Thursday, June 17, 2010

Symposium Participant: Linda Engstrom

Guess I'll jump into the pot! I can see by the previous posts that we're going to have an excellent 'stew' this July! It's always exciting to see how other people visualize things. I'm also a 'local'! I was introduced to Portland's sketch crawl group through one of my students at Portland Community College, where I've been teaching landscape design and sketching classes for the past 20 years. I've only been able to attend one sketch crawl this year .... inside the Portland Library ... but was really impressed by the enthusiasm of the people I met. Unfortunately, I find that most of my sketching happens when I'm away from Portland on trips, so I'm eager to have this chance to really get to know my city better .... through many different eyes!

I grew up near New York City and had parents who both graduated from the famed Pratt Institute, and who were art teachers and artists, so I naturally have gravitated to art my entire life. I moved to Oregon, along with my husband and two small son's, in 1973. We live about 22 miles SW of the city on 12 acres that was once a walnut orchard. We planted grapes in 1984 and operate a small vineyard and display gardens.

Last Summer, wanting to enrich my travel journals, I took a course from Ken O'Connell at the Sitka Art Center on Oregon's coast. It was called 'The Spirit of the Rough Sketch', and it changed the way I'd been sketching. I know that this symposium will do the same thing.

Most of my drawings have either been in pencil or black ink ( Micron pens), and even though I've done and even taught watercolor, I wasn't using it much. Ken introduced me to the water brush!

My favorite subjects seem to be buildings and landscape (especially trees!) I often do perspective conceptual sketches for my landscape clients, and also enjoy botanical drawing, but never seem to find enough time to do them. I avoid drawing people and know that I need to draw more so that I can get better. I really admire the casual 'gesture' sketch, and love to see the unique styles that individuals produce.

Through my business, Garden Aesthetics, I love being able to help clients visualize their outdoor space!

I have also been a huge fan of Dan Price's Moonlight Chronicles, and Danny Gregory's Everyday Matters. I admire their wonderful free lines and use of color washes. I've also used Frank Ching's books in my classes and am inspired by his work. A quote from Ken O Connell ... 'The world is defined by the way we see light and dark' really says it all for me.

Yes, you could say that I'm very excited to meet all of the instructors at the symposium, and of course, to learn from all of the participants as well. Hope to meet everyone in July! ( and the sun usually does make an appearance by then!!) I invite you to visit my blog for pictures of Oregon gardens and the wine country surrounding it.



  1. You do beautiful work, Linda! Sounds like you should be teaching at the symposium, rather than attending.:) A life made up of garden design, art and a vineyard - it sounds idyllic. Looking forward to meeting you in Portland.

  2. Wonderful sketches fully agree with what Sue has said.Looking forward to meeting you all.

  3. Teachers learn from other teachers you know! Would be glad to host an informal get-together after the symposium up at our vineyard for anyone interested. Lots of trees and vines to draw!!

  4. Excellent sketches and drawings Linda! I look forward to meeting you at the symposium.

  5. Beautiful drawings--look forward to meeting you.

  6. Really lovely work, Linda.

    I took a landscape design class from you years ago at PCC. I really enjoyed the class and look forward to seeing you again.

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