Linda St. Clair, b. 1952, Franklin, Tennessee, (United States)
Within the great tradition of painting, Linda St. Clair has set herself apart as an innovator who creates animal portraits that explore the personalities of creatures great and small. Whether her subjects are of the barnyard, domestic or wild variety, they are undeniably the product of an artist inspired by wildlife’s vital energy and its broad emotional range.
St. Clair’s body of work is infused with a strong narrative sense, a clear articulation of mood and spirit, and an intricate knowledge of animal anatomy. Each painting is completed during a single, intense session out of her studio in Santa Fe. St. Clair’s work is characterized by the contrast of warm and cool colors, loose brushstrokes and bold color, light and shade, and thin and thick textures. Themes of parenthood, strength, and the soft, silent language of affection can all be seen in her work.
The artist’s seminal years were spent on a Tennessee farm where she learned the mannerisms and attitudes of the dogs and cows living on the property. As a teenager, she left the country life behind and moved to Dallas to pursue a career in marketing. Later, under the guidance of her late husband, painter Dean St. Clair, Linda sharpened her craft and devoted her full attention to painting.
To get a clearer perspective of an animal’s spirit, St. Clair travels frequently to find and photograph them. She’s travelled to the Hudson Bay, Canada to study polar bears, Africa to observe elephants and zebras, and Yellowstone National Park as well as Katmai, Alaska to watch grizzly bears. Whether the subjects are lions or lambs, horses or hares, or the flamboyant and feisty barnyard rooster, St. Clair’s work is characterized by the contrast of warm and cool colors, loose brushstrokes and bold color, light and shade, and thin and thick textures.
Themes of parenthood, strength, and the soft, silent language of affection can all be seen in her work. “My goal is to offer the viewer a rare, if not surprising, glimpse into an animal’s individuality, its endearing qualities and often complex internal state,” St. Clair said. “I want my work to tell a story, to make us feel a connection with the subjects, to remind us all that upon closer inspection, animal emotions and relationships are not unlike our own.” St. Clair’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in the United States as well as Japan, China, Turkey and the Royal Guard in Paris, France.