Linda Foley is an internationally recognized painter and sculptor based in the National Capital Region of Canada and is best known for her encaustic works that comprise her sense of humour and the stories she writes to accompany them.
Linda’s work can be found in private collections in various countries around the globe, as well as in the permanent collection of the Encaustic Museum of Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Humour, celebration, consciousness or compassion, I strive to awaken emotion and provoke thought. The greatest gift I can receive through my creations is the exhilaration of receiving an emotional response in a viewer. Art is my form of communication. It’s how I share my observations, my loves, my interests, and my thoughts. Like most creatives, I have an innate need to bring to life that which I’m imagining. Humour is often at the heart of what I do, and frankly, it’s how I live most of the time! Looking for the funny in something difficult is a survival response that lightens the load, and puts things into perspective. The adage that , “laughter is the best medicine”, is indeed my motto! I say, "Pop a couple of doses of laughter and drink plenty of fluids, and you should be good to go!"
I have a love affair with Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp character. I’m enamoured by his ability to use humour, and show love and compassion with no words, only gestures and expressions! I can never go too long before creating a Charlie piece. I was thrilled to receive permission from the Chaplin Office to use his image in my original creations.
I work primarily with encaustic medium, a composition of beeswax and dammar resin (tree sap). I am completely in love with this ancient organic material. I love it’s unpredictability and the challenges it poses! Each thin layer of molten medium is applied using a brush. As is the case with wax, almost as soon as it is removed from the heat, it cools and hardens. To manipulate it on the surface of my canvas (wooden substrate), I use a hot torch to melt and fuse it to the preceding layer. My pieces are usually comprised of many layers, each carefully applied over the last. After all these years of working daily for hours on end, I still get excited by the sound of the flame lighting at the end of my torch, and am still completely mesmerized as I watch the medium melt and disperse under it’s flame. Clearly, I am very easily entertained!
My deeply creative spirit fuelled my desire to also work in sculpture a few years ago. Sculpting is completely different from painting. It’s always a feat of engineering! Before manipulating the clay, I need to think about building an armature, the framework that supports the outer layers of clay. Before building the armature, I need to consider balance, gravity, and space. So far, my pieces have all stood on 4” wide x 4” deep wood cylinders covered with encaustic medium. And so, designing a sculpture that balances on a narrow platform often means several trips back to the drawing board throughout the process of sculpting! Life isn’t hard enough, I need the extra challenge!
My life experiences and observations of the people and world around me, heavily influence and inform my work. As a human “sense making machine”, I’m driven by curiosity and a need to understand. Painting and sculpting, doesn’t provide the answers necessarily, but it’s an avenue to conjure, capture and express my thoughts and feelings into a different form. I am deeply grateful for the international support I receive!