Pastel painting presented at National level

Exhibition piece: Monika Linehan’s pastel painting, “The Shy Girl” was accepted into Pastal National 2014 Exhibition. It will be on display until May 12.

Exhibition piece: Monika Linehan’s pastel painting, “The Shy Girl” was accepted into Pastal National 2014 Exhibition. It will be on display until May 12.

Sadie Jones

A&E Editor

Cameron University Associate Professor of Art Monika Linehan received the honor of being accepted into the Pastel National 2014 Exhibition at the Wichita Center of the Arts, located in Wichita, Kan. Her Pastel on Art Spectrum paper — titled “The Shy Girl” — will be on display from March 28-May 12.

Since 1984, the Pastel National 2014 Exhibition features various pastel drawings and paintings. Linehan said this was her first time to enter the exhibition, a show well-known among pastel artists. According to the artist, pastels do not refer to the color but rather to the medium — hard pastel and soft pastel.

“Both of the pastels create different effects,” Linehan said. “You can use them as a drawing medium — where you make a lot of marks and make it a linear kind of drawing. You could also use them more like a painting medium where you make broad strokes and overlay colors on top of one another — and then it really starts looking more like a painting. You can blend them smooth if you want or leave them rough. They are very versatile.”

Linehan chose the painting medium for her piece “The Shy Girl.”

“I approached it more like a painting where I just built layers of color where it looks kind of like broken brush strokes,” Linehan said. “I worked on a special type of pastel paper so that you can put layers and layers of pastel on there.”

Like many other artists, when Linehan creates a new piece, she aims to tell a story. Experienced in the painting of the human figure, Linehan used a live model for her exhibition painting. In all of her work, the figure is used. She bases her paintings on storytelling and aims to create characters and put them in certain environments to tell a story.

“I had a live model sitting on the stage, and basically, I wanted to bring out the different colors I saw on the skin. I love to intensify the color that is actually there, so it becomes stronger and richer,” Linehan said. “I didn’t paint this with the purpose of symbolizing anything in particular. It was really a study of the figure.

“In all of my work, I use the figure, so having the opportunity to work with a model in a more realistic way is always helpful because I can understand the figure better so that when I’m working from my imagination, it comes out more believable.”

Linehan said she tries to present her work on a regular basis. Her goal is to enter into one or two exhibitions per year.

“Last year I was in an exhibit in Oregon called “Nude in the 21st Century,” Linehan said. “I was able to enter one of my pastels of a model that posed for me. It was a good opportunity — I got a lot of experience out of that.”

In addition to her Oregon exhibition last year, Linehan also won the Jurors award — one of the three awards from an Oklahoma show called the “24 Works on Paper Show.”

Linehan has years of experience in painting and drawing; however, her love for art formed long before her college and professional career.

“I started painting when I was a little kid,” Linehan said. “That was what I did in my free time — I loved to paint and draw — and of course, that carried on through high school, and eventually I went to college to study art.”

Linehan received her undergraduate Art degree at CU in 1980. When she finished at CU, she continued her education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas where she earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Painting.

After several years as not only a painter but also an instructor, Linehan said she constantly has to think of new ideas and inspirations. Although it can be a struggle at times, she always looks for ways to improve — because she enjoys learning.

Linehan received the Hackler teaching award last year, and with the award, she received a Professional Development Grant that allows her to study, learn and broaden her skill.

“I’ve never been formally trained with painting in the Renaissance style,” Linehan said. “I really want to learn more about that, so this summer I am going to take a couple of workshops in Edmond at their Art Conservatory. I’m excited to bring what I learn back to my students.”

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