Local artist Linda Wharton likes to find the balance between studying art and making art, she told College of Southern Maryland students, faculty and guests at the March 9 gallery talk of her exhibition. She drew on Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer, 20th century abstract painter Richard Diebenkorn and American realist Jeremy Lipking as inspiration when she painted “Mary with the water pitcher,” of her niece. “I had three ideas floating in my head and that’s how I approach what I do,” she said.
Wharton, an adjunct faculty member at CSM teaching drawing, has a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and has studied watercolor in Japan and painting in Venice and Florence, Italy, as well as with artists in Maryland and Virginia. Her exhibitions have shown at Anne Marie Garden in Lusby, at the North End Gallery in Leonardtown, at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons and at the Belleveue Store Gallery in St. Michaels.
John Kubik of Washington, D.C., who attended the gallery talk, enjoys hearing about what the artist was thinking while painting. “If you know what she was thinking or feeling, you can take it in better,” Kubik said. A history major, Kubik said that after taking two art history classes at CSM he has a better perspective of not only what was
going on politically in any particular time period, but also what was going on culturally.
Kubik’s favorite Wharton painting is “Blithe Spirit,” of a young “biker” woman clad in brown leather jacket, bandana and pig tails. Wharton explained that the model, Sonja, was also an artist that worked out of the Art League Gallery, Torpedo Factory in Alexandria. “She came in that outfit to pose for several artists,” said Wharton. “She wanted to be ‘Fierce Sonja.’ But because she was always such a delightful person, I could only see ‘Pippi Longstocking.’”
Wharton’s exhibit includes “Mary with the water pitcher,” an oil on linen; “”Feet,” Tres crayon, three color chalk; and “The Dreamer,” a red chalk. The exhibit continues at the Tony Hungerford Memorial Art Gallery through March 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and during Fine Arts events. The college is closed for spring break between March 17 and 21, and will reopen on March 22.
For information on the exhibit and the Tony Hungerford Memorial Gallery schedule, visit www.csmd.edu/FineArts/galleries.