Art league demos landscapes in oils

DeKALB – Rockford watercolorist and oil painter Tom Linden will be the guest demonstrator at the Kishwaukee Valley Art League’s first meeting of the new year. The meeting will be conducted at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 at the Unitarian Universalist Church on the corner of North Fourth and Locust streets in DeKalb.

Linden uses a realistic style as he seeks to capture the sights, mood and atmosphere that are typical of the rural northern Illinois landscape.

He says he has always enjoyed drawing and painting landscapes. Linden uses plein air studies to create his studio works, and his creative use of colors, patterns and textures, particularly his use of light and shadow, make his paintings come alive.

Linden grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and earned an art minor at Milikin University in Decatur in 1981.

He has been an instructor in the Rock Valley College Community and Continuing Education program since 2005, though he has been a full-time artist since the early 1990s.

Linden’s habit of stopping by the side of the road to sketch a scene has produced some unusual experiences, such as the time a farmer stopped to check if the driver of his car was “sleeping one off.” He has also been visited by police who thought his car had broken down. 

Linden has won many awards for his work, including a 2009 Best of Show at the River Runs Through It show at the Next Picture Show in Dixon and second place in the current Regional Survey of Art 9 at the same location.

Linden will show KVAL some of his oil painting techniques. Typically, he applies a thin wash of paint with a brush to draw the design on the canvas.

Large brushes are used to initiate the deep, dark areas, followed by light and mid-tone values. To finish the work, Linden adds highlights with thick paint applied with brush or painting knife.

Linden says he gains satisfaction when his audience expresses that they experience the same sensations which he felt during the painting process.

Linden’s paintings can be viewed at

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