Linda Halcomb's Blog

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March 14, 2019 March 14, 2019

I have mentioned several times that I walk most mornings at Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park. It is the site of an old army base and has wonderful wooded areas and is home to ducks, herons, squirrels, deer and beautiful birds. Did I say deer? There are lots and lots and lots of deer! One Sunday morning I saw 6 deer and less than two minutes later 5 deer. The invasive honeysuckle bushes have been cleared and it was very easy to see the deer enjoying their Sunday Brunch.

So why am I telling you this? For many months I have been struggling with the direction I should take with my painting – realistic, representational, or abstract? Animals, still life, abstract or landscape? I have had success with my abstracts and I still love color so I will continue to paint abstracts but they say you will have the most true success (i.e. happiness!) painting what you love. I decided to spend some time painting animals and nature. I always feel peaceful and happy when I’m petting my dogs or walking in the woods laughing at the playful squirrels or listening to birdsong.

Recently I painted two small watercolors of deer. I started with a loose background over a primary color “mingle” and then painted the deer. I just made up the backgrounds and focused on summer and fall colors.

The deer have slightly different looks and some are definitely enjoying the bounty of the park more than others. It was fun and I just relaxed as I painted. The paintings are a beginning. I hope you enjoy them.


February 27, 2019 February 28, 2019

Last fall I took a workshop from a wonderful artist named Sandy Maudlin. She is a painter that uses Yupo as her surface and she typically uses watercolor and acrylic paints in various ways and combinations. Her techniques are what you would call experimental. For her “tape batik” paintings she uses tape to mask her paper as she builds up several layers of color. Her focus is on value (range of light to dark) and she asks her students to start with no more than four values. The color builds up throughout the process and she may finish an acrylic painting with a final layer of watercolor (on Yupo you could not do the opposite!) to achieve the darkest values. The end result has a batik-like appearance.

She starts with a black and white enlargement of the photo you have taken and uses gray scale markers to adjust the image to make a good composition. Then the painting and masking begins…in this image you can see my painting before I applied the darkest values and removed the tape. Looks pretty shocking doesn’t it?

I chose to work with scenes that I had photographed at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park. A de-commissioned Army base, the park is now a peaceful place and I walk there as often as possible. I painted a bridge that runs over a small creek and was not unhappy with the results. As I get older I am more tolerant with myself and value the learning as much as the result. Here is my final painting:

Bridge at Ft. Ben State Park

For more about Sandy look here.

For more about Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park look here.

For more about Yupo look here.


November 10, 2017 November 10, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:21 am
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When looking for canvas earlier this week, I found a canvas I painted this summer. I thought I would do more with it but then I couldn’t bring myself to change it. I had a very clear inspiration for this painting.

One Sunday morning in the middle of July I took my regular walk at Ft. Benjamin Harrison State Park. The sunshine was brilliant, the temperature was mild and the breeze was gentle. The dappled shadows danced on the path as I walked and the forest seemed to flicker and vibrate with energy as the leaves were touched by the breeze. As I drove home I was filled with a feeling of content, peace and happiness. The words that kept arising from my unconscious were “shimmering greens and gold”. The words wouldn’t go away. They just kept bubbling to the top. The minute I walked through my door I went to my studio to paint. When I finished this small abstract, I was happy but I thought I might try adding a hint of tree trunks and limbs to make it more realistic. I thought I would post both versions on my blog. But for some reason I never was able to add to this painting. They say that the hardest decision a painter makes is knowing when to stop painting. When will one more stroke be too much? I agree!


Abstract Summer 2017



End of Spring Challenge Posting Begins June 20, 2011

As thunder rumbles and rain roars down here in Indiana, I am posting my painting for the end of Spring Challenge. I have been working on abstract paintings for several months and I feel like I had to learn to use a brush again. I thought I had lost the painting early in the process but I recovered enough to complete it. I was inspired by the dancing light I see when I walk through the ravines in Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park here in Indianapolis. The trees reach skyward and the light filters in giving a glow behind the back lit trees.

The Spirit of Trees Greenly Reaching

I can’t wait to see what everyone else has done!



November 10, 2010 November 10, 2010

As I prepared for my show at the gbc Gallery in Greenfield, I decided to create a little book that told the story of some of my paintings. I love to read about all the interesting elements behind the creation of a work of art. Materials, inspiration, techniques – its all interesting to me. I thought I would share a few of these pages with you. Here is a page about my Favorite Things.

Favorite Things

Do you remember the song “These are a Few of My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. Well they may not be raindrops on roses but most artists paint their favorite things over and over again. The love affair may go on for years or even a lifetime. I know artists that paint almost nothing but farm country – barns, fields, fence lines, country lanes. Their paintings are consistently beautiful because they have a passion for their subject matter. I am very diverse because I am still such a novice but I do have favorites that I return to again and again. Here are two of them.

Ft. Benjamin Harrison State Park

For 15 years my husband and I have visited Ft Benjamin Harrison as often as possible. For years you would find us walking the trails at 8:30 am every morning of the week. We came to love the park, to appreciate its beauty and to enjoy its silence. I have painted at least seven different scenes at Ft Ben over the last four years (one of them I had to paint four times to get a keeper!) My current show has two new paintings included. The first is a painting of the Gatehouse we see every day and the time of year is the golden, glorious Fall.



The second is a painting of the Black Walnut Plantation at Sunset. The Black Walnut Plantation was planted in 1955 in order to provide wood for gun stocks. I am always fascinated by the military precision of the rows of trees with their straight lines marching strictly forward. I painted it in the crisp, cleanness of winter. The brittle cold and leafless trees allow you to experience the branches gracefully reaching for the sky.



Mark Twain’s Writings

Reading is a lifelong passion. I have been reading every day for longer than I can remember. As soon as I learned to read, I read everything I could get my hands on. Now I get up two hours earlier than my husband so I can have time, solitude and quiet to read each morning. When I heard earlier this year that Mark Twain’s entire unabridged autobiography was to be published in the fall I took time to reread Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I love the humor and the folksy feel of Twain’s writings. And his characters – what can I say? Reading these books led me to consider the personalities of two characters from these writings. Portraits are very time consuming and difficult but in this case, since I did not know the real people behind the characters I could use my imagination.

When my younger brother was growing up my Mother liked to say he was “all boy”, snips and snails and puppy dog tails. He had a shock of dark hair and a gentle face and deep eyes that would melt a mother’s heart. His general look and demeanor inspired my painting of “Ornery Little Cuss”, i.e. Tom Sawyer with his rumpled clothes and sunburned face.




The other character that stimulated my imagination this year was Injun Joe. I saw him as dark, evil and full of malice. I do not know anyone like this so one evening I sat down with my sketchbook and begin working on a drawing with no reference in mind. Feature by feature I thought through my own vision of this closed, malignant personality.