Featured Artist Linda Lowery

Painter Linda Lowery presents a collection of intimate portraits rendered in oil and encaustic. See more of her work by visiting her website.

 

portrait of a bearded black man by Linda Lowery

“I’m Here” encaustic on birch panel, 16” x 16”

 

I love to look at faces. It is how I identify people, lets me know who they are, how they present themselves to the world, and maybe, what they are like.

 

painted portrait of a black woman by Linda Lowery

“G With Tears” encaustic on birch panel, 16” x 16”

 

If I study someone’s face, I feel like I have an intimate connection with them.

 

portrait of a smiling black man by Linda Lowery

“Mohamed” encaustic on birch panel, 24” x 36”

 

It is no wonder I feel this way since, as humans, we are hardwired to search for faces from the moment of birth. They say an infant’s eyes have a focal range just long enough to allow them, from their position in their mother’s arms, to focus on her face.

 

portrait of a smiling young woman by Linda Lowery

“Smile 3” encaustic on birch panel, 16” x 16”

 

It is natural then, that I adopted portraiture for my creative expression.

 

portrait of a young black american male by Linda Lowery

“See Me” encaustic on birch panel, 24” x 36”

 

I began by painting portraits of newborns in a loose expressionistic style. I was looking for all the colors in the face and a looseness that could draw the viewer in and allow their eye to fill in details.

 

portrait of a black American female by Linda Lowery

“Aya” encaustic on birch panel, 24” x 36”

 

My first portraits were in oil, but in my search for a way to achieve a greater translucency in the skin of the babies I painted, I discovered encaustic or hot wax painting.

 

portrait of a young black female by Linda Lowery

“Kenyatta” encaustic on birch panel, 16” x 16”

 

I fell in love with this medium. It allows me to achieve true translucency. One can actually see through several layers of wax, but it is a challenge. When I work, I like to fully melt the top layer of wax during the fusing process or the process which binds layers of wax together. However, when melted, the wax tends to move. This can distort the picture.

 

portrait of a black American by Linda Lowery

“Standing” encaustic on birch panel, 24” x 36”

 

Sometimes, the melting and moving achieves a wonderful effect. This is a result that makes the challenge worthwhile.

 

detail of crying eyes by Linda Lowery

“Young Eyes” encaustic on wood panel, 24” x 14”

 

A couple of years ago, I began painting portraits of young adults. Still using encaustic, I continued to explore the range of color in each face. As I study each face, I identify with the individual and I feel like I understand them. During the trying times we are in, as we deal with a pandemic, economic disruption, and racial injustice, I have experimented with adding tears to my portraits—a tie to the crying babies I painted a few years ago.

 

portrait of a tearful black male by Linda Lowery

“Don’t Forget” encaustic on birch panel, 16” x 16”

 

I hope my paintings can bring viewers a feeling of closeness to the individuals I paint and allow them to identify feelings they have in common.

 

Artist Linda Lowery invites you to follow her on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

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