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Meet Linda Mitchell of Linda Mitchell Art

Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda Mitchell.

Linda, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After making art for over 35 years in a professional capacity, I decided to switch things up a bit from the traditional gallery and museum format that I had been using to present my work.

My new year’s resolution for 2018 was to start making free art using a stencil of my Logo-Pup over unique acrylic paintings I make on surplus materials I have in my studio. I make these paintings specifically to give away because I think we need more positive energy flowing into the world. On the back of each painting is a secret message to the recipient that I hope will bring them good energy.

This year I started the practice of making and leaving my work in public places and have left 81 pieces to date in Atlanta, Athens, Key West, North Georgia, Blue Mountain Beach, and Gadsden. I post the location on my Instagram and Facebook accounts, but the pieces are often found by chance by someone willing to pick up a little sweet/sad dog painting that they happen upon as they walk. I plan to keep leaving them in every place I go to spread joy and support to my fellow human beings.

I have had wonderful feedback from the people who find the work, some of it quite moving as people tell me how that particular painting or phrase meant a lot to whatever they were going through or perhaps it showed up when they really needed a bit of support. It’s a magical process for both me and the recipient. I get so much joy from creating the pieces and leaving the work to do its job – and then often hearing back how it has made a difference to someone. It’s a win-win!

Has it been a smooth road?
Making art is a challenging lifestyle. I have exhibited my work in over 20 solo museum shows and numerous galleries around the country, but I still have to work pretty hard to get sales, exhibitions and reviews. I make the work because I have to because it is my passion, but I have always needed other sources of income.

Sometimes I feel that my work doesn’t fit into any of the usual categories- it is somewhere between classical/realism and current/contemporary/conceptual work. And that often leads to rejection and frustration. Another of my new year’s resolutions was to just accept where I am and who I am and the work as it is. I’m tired of playing the art game, so I decided to just keep making art- and let it lead me to wherever it wants to go.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My current mixed media paintings and installations are populated by animals, both real and imagined. In these narrative works, the animals often become surrogates for human beings and their emotional lives. Some of the animal figures speak directly to the child within and the vulnerable, delicate places of the viewer’s own past.

The paintings often coalesce into intricate and surreal scenes, reflecting life’s emotional complexity. Poetic meaning emerges from the broken, the castoff, and the unassuming. By working intuitively, I layer materials, images, and dream-like scenarios. Inevitably they end up expressing aspects of my life or problems but are universally relevant to personal interpretation, including my concerns for social equality and global survival.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think there a lot of artistic opportunities for artists, but there could be more that emphasize local artists as being just as important and collectible as artists from other cities.

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