Loveta Strickland's successful artistic career testifies not only to her talent, but to her determination and diligence, and a touch of serendipity. A mother of four, Strickland began training in art many years ago when her youngest child was the only one remaining at home. When her son indicated an interest in art, Strickland promptly enrolled him in a children's art class. The second time she dropped him off at class, her son suggested that she pick up some art supplies and paint along with him so she would not have to make two trips back and forth.
Although Strickland's mother began to paint at the age of sixty-nine, and continued until her death at age eighty-one, and all her brothers and sisters were artistically inclined, she had never thought of art in terms of a career. Nevertheless, her innate talent allowed her to quickly pickup the fundamentals. Strickland learned so quickly that she signed up for classes with a local teacher. After a couple of months, she realized that painting was going to be far more than just a hobby. Nine months later, Strickland branched out and began taking workshops from a teacher in Austin. From that point on, she immersed herself in workshops, and in the task of learning her craft.
Before long, Strickland was asked to give demonstrations, and her popularity quickly led her into teaching as many as eighteen workshops a year. Her early work focused on Texas landscapes, her sub- jects being the state's famed fields of bluebonnets and wild flowers. Developing her impressionist tech- nique required nearly five years, a period of time in which the artist turned to the garden scenes for which she is now so well known. Engrossed in her subject matter, she spent her time outdoors and visited gardens from Dallas to Balboa Park for inspiration.
Constantly stimulated by new challenges, the artist moved into palette knife paintings around 1991, a technique not readily mastered. The technique appeals to her because the intensity of color is greater and more tactile, holding the viewer's eye longer. Working primarily in oils, the versatile artist occasionally makes forays into the acrylic medium for florals. She has also embarked upon a series of Southwestern scenes.
Although Strickland, a native of Waco, has a studio at home, she spends most of her time at an easel in a nearby co-op gallery, with the rare day off for herself. Since her first lessons, the artist has painted nearly everyday of her life, driven by self-motivation alone. Hard work has paid off for Loveta Strickland, who artistic gifts, combined with her love of painting and her choice of subject matter, have resulted in a substantial and well deserved reputation as a fine artist.
(The artist reminisces about her childhood.)
Loveta Strickland has lived almost her entire life in the Central Texas region, and has long been regarded one of the area's premiere landscape artists. Her mother painted in her later years, and other family members were also artistically inclined, but Loveta's fascination with art did not truly begin until about forty-five years ago, when her youngest child began taking art lessons. He convinced her it made more sense for her to stay and take the class with him rather than having to return to pick him up later.
She proved to be a receptive student, and her love for the medium blossomed into a very successful career, not only as a highly-regarded fine artist in her own right, but also as a diligent teacher of others. She has traveled extensively, both to teach and to gain inspiration for her work from many scenic landscapes and gardens. Although she has decided not to teach anymore, it is a very rare day when she does not paint, and she has continued to expand her horizons with new styles and techniques.
"I have been self-motivated from the beginning. No one had to push me to work hard."
Submitted by Ande Rasmussen