By Roger Walk
Oil paintings by local artist Linda Shields representing the beauty of nature along rivers and lakes will be shown in an exhibition that opens at the Chester Library in March.
Richmond-born Mrs. Shields, who has lived in Chesterfield for over 30 years, has been fascinated by nature all her life and had taken photographs to reference the beauty she sees around her.
In search for her personal way to express the emotional aspects of her visual art, she started to paint and attend art classes more than a decade ago. The summer school at James Madison University and art classes at VCU, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and in Kingston, New York, “opened the flood gates for my art,” says Mrs. Shields with compassion in her voice.
Throughout the years, Shields has used oil, mixed media, and recently encaustic (painted hot beeswax fused with a heat gun to a solid surface) techniques for her artistic expression and creativity. “Painting gives me a sense of peace. It’s something I feel I have to do,” says Shields when she demonstrates this ancient technique in her home studio. Shields work has been exhibited locally and in other states, for example at the Fine Arts Center of Elon University, N.C.
Using oil and mixed media painting on larger format canvas she has created many landscape paintings with the common theme of rivers and lakes. A selection of those works will soon be displayed on the walls of the Chester Library. The “Rivertime” exhibition will kick-off on March 2 with a drop-in reception from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be open to the public during the library’s opening hours until the end of April.
In partnership with the Chesterfield Center for the Arts Foundation, the Chester Library supports visual art exhibitions throughout the year. Paintings or photographs are displayed on the walls surrounding the main library space. The exhibits change about every two months. The Rivertime exhibition of Linda Shield’s paintings follows the exhibition “From Real to Abstract” presenting watercolor and acrylics paintings by Barbara Newlin during January and February.