Linda Cromer started painting at her mother’s knee, sitting on the floor dabbing at old canvas boards with her old worn brushes. While her materials have improved greatly, one thing hasn’t – she still finds painting to be great fun.
An exhibit of her watercolor still-life paintings is on display in the Lorenzen Gallery at the Pendleton Center for the Arts, and admission is free.
Cromer grew up in the Midwest dreaming of becoming an artist and living in Greenwich Village. After graduating from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), Linda moved west to Arizona, traveling through Mexico and Central America. She returned to New York and eventually to Greenwich Village fulfilling the childhood dream. She painted her beautiful still life and floral watercolors there until her recent move to the northwest to be near family. Cromer’s brother, Bruce Barnes, made special arrangements for the work to be available in Pendleton.
Cromer exhibits her work at traditional venues across the country and internationally and has also participated in a large number of outdoor fairs and festivals in and around New York. Working on very thick and sturdy 100 percent cotton paper in large format, her pieces combine the organic forms of cut flowers with the flowing lines of rich textiles.
Still life painting dates to the Middle Ages and gained prominence as artists grew increasingly interested in creating realistic studies of everyday items. The genre often shares commonalities with botanical illustration. Edouard Manet once called still life “the touchstone of painting.”
“Watercolor has virtues; the clarity of color being primary one, and to my mind, that is the whole point of painting,” said Cromer. “It’s all about color and the pleasure of the act of painting.”
Cromers work will be on view through Dec. 31. More information is available at PCA’s website.