Linda Gleason Ritchie - Art

My love of videography and photography surfaced almost thirty years ago. It was my way of capturing special moments to share it with others. That, as far as I knew was my only artistic talent. Then in the fall of 1986, I saw a painted tuxedo shirt. It grabbed me, but the price tag promptly "released" me. My "mommy" brain said to me that it was an impractical extravagance, so I walked away. Only two days later, I was still fixated on that shirt! It had a top hat clown on the front (very classy). On the third day of obsessing, I decided to purchase it; only someone else had already bought it. I then decided to make my own. I spent a bit more on the items needed to create this "work of art" than the original one cost, but I enjoyed it so much that for several years I painted shirts for friends and family. I did not consider it much more than coloring within the lines since I always stenciled the piece on first. Even then, with no formal training I found myself shading and adding so much more detail than those in retail stores. Little did I know that God was preparing me to take it up a few notches? Several years ago, my dearest friend, Ramona Quirk, and her husband, Tommy, introduced me to Photoshop. We took classes to learn how the heck to use all those tools. One day Ramona and I were talking about this process called virtual oil painting, or smudge painting. We tried to figure out the process and technique on our own, but with very little success. Then she and her husband bought a tutorial on it for my birthday. She and I started from there and we began seriously painting (virtual oil painting) in mid-2007, uncovering a God-given talent that has been both exciting and gratifying. With the help and encouragement of my friends and family, and many nights of minimal sleep, I continue to evolve. Digital painting differs from other forms of digital art and computer generated art, in particular, in that it does not involve the computer rendering from a model. To create a painting I start with a digital photo, or I scan a film photo. I hand brush and blend the pixels using digital tools by means of a computer, a digitizing tablet, stylus, and painting software. I use the same motion and technique that is used to apply a traditional paintbrush to canvas. I love painting this way; I have total control over color and light, this allows me to bring out the emotional expressiveness of the image. When the digital painting is complete, I transfer the image to fine artist canvas using rich UV archival pigments. Then a portrait, which can be cherished for many lifetimes, is presented to my client. It is with a humble heart and gratitude beyond what I can express that I thank God for blessing my life with the love and friendship of one of the most inspiring and edifying Christian women I have or will ever know. For every day that she dwelt here, someone's life was blessed. I aspire to show the grace and fortitude which she exhibited throughout the entire time that I knew her, but most especially during this last year.

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