Telling a story
This story was featured in the March 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art March 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Linda Tracey Brandon enjoys the challenge of conveying a person’s character through a portrait. In some ways she believes that, as an artist, she is offering a gift to the subject—a visual companion to a life. “It’s a special connection. It’s my reaction to their soul, as best I can execute it,” Brandon says.
Brandon was a New York-based lawyer in her former life, but today the artist makes her home in Arizona. Her 1996 move to the Southwest also marked the beginning of her career in fine art. She had taken some illustration classes at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City; once she settled in the Phoenix area, she enrolled in a plethora of classes at the Scottsdale Artists’ School, where she now teaches classes herself. Last year brought a host of impressive awards for Brandon. In the fall she won first prize at the Butler Institute of American Art’s Midyear Exhibition in Youngstown, OH, and she also was awarded third place in the Portrait Society of America’s Members Only Competition.
Although Brandon paints in all genres, recently she is training her creative eye on narrative figurative work. She is intrigued by the intersection of fantasy and reality in everyday life. These new figurative pieces often have a staged quality in the sense that they are composed for a dramatic effect to pull the viewer into the narrative.
Brandon says the worlds she creates in her paintings are similar to the dioramas that people often create when they are children. In playing with her version of dioramas and the concepts of reality and fantasy, she can experiment with pattern, lighting, setting, composition, costumes, and props as well as abstract shapes and colors. “In general, I’m obsessed with the concept of presence and how important it is to be fully involved in where you are and what you do,” Brandon says. “I think a lot about the passage of time and the search for beauty, truth, and meaning during our time on this planet.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the March 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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