UPDATED: October 03, 2009

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This year's Featured Artist is Lawrence, Ks artist Linda McKay, who was selected for this award by fellow Lawrence ArtWalk 2009 artists. Her acrylic on canvas painting, 'Great Walls' (above) appears on ArtWalk promotional materials including the invitational postcard, poster and printed guide map.

A reception was held in her honor on Saturday, September 19, at which she signed copies of the ArtWalk poster featuring her work.

Linda said she was "tickled to be chosen as the featured artist since the award involved the participation of other Lawrence artists, who are a talented lot."

While her primary medium is watercolor, it is her acrylic painting, 'Great Walls,' that appears on Lawrence ArtWalk promotional materials.

Linda, who has lived in Lawrence since 1970, was a computer programmer, economist, wife and mother, potter and a biochemist before becoming a painter and printmaker. She started painting in watercolors with Louis Copt at the Lawrence Arts Center but, after attending numerous workshops in New Mexico, California, Maine and Umbria, Italy, to hone her painting skills, she lost interest in trying to capture 'reality.' Instead, she found herself most often posing a problem to be solved.

In the case of 'Great Walls'
Linda wondered if she could "do a painting that looks like a landscape but that doesn't let the viewer enter the painting at all." She also turns to art or politics for inspiration and for this painting she was intrigued by the wall that was being built by the US on the Mexico-USA border. However, before she knows it, the colors usually "take control, or, at least, talk back."

Linda is a signature member of the Kansas Watercolor Society (KWS) and since 2000 has had paintings selected for KWS shows at the Wichita Art Museum, Lawrence Own-Your-Own shows and a Kansas City Artists' Coalition Regional Show.

When asked why she is an artist, she responded, "I know I am a 'maker.' There's a great sci-fi book about a world composed of three types of creatures, the fighters, the makers and the communicators. I am not a fighter or a very good communicator, but I am definitely a maker. If I were stronger and younger, I could be a carpenter or a potter!"

More of Linda's work may be seen on her Lawrence ArtWalk 2009 artist's page.

Congratulations, Linda!