Some questions for Coastside artist Linda Montalto Patterson, whose latest work is currently on display at Moon News Bookstore in Half Moon Bay.
Halfmoonbaymemories.com: Does your latest work have a name or theme?
Linda: The new series doesn’t have a formal name. I consider it a garden series. There are 7 paintings in all They are each comprised of two panels that hang next to one another. Three of the paintings are hanging separately but not as a unit due to the space in Moon News.
HMBM: What’s your day like?
Linda: My typical day starts with a look at the ocean, and Of course you can hear the waves pounding. Our house shakes with the waves . I often feel we are living on a boat and the views from the garden reinforce that feeling.
I can be way in the back of the property sitting under the trees, and look out, and there is the ocean, and I feel as though I am on a island of my making floating on the water.
My day continues with a stroll through the garden. This is an important time for me, a time of reflection and appraisal.
How is my garden doing? What changes need I make? What is blooming? What changes have occurred over the night?
I begin my day with either working in the garden or painting, or taking care of a wedding setup or doing a landscape design. I work with local architects and also individual clients and do landscape concepts for them.
HMBM: Do you love living in Miramar?
Linda: I do love living in Miramar . We have lived there since 1984.
HMBM: Miramar is a little known place—Even today the Coastside retains a little bit of its identity as a “remote place.” You got here when the word “secluded” meant something.
Linda: We moved to the Coastside in 78 . We lived in the “Old School House” on 6th and Le Conte in Montara, now known as Montara Gardens. We lived there when the post office was in the small building at the end of 6th street and mail was sent to us marked:
“Linda & Richard
Old School House Montara.”
It was a different world, yet such a short time ago. We lived in the old apartment on the first floor of the School House. We rented it sight unseen. We were recently back from Spain; Richard was working on a Master’s at San Francisco State, and we had a big German Shepherd dog.
We couldn’t find a place in the city that would allow us to rent with a dog. So on a very wet, rainy night we heard about a space at the Montara School House, and Richard got into the phone booth at the peanut & fish bait shop on HWY 92 and called Colleen Fulller . She said she didn’t care if we had a horse as long as we paid the rent. We made an agreement and the next week moved in.
HMBM: Did you have a studio in the School House?
Linda: The School House was enormous. We had the whole first floor at out disposal. i taught art
classes on the stage in the theatre room, and my art studio was what is now the “mirrored room.”
Wild horses from Montana were corralled in the fenced area which is now the garden space around the school house. I’d paint at night and the horses would stare into the lights of my studio with their mournful eyes.
HMBM: Then you moved to Miramar?
Linda: In 84 we moved to Miramar and I loved the change. I used to ride my bike from Montara to HMB everyday to work for the local Ophthalmologist Melto Goumas.
I’d pass through Miramar and delight in the sunshine, and then work my way back into the fog of Montara each night.
Miramar sits in what is considered the sun belt of the coast. I often see the fog bank shrouding Princeton Point to the north and the “Ritz” to the south, while we are in the sun.
I worked for Goumas for 10 years and became an optician, and medical assistant. I enjoyed it. We did minor surgery in office and I loved assisting.
HMBM: What makes you the happiest?
Linda: Probably working in my art studio; the French doors are wide open, and I can take in all of the garden. I can hear the ocean, and the occasional sound of Michael Powers working on one of his stone creations, and I’m in the “creative zone” of the neighborhood and I feel all is well with the world.
[Images above: “Spring Acrylic,” and “Kathleen,” partly inspired by the beauty of gardens.]
The new work of Miramar Beach artist Linda Montalto Patterson features pattern and movement that will please your eye palette–and look great on your walls. Ms. Montalto-Patterson’s latest paintings can be viewed and purchased at Moon News Bookstore, 315 Main Street, Half Moon Bay.
Linda Montalto was born in Brooklyn, New York. As a youth, her visits to the Museum of Modern Art brought her in contact with Abstract Expressionism and the paintings of Mark Rothko. His work so moved her that she made the decision to dedicate her life to art and the pursuit of beauty.
She began her advanced studies in art on the East Coast but moved west, where she received a masters degree in art at San Jose State University under the direction of Frederick Spratt.
Ms. Montalto moved to the Mediterranean coast of Spain in 1976 with her husband, who was studying the Spanish classical guitar. There, by the sea, her palette turned brighter and she began to incorporate the vibrant use of color that remains a central characteristic of her current work. She continues to be inspired and profoundly affected by her love of nature. At her current home, a cottage on the Pacific Ocean in Northern California, Linda has created a resplendent garden that has been featured on television and in the print media. She is constantly working with the color in her garden and using these natural influences in her paintings.
Linda Montalto’s work has been shown in galleries throughout the San Francisco Bay area and group shows have taken Ms. Montalto’s paintings across the continent.
My abstract work is usually begun without preconceptions. I attempt to let the paintings evolve naturally. When I do begin with set intentions, the creative process usually overtakes them and the influences of my environment, the landscapes I see, my private dreams and emotions appear in the work as a kind of self-discovery.
These paintings use a process of layering, covering and then peeling away selected bits of color and information. There is movement of one color against another, a kind of force of motion that appears again and again in the work. At times, only an edge of previous color can be seen. I make choices to expose areas or veil them with washes of transparent color. The staining techniques create a richness of color and a lush quality resulting from the drips running over the canvas.
In this current series, amoeba like characters flit about the canvas expressing change, movement and the bounty of nature.
Here’s a little interview I did with Linda last year, a walk through her beautiful garden in Miramar Beach. Click below
Great to visit with Linda Montalto Patterson– Coastside artist (landscape painter) whose historic Miramar residence & beautiful rose gardens (now in bloom) is also home to well known hastingshouseweddings.com/
(Photo at right: Coastside artist Linda Montalto Patterson in my garden).
(Photo below) Former Coastsider Jerry Koontz may have moved to Oroville (jerrysphotos.com) but he’s still snapping great pictures. Here he’s taking a break from shooting in my cacti garden. He’s been working on a project for me and you can see that I’m driving him crazy.