Interview with artist Linda Klippenstein

Linda Klippenstein has experience working with resins, acrylics, and paper collage. She currently paints with acrylics, taking her inspiration from the way light sparkles and bounces off waves while she’s in her kayak, or the undulating curves of leaves and flower petals she observes on hiking trails and in gardens around her.

Linda, tell us about yourself.

I’m curious, and I love trying different mediums and techniques. I’ve dabbled in oils and water colours, and have spent years mastering the art of painting with resin and creating paper mosaics. I volunteered for a number of years, facilitating art projects at a drop-in centre for women who are street engaged. We had no budget for supplies, and I learned how to be resourceful and creative using found objects. I learned so much through that.

I need to move my body, and my favourite outdoor activities are cycling, kayaking, and hiking. I’ve got great choices, as I’m lucky enough to live near Vancouver, in Canada.

How did you get started as an artist?

I was asked by a good friend to participate in a group art lesson when I was 38 years old, and from the first class I was hooked — and I’ve never stopped. I try to paint every day, and even if I don’t have time to paint, I’ll stand in my art studio for a little while and just take it in. It’s become essential to my well being.

What kind of art do you make? Tell us about your process.

Currently, I paint primarily with acrylics on birch panels, and I mix my paints with various mediums to achieve the right viscosity so that the paint slides across the birch panels smoothly. I love movement and the flow of paint, and my latest works end up looking like they’re bursting or blooming, or just flowing in curvy lines. My current work is unique and I love that. I haven’t seen it anywhere else.

What challenges have you had while developing your art business?

The challenge I’ve overcome in the last few years was a lack of confidence, since I’m a self taught artist. I’m told that most art collectors don’t care about an artist’s education, whether they have a BFA, but that they feel connected to the artist in some way. I overcame my lack of confidence when I joined a local GroYourBiz Peer Advisory Board, which supports women in business, and also when I started having regular meetings with an art marketing coach.

My other challenge, and I’m sure I’ll never get over this one, is writing about myself, my art practice, or coming up with titles and descriptions of my works! I have a number of good friends who edit for me.

How was the process of taking your business online?

It was hard at the beginning to show my art online because it felt so vulnerable. It was also hard to “flog” my work, and to play the part of a salesperson, which I’m doing whenever I put my art up on social media.

Artists often feel criticized for producing art to earn money, and that’s something I’ve had to come to terms with. In fact, the more I post my photos in a professional way by taking good photos and using a service like Canvy to display them, the more professional I look, and that makes it easier to show my work online.

What made you choose Canvy app for displaying your work?

I’ve used other display room apps, but when I saw how I could display my art in Canvy, it was easy to switch over.

What do you love about Canvy?

I love how often Canvy adds new rooms! And I can “slip” a painting behind a vase or couch so that the room has dimension and perspective. I haven’t seen that in other display room apps. I love that some of the rooms have a light-hearted or fun feature too.

We know the power of being able to effectively display your artwork. How did it feel to be able to make those images and use them for your business?

It’s made it easier to use social media as a tool for sales. I like to show my paintings

Tell us what you've got coming up next in your business. What are you excited about?

I’m excited to start a new series, and am collecting and storing ideas. Whenever I’m out on the water in my kayak, I watch the way the light sparkles and bounces off waves. When I’m on the trails, I’m noting the many shades of green, and the different curves in leaves and in ferns, and on my road bike, I see rolling fields and landscapes. All this results in me creating pieces with movement and undulating lines. I’ll start my new series in September, and it will be a collection inspired by my love of the outdoors.

Why do you do what you do?

I’m restless and a news junkie and I find that painting is a wonderful distraction from a chaotic world. Painting doesn’t necessarily calm me, but it makes me problem solve, and my favourite pieces are always the ones I’ve struggled with the most.

I love making art accessible to others, and look forward to teaching workshops and facilitating community art projects again once we can gather.

Painting silences the chaos around me. Through it I feed my soul with beauty and serenity. When words can’t convey my meaning, art never lets me down as a way to connect with those around me.

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had on a project?

One of the best, most fun weeks of my art career was a number of years ago, when I was flown to Palm Springs by one of my collectors who owns a beautiful home there. I stayed with her and painted two 10’x5’ paintings for her entrance. In one week!

Every morning I’d be up by 4:00 to prep, painting by 4:30, and I’d paint till dinner time, when I’d stop to have a swim in her pool. She brought me all the coffee and wine and food I wanted, and all I had to do was create. It was fun for her to be in and around the creative process. And for me, it was a week of not thinking or stressing about anything, but just concentrating on colour, shape, and design.

At the end of the week, I didn’t even think to get proper photos of it because I was so wrapped up in the process. I finished the two pieces the night before I flew home, and we wired and finished hanging the artworks just minutes before I left for the airport. What a wonderful rush that was!

You can find Linda Klippenstein and her art here