself in the process of creating. Being willing to share what I've learned through allowing others to view what I've made, proves to me that I'm growing in confidence and self-knowledge. Art is a vehicle for me to learn about the natural world as well as my inner world.
Art is what I use to present what I've learned. I am a life-long learner, so I know I will always paint.