Within the great tradition of wildlife painting, Linda St. Clair has set herself apart as an innovator who creates portraits that explore the personalities of creatures great and small. Whether her subjects are of the barnyard, domestic or wild variety, they are undeniably the product of an artist inspired by wildlife’s vital energy and broad emotional range. St. Clair’s body of work is infused with a strong narrative sense, a clear articulation of mood and spirit, and an intricate knowledge of animal anatomy.
The artist’s seminal years were spent on a Tennessee farm, learning and witnessing animal behavior first-hand. As a teenager, she left the country life behind and moved to Dallas to pursue a career in marketing. Later, under the guidance of her late husband, painter Dean St. Clair, Linda sharpened her craft and devoted her full attention to painting.
To get a clearer perspective of an animal’s spirit, St. Clair travels frequently to find and photograph her subjects. She’s travelled to the North Pole to study polar bears, Africa to observe elephants and zebras, and Yellowstone National Park to work among grizzly bears.
Whether the subjects are lions or lambs, horses or hares, or the flamboyant and feisty barnyard rooster, St. Clair’s work is characterized by the contrast of warm and cool colors, loose brushstrokes and bold color, and thick and thin textures. Themes of parenthood, strength, and the soft, silent language of affection can all be seen in her work.
“My goal is offer the viewer a rare, if not surprising, glimpse into an animal’s individuality, its endearing qualities and often complex internal state,” St. Clair said. “I want my work to tell a story, to make us feel a connection with the subjects, to remind us all that upon closer inspection, animal emotions and relationships are not unlike our own.”
St. Clair’s paintings are exhibited and collected throughout the nation and worldwide. She is a two-time recipient of the Grumbacher Gold Medal and member of the Society of Animal Artists in New York. Her work is featured in galleries in Sedona, Arizona; St. Helena, California; Beaver Creek, Colorado; Ketchum, Idaho; Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; Austin, Texas; Washington DC; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and her home city of Santa Fe.