Watercolor and Pastel Artists at CHAW

Linda Norton

Linda N 2012

Much of my life has centered around art in one form or another. My father made a small table and chairs for me so that I could sit in the kitchen while my Mom cooked. She gave me used paper bags, construction paper, and office paper, and I tore them and pasted them together with that white paste to make “collages.” When I could use crayons I went crazy with color. I often attempted to use all of the colors in the large 64-crayon box—the one with the sharpener built right in.

In elementary school the teachers tended to put me in charge of anything vaguely “artistic,” such as seasonal decorations and bulletin boards. When I was about eight or nine the local Richmond television station, WTVR, participated in the launch of a new line of dolls, the Teri Lee dolls. They asked their young viewers to design a wardrobe for the dolls. I worked diligently and actually won the contest. The prizes included the dolls with complete wardrobes and an appearance on the television show. It was all very exciting, and I still have these dolls, which launched a career in the arts.

I continued a focus on art in high school, designing the school stationery and yearbook covers. In college I majored in art (and secondary education, just in case the becoming a famous artist didn’t happen right away). I then taught art at elementary, junior high, and high school levels.

When my husband and I moved to Washington, I began a career in interior design that lasted more than 25 years.

In 2000 I survived a brain aneurysm and reordered my priorities. What with raising two children and running a business, I had been absent from doing my own artwork for quite a while. That was when I joined Gina Clapp’s drawing class at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. I found that drawing was something that came back easily and improved with practice, and I soon returned to watercolors and pastels.

During a class trip to the island of Bornholm, Denmark, we focused on keeping a travel sketchbook. Since that time I always travel with a sketchbook and small supply kit for drawing and watercolor work. These completed books are some of my most treasured possessions.

I have now published two small art volumes: Capitol Hill is Home–Celebrating the Vibrant Community on Capitol Hill and Hiram Blake Camp: A Sketchbook, which honors the 100th year of that family camp on Cape Rosier, Maine.

%d bloggers like this: