Pastel Passion: Linda Stair

HARLINGEN — She followed in the footsteps of the great impressionist painters all around Paris.

Admittedly, it was an amazing experience that only enhanced Linda Stair’s love and appreciation of art, specifically painting.

“What’s special about painting is that it is an interpretation of nature rather than a direct copy,” Linda says. “I try to put in the emotion of how I feel about the subject. It doesn’t always come out, but it is my attempt.”

She’s been painting landscapes and nature for many years. Some of those paintings will be on display at the Harlingen Art Forum starting tomorrow night, Jan. 26.

After spending time in the Valley as a Winter Texan escaping the cold winters, Stairs moved to Harlingen six years ago.

Since moving here, she discovered the beautiful flowers and started to paint them. Prior to that, she rode her horses in the Ouachita Mountains and painted landscapes.

Her pastel work is described as a subtle interplay of light, line, color and subject matter. Her eclectic style is influenced by the many areas she has lived.

Her talent comes from painting all her life, basically.

“I started with private lessons in grade school,” Linda says. “After my children were grown and gone, I went back and got my master’s of fine arts degree at an art academy in Cincinnati, Ohio.”

Now, she works mainly off of photos she takes, but also is delving into new mediums.

“I started with and prefer pastels, but have been branching to oils,” she says. “It is good to have something that is not behind glass, especially if you want to photograph it.”

She admits there is not a great deal of difference between the mediums — in both you work from dark to light.

But, it’s obvious her passion remains in pastels.

“They are very expressive,” she says. “In pastel — the little particles reflect the light and that makes it more luminous and it is permanent.”

She enjoys the creative nature of painting and the fact that it can be done for many years. It’s not something you can retire from, as long as you can move a brush around, you are able to do it.

“It’s so absorbing, you don’t think about anything else,” Linda says about painting. “It is a chance to meet people who are also interested in painting.”

She’s also hoping to meet more people and have others see her work at the Harlingen Art Forum.

“I want my paintings to look like impressionist,” she says. “I don’t want to get photographic. Still, you know what it is, not overly realistic. It should be a painting, not a photograph. I have taken some photographs that I don’t paint because I couldn’t improve up on the photo.”

Linda Stair file

Her Exhibits

• Oklahoma Art Workshops in Tulsa

• The National Small Painting Exhibition in Albuquerque

• The National League of American Pen Women’s Exhibition at the Walton Art Center in Arkansas

• The Caribbean Color Exhibition in St. Thomas

• The En Plein Art Exhibition in Paris

• Signature member of the American Impressionist Society

• The Society of International Pastel Artists and Pastel South of America

If You Go

WHAT: Harlingen Art Forum featured artist of the month reception

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 26

TIME: 6 to 9 p.m.

WHERE: Harlingen Art Forum in downtown, 115 E. Jackson

HOW: Just stop by to enjoy Linda Stair’s works, which will be on display through late February.