Linda Balek

Why I do Landscapes

Living most of my life in New England has given me the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, with changing of the seasons.  You can find me with my husband hiking rural trails and seeking out hidden waterfalls.  Many of my subjects are taken from these excursions.  Most of my Landscape oil paintings depict the feeling of wilderness.  My landscape paintings are done with a combination of pallet knife and brush, thus creating a more dynamic feeling.

Why I do Pet Portraits

I have always had pets.  When I was growing up, my mother loved animals.  One time she nursed an abandoned squirrel back to health.  The squirrel crawled to my mother for help.  She was tending to him around the clock and fed him every 4 hour to nurse him back to health. After the squirrel was healthy, she let him go.  We actually would see him once in a while in the yard.  We also had cats and dogs.  Her love for animals was passed on to me.  Since my time growing up, I have had four cats of my own.  One of my cats lived till he was 18 years old.  I realize what an attachment you have to a pet.  That is why I now do pet portraits.

I often look at the portraits I have of my cats and have a warm feeling.  I also know that it is important to get the look right when doing a portrait of a pet.  Little things matter when representing an important family member.  I am able to achieve the necessary detail in a graphite pencil drawing or by using oil paint to give it a more creative edge but still have detail in the face.

Why I do House Portraits

I am doing house portraits because I am a structural engineer.  I don’t practice anymore, but still love the form of structures.  Even when I was designing bridges, I would be creating art on the side.

And because houses become homes I feel they deserve a place on a wall.  Places you live don’t just give you shelter but become memories.  I associate all the places I have lived or visited with certain events.   For my house portraits I use pen & ink to give the structural element to the design and use watercolor washes to achieve a more artistic piece.