I chatted Monday morning with a cheerful, energetic soul in Scottdale whose early ventures with paint and easel were torpedoed decades ago by a former mother-in-law who met her creativity with criticism. But Linda Marlow, like so many women, has come to realize over time just how little the opinions of others truly matter. Today she “turns out a few paintings” every week, and loves every minute of it.
Seems Marlow’s husband signed her up about a year-and-a-half ago for a class in painting with acrylics. She felt hesitant at first, because some scars stay with us far too long, but decided to give it a try. Now, I suspect, there’s no stopping her. The 62-year-old hairdresser says she awakes most days to “clean house, then jump on my artwork.” No fancy studio needed, she tells me. There’s plenty of good light streaming through her kitchen windows.
Marlow was born in New York, but feels like a native after more than 50 years in the Valley. She’s gone back to her original medium — oils. Her passion is painting landscapes seen in real life or various pictures that beckon with inspiration. I discovered her work at Buzzberry — a charming coffee joint at Granite Reef Rd. and McDonald Dr. (just west of Loop 101) that’s particularly good about exhibiting local art and sharing news of events like school plays and such.
Getting a good coffee buzz is all good and fine. But finding a place that creates true community buzz is better by far. Marlow’s not sure how long her works will hang at Buzzberry since they tend to rotate various artists over time, but she’s clearly delighted that they’re there for people to enjoy or purchase. It’s a powerful affirmation after early years spent being “too shy and insecure” to follow her own heart for art.
For now, Marlow’s loving the “self-taught” vibe, seeing where paint and brush will take her without formal instruction. She’s a big fan of folks like German-American painter Albert Bierstadt who were self-taught in many ways. “Do what you want to do,” says Marlow. “Don’t let anybody ruin your dreams.”
Coming up: Exciting new season announcements!