Elan Magazine March 2014 : Page 52

PRINTMAKER LINDA ROSE LAROCHELLE .PNFOUT JO5JNF EXPRESSIONS OF HUMAN EMOTIONS BY NATALIA MEGAS rintmaking is one of the oldest forms of art, dating as far back as 4000 BCE when the Sumerians created relief prints by carving images on stone. Falls Church printmaker Linda Rose Larochelle, who creates linocut prints from linoleum plates, feels a strong connection with her artistic forbears. “I feel excited about using one of the oldest forms of printmaking in my work,” says Linda. “My work har-kens back to a simpler time–it is very low-tech.” Linda always knew she wanted to be an artist. She fell in love with printmaking when she tried the art form for the first time as a seventh-grader. At age 17, the Wisconsin native headed for the San Francisco Art Institute on an art scholarship, where she earned a B.F.A. in printmaking. Printmaking is an opportunity to capture a symbol-ic simplified iconic image, says Linda. “I like the fact that when I carve into the linoleum, I feel like it’s a sculpture.... When I’m carving it, I’m capturing it for-ever. I’m capturing a moment in time.” Two of her images, “Member of the Wedding,” which portrays a little girl holding an umbrella, and her mother-and-child portrait “Ode to the Inuit,” epito-mize this feeling. “A lot of my stuff has a mother-and-child [theme] because child-bearing and raising was an intense and monumental experience for me. I feel like it’s ready to be chiseled in time,” says Linda. After living on the west coast for some time, Linda moved to the D.C. area and completed art classes at the University of Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth Uni-versity (VCU) and The Art League. She taught art for Arlington County Schools for 20 years. Linda admits that creating relief printings requires a lot of patience. The physical challenge of carving can be hard on the hands, she says: “It’s very labor-intensive. I think you just have to love the process.” 1 “I really, really focus on the image I want, and it becomes an inter-nalized emotional symbolic image because I keep drawing.” –Linda Rose Larochelle “Stray Cat,” hand-painted linocut, unique variation, 20” x 24” 52 | March 2014 | élan magazine

Moments in Time

Natalia Megas

PRINTMAKER LINDA ROSE LAROCHELLE

EXPRESSIONS OF HUMAN EMOTIONS

Printmaking is one of the oldest forms of art, dating as far back as 4000 BCE when the Sumerians created relief prints by carving images on stone. Falls Church printmaker Linda Rose Larochelle, who creates linocut prints from linoleum plates, feels a strong connection with her artistic forbears.

"I feel excited about using one of the oldest forms of printmaking in my work," says Linda. "My work harkens back to a simpler time–it is very low-tech."

Linda always knew she wanted to be an artist. She fell in love with printmaking when she tried the art form for the first time as a seventh-grader. At age 17, the Wisconsin native headed for the San Francisco Art Institute on an art scholarship, where she earned a B.F.A. in printmaking.

Printmaking is an opportunity to capture a symbolic simplified iconic image, says Linda. "I like the fact that when I carve into the linoleum, I feel like it's a sculpture.... When I'm carving it, I'm capturing it forever. I'm capturing a moment in time."

Two of her images, "Member of the Wedding," which portrays a little girl holding an umbrella, and her mother-and-child portrait "Ode to the Inuit," epitomize this feeling.

"A lot of my stuff has a mother-and-child [theme] because child-bearing and raising was an intense and monumental experience for me. I feel like it's ready to be chiseled in time," says Linda.

After living on the west coast for some time, Linda moved to the D.C. area and completed art classes at the University of Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and The Art League. She taught art for Arlington County Schools for 20 years.

Linda admits that creating relief printings requires a lot of patience. The physical challenge of carving can be hard on the hands, she says: "It's very laborintensive. I think you just have to love the process."

Starting with a plate of linoleum, Linda uses special tools to carve out an image. Once the carving is complete, she rolls ink onto the plate and then places paper over it. The print emerges when she rubs the back of the paper with a spoon or a heavy roller.

"I really, really focus on the image I want, and it becomes an internalized emotional symbolic image because I keep drawing," she says.

Once Linda's children were in high school, she opened a studio in the back of her home and began experimenting with art again.

"I went back to doing artwork," she says, recalling that she delved into watercolors. It was only when she took a course at VCU that she was reminded of what kind of artist she was. "That's when I remembered I was a printmaker," she says.

"Art for me was a way to get through life," she says "When you go to your art studio, you forget about everything. You forget all your problems and you get a clear concentrated focus, so it's really peaceful. It's my therapy. It lifts your consciousness up into a peaceful place because it lets you focus. It also is a good way to express how you feel about life.

"It's an expressive medium. And that's why I do human figures, because it expresses a certain amount of human emotion."

Linda says that Henri Matisse was one of her greatest influences: "I love his bright colors and his patterns. He's also expressive with the human figure and the way he divides the space up in his painting." Along with Matisse, she admires works by Mary Cassatt, Edvard Munch and Paul Gauguin.

For Linda, a piece is complete when "it does everything it's supposed to do and it looks as good as it possibly can and you feel like it's complete. You just know. It says what it wants to say and everything is balanced."

Linda advises aspiring artists to listen to teachers but listen to themselves too: "Get as much technical knowledge as you can, but don't forget to listen to your own heart. Don't forget about how you personally feel. Keep yourself centered. And don't worry if everyone is better than you."

Linda maintains a studio at The Loft Gallery in Occoquan.

Linda Rose Larochelle

www.loftgallery.org/larochelle.shtml

Read the full article at http://digitaleditions.sheridan.com/article/Moments+in+Time/1649711/199664/article.html.

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