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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment August 17, 2017

4/11/2017 2:34:00 PM
Photographer/painter featured at library
Linda Hanson in her studio. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Linda Hanson in her studio. photo provided

By Sue Stafford

Linda Hanson, professional photographer and painter, spent many of her adult years in the San Francisco Bay Area, but has called Sisters home for the past four years.

Examples of Hanson's artistic endeavors are currently on display in the Sisters Library Community Room as part of the Friends of the Sisters Library monthly art exhibit for April.

After a short stint at University of California - Riverside, right out of high school in Portland, Hanson returned to school later in life to earn her Bachelor of Arts in 1982 from San Francisco State University and her Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1986.

While at SFAI, Hanson studied under well-known photorealist painters Robert Bechtle and Richard MacLean, both of whom greatly influenced her painting style.

While pursuing her graduate studies, she also was employed by SFAI as an admissions counselor. She answered a small ad seeking someone who "likes to hang out and talk to artists and occasionally fly on a plane."

Her job was to travel to different U. S. cities to attend portfolio days, where aspiring young artists would bring their work in hopes of being admitted to one of the well-known art schools, like Pratt or SFAI. She presented slide shows about SFAI to high school and community college students, whom she also interviewed.

Through the years, like many artists, Hanson had a number of jobs to produce paychecks so she could continue to paint. She worked as a book illustrator and graphic designer.

"I am profoundly grateful to whatever forces in the universe have allowed such freedom," Hanson wrote in her biographical sketch at the exhibit.

Hanson's one adult son, Aaron Jellum, lives in the Bay Area and is an accomplished heavy metal guitarist whose group, Laaz Rocket, opened for Metallica. He now owns a silk-screening business and is a soccer dad, giving Hanson two grandchildren.

Hanson had a number of opportunities to travel to England and Europe, including living in the United Kingdom several times in the 1980s and 1990s. During those travels, Hanson enjoyed "spending time in museums and studying the environment where so many great painters lived and worked."

In the early 2000s, Hanson devoted her talents to her photography, opening a small photo studio in the Bay Area where she photographed children and families. Her images have been published in photography books and journals as well as in LFI, a publication of Leica Camera.

Hanson's home in Sisters is an artist's dream. One room is her watercolor and work studio, her living room is given over to her oil painting studio, and her walls are covered with colorful examples of both her painting and photography.

Her traveling isn't finished yet, although Hanson admits she doesn't enjoy it like she used to before all the regulations and TSA searches. Last May, Hanson traveled to Antigua for a week and then to Guatemala for two weeks. One of those weeks was spent as part of a Discover Corps group, working at a school in the mountains of Guatemala and making local excursions. Of course, Hanson's camera and sketchbook were with her at all times.

"I go as an artist. I always paint or draw or photograph," Hanson said.

Upon her return home, she has people interested in buying her images from her trips.

Two years ago, Hanson signed up for a tour of Cuba for photographers, arranged by Leica. She turned out to be the only tour member and so enjoyed a weeklong private tour with Volker Figueredo Veliz, a German who moved to Cuba where he has achieved fame as one of Leica's top photographers. Hanson's photographs and paintings from her most recent trips are colorful street scenes and penetrating portraits of the locals.

In 2001, Hanson created a small cookbook, titled "Simple, Quick and Tasty," which is full of artwork she identifies as her "basic style" - small, simple, and appealing. Now with advanced technology, she is considering self-publishing the cookbook - if she just had the time.

In 2014, after moving to Sisters, Hanson created another little book, titled "Learning to Draw Water," full of small watercolor drawings of rivers and forests around Sisters. The book is available for sale on request.

Hanson has paintings in private and corporate collections in the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, D.C.; and London. She had a show of her work last June in California and also exhibited in the High Desert Art Association show last year and plans to do so again this summer.

More of Hanson's work can be viewed on her website at

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