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September 28, 2012

Los Banos artist prefers markers

Some artists prefer sculpting to painting. Others may choose oil over watercolors. Linda Brown's medium of choice is a permanent marker.

LOS BANOS -- Some artists prefer sculpting to painting. Others may choose oil over watercolors. Linda Brown's medium of choice is a permanent marker.

"It's my Sharpie fetish," said the 49-year-old teacher.

Brown, a special-day instructor at Henry Miller Elementary School, is the latest point of focus for the Los Banos Library's local artists wall.

Brown reached a couple of personal firsts with her works, all done within the past year. She said she had never used the usual black-and-white style on such a large canvas, and one piece, a portrait of daughter Katie, is filled in with color gouache, a type of paint.

The three pieces are filled with repetitive imagery and are reminiscent of a zentangle drawing or the work of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt.

"He would take gold leaf and he would apply it to his paintings," Brown said. "He would do all of this pattern work."

The portrait of her daughter is accented with gold leaf.

Two of the three pieces were commissioned specifically for display in the library.

"When they asked me to do this show it forced me to produce," Brown said, adding she is usually too busy.

A self-described Army brat, Brown said she grew up in towns across California and Germany. She studied art at the University of North Texas before enlisting in the Army herself.

Though she teaches special-day classes, Brown has been an art teacher in Los Banos and in a juvenile hall in San Jose.

Brown said she decided to re-focus on her art and not just teach it after getting advice from another artist.

"It's self-fulfillment; it's saying that you're good enough that you have something to contribute," she said.

"People who are interested in art shouldn't hold back, they should go for it," she said.

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