Review Me: Linda Storm: Goddesses and Theology
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Saturday, August 7, 2021

Linda Storm: Goddesses and Theology

Thank you so much, Linda, to accept our invitation to have a close conversation about your artistic life and artworks through this interview. As a visual artist, let's start with your artistic background story and if there was a certain chain of events that convinced you to choose such career?

At the age of 3, I found my father's empty canvas and paints. I never forgot the scent of the oil paint as I smeared colors on the white canvas. He was not happy. Later, I questioned the patriarchal faith taught to me, and learned about goddesses. I drew them often. Other kids asked to keep my drawings. As a teen, I was invited to show my work in a gallery in Lancaster, NY, and all of my paintings were sold. At 18, I gave birth to my first child, and worked as a freelance artist, and designed and painted on clothing. A reliable friend told me people liked my designs because of the art I created on them. That convinced me to focus on my paintings.

Well, now that you've been familiar with canvas, paintbrush, colors, and creating art since you were a child, tell us, was there ever a moment of doubt to question your art career entirely, for instance as a young mother dealing with life?

I stopped painting for many years, not because of ennui or doubt, but because I raised four amazing children, moved from New York to New Mexico, and became a Montessori teacher. As a parent and teacher, I developed valuable creative thinking skills. New Mexico opened new vistas for my eyes and mind. I also worked at a gallery in Santa Fe, where I studied and internalized the art, until I was ready to burst creatively. One day, when I walked past an empty canvas in a thrift store, my hands started vibrating. It felt electric. I heeded the call and enrolled in a painting class, and vowed to myself that I’d never stop creating art again. In 2016 I began a lifelong project to resurrect goddesses from ancient global cultures. My childhood passions led me to this path as an award-winning, internationally recognized artist.

What an admirable story! Childhood is a strange time. A passion that grows up and develops with us during childhood can be so potent that even if we fall apart for a while, we go back to it and resume it. So, as an established artist, what is your daily routine when working in your studio?

When I awaken, I am in a state between dreams and reality, and often connect my dreams to the art I am creating. Once I am set up with my brushes and paints, or research books, or at the computer searching and applying for submissions, I am focused on my art for the rest of the day and into the evening. I don’t really have a routine, just ideas to realize and goals to reach. I make lists and keep a calendar so I am able to timely complete commissions, submissions, and works for exhibitions. To rise above inertia – my nemesis, I force myself to work for just a few minutes, which always revives my motivation. Sometimes, I have to self-regulate. I once forced myself to create 60 paintings for an exhibit in such a short time that I became ill with exhaustion and couldn’t attend the opening.

What a self-made challenge! Everyday work sometimes depends on one's mood and sometimes depends on regulations and requirements. Let's back to your studio. Take us through your process of making your artworks. How do you move from an idea to an artwork? Where does an artwork begin for you?

At first glance, it might appear that I am lounging around as I peruse the books and click on search engines. I am an extreme observer, sensitive and protective of how, and with whom, I spend my time, including those who commission my art. I always set up an interview first to see if it is a good fit. My life is about seeking wonder and possibilities, which is the title of my latest surreal landscape painting. If I feel stuck, upset, or worried, I know I will find a solution in the story of an ancient Diva. My goddess paintings require most of my valuable time. I research, meditate, and dream about them, and when I begin to paint, something happens that I cannot explain; The painting takes form with a life of its own, and I wonder if I am the one controlling the brush.

That is a thought-provoking feeling! Hands’ movement and out-of-control brush strokes can occasionally lead the mind and heart of an artist to have unique effects on the viewer. Is theology and goddess idea the central concept connecting all your works together or each series or artwork has been created based on different idea?

My paintings are parables, portrayed with layers of colors, shapes, shadows, and light. They are metaphors created with rainwater, earth pigments, precious metals, iridescence, glow in the dark pigments – whatever I need to convey my story. I create commissions, public art, and different series inspired by my experiences with nature, my love of music, and my fascination with myths and theology. I am dedicated to my goddess series as a lifelong project.

I see. Let's talk about audience communication. The time when you’re uncovering everything that goes on in your mind on the canvas, would you like to give a particular interpretation of your work to your viewers, or you prefer to leave the whole interpretation to your audience?

My purpose with my goddess series is to awaken awareness of the divine feminine. With respect for their prehistoric beginnings, I paint each goddess as an ancient cracked stone sculpture, as if it is a shell shielding the goddess within. I create a surreal-scape with symbolic imagery appropriate for her resurrection. That said, during exhibitions of my goddess series, when I included no statement, people shared such personal interpretations of my art, that I, and they, have been moved to tears. At one exhibition, I invited storytellers to share the myths that inspired my paintings.

Very touching! Some of our readers have claimed that they have been able to get the senses and feelings that are hidden in your goddesses before or after reading their stories. They are really curious to know. How do you seek and use inspiration for your works?

In 2019, two hummingbirds flew into my open hands and spun around and around, brushing my palms with their feathers, then they spiraled away chirping. I was delighted and astounded that they knew my hands were trustworthy. It was confirmation that we are meant to live peacefully with nature, and each other, and that I am to exemplify that realization with my art. I painted a series of Hands and Hummingbirds.
My goddess series was inspired by my quest for equality. When I began painting them, my spine felt stronger, as if my grandmothers who reside in my bones, were holding me up for the task. In Search of the Lost Feminine by Craig S. Barnes is my bible. He tells of peaceful cultures in which women and nature were respected, until the glorification of war buried their values and stories. My resurrection of female deities is an uprising that meets patriarchal dominance at its source.

And about the subjects, I guess you select your artworks subjects according to the above mentioned inspirations in the context of ancient cultures and theology.

I am dedicated to reviving ancient goddesses from global cultures. They have been dismissed for thousands of years by patriarchal and war-praising politicians and religions. Our ancient ancestors revered goddesses. They believed divine females gave birth to the seasons; destroyed demons; healed disease; created art, music, poetry, and dance; and fiercely protected children and animals. Goddesses foresaw the future, grew magical golden apples, arched over the earth like a blanket of stars, and offered eternal life. I have also been commissioned to create album covers and murals. My favorite was an aspen forest in a large foyer.

Good to know. Our readers have certainly visited your arts. The way you research and process the subjects into living canvas and create moving artworks has made quite an impression on us all. Is there an artwork or series that you would like to be remembered for? And if yes, what is it?

My goddess series is most important to me. During the pandemic, I was curious about which goddesses or our ancestors might have implored for healing. My research led me to the ancient Mayans’ knowledge of medicines, architecture, and navigation. Their records, written in bark-paper books were almost completely destroyed by patriarchal religious fanatics. Yet, their goddess Ixchel is still revered today. I painted her as part tree part human with a night sky, with a temple on the Isla Mujeres, in the background. I also resurrected the 7000-year-old Sumerian goddess Bau, who was so important, that she was adopted and renamed Gula, by the Babylonians, who conquered Sumer, (now Iraq.) She had a wolf-dog companion. Another favorite is Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess. I painted her skirt as part of the land pulling away from a volcano, with tiny military weapons in the background, futilely trying to stop her.

Linda, considering your deep artistic and seeker mind, what are your art influences? Who are your favorite contemporary or historical artists and why?

The spirits of Dr. Suess, Georgia O’Keefe, and Gertrude Stein encourage me to be playful, to paint what I see, and to share my stories.

Wow! If you could meet one of your ideal artists from the past, who would it be and what will you ask about?

I would prepare a surreal dinner with Dali for our families and friends, and later work side by side with him, collaborating on works of art together, while conversing about the meaning of what we are creating. I imagine the conversation and the art would be full of surprises, even to us.

So, I'd say that the impact of your study and precision plus a curious mind has become a very persuasive and precious factor in your career success. Those of our readers who follow your work are looking forward to being informed of your future artwork. Any upcoming works or future projects that you would like to share with our readers?

I am planning to open The StormHold – a haven for creative cultural compassion. It will offer performance opportunities, mentorships, retreats, and global radio interviews, to women and other underrepresented creatives of all abilities, genders, cultures, colors, and ages. StormHold will also include my art studio, a gallery, and a radio studio where my DJ husband will broadcast his global radio show. Please see for more info. I have also been invited to the prestigious Chateau Orquevaux residency in France, and am planning a solo exhibit of my goddesses in New York City for Autumn.

So great. That’s good news for our readers. Very nice of you to talk to us about various aspects of your precious artistic career. Thank you for your time and kindness to accept our invitation. I hope to hear more about you in the future. Have a nice life!
This is it. We hope that you enjoyed reading this interview. If you want to ask your own question from Linda, please scan the QR code and proceed.

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