Linda Wilder, "Rundle Magic," 2014, acrylic on canvas, 48” x 60”.
An air-force brat, Calgary artist Linda Wilder moved around the country – and through 10 schools – as she was growing up. Eventually, she settled in Alberta and, starting in the late 1970s, studied art at Red Deer College and the University of Calgary. But she has been painting full time only for the last decade or so. “Life gets in the way,” she says. “You have children and you move around. Art took a back seat for a while. Now, I’m back full time, with a vengeance.”
Wilder mostly does landscapes, often mountains, using intuitive energy, bold strokes and texture to provide visual interest. She works with a variety of palette knives, but also uses her fingers, rags and other tools, seeking to create paintings that look realistic from a distance, but increasingly abstract as viewers approach.
She photographs landscapes while hiking, then retreats to her basement studio. “I like being moody with my mountains,” she says. “I really like the clouds and the atmosphere. It makes for a more interesting painting, for one thing. And I just like the mystery that the mountains evoke. I like people to be able to see that and feel that.”
Wilder’s next solo show runs May 23 to May 30 at Mountain Galleries in Banff. And if you’re at the Calgary Stampede this summer, you may bump into her – she’ll have a booth at the Stampede’s western art show.
Linda Wilder is represented by Mountain Galleries in Banff, Jasper and Whistler. Her work sells for $400 to $8,000.