Name: Linda Hyatt Cancel
Artistic genre and medium: oil painting, landscapes and still life
Art beginnings: Cancel grew up in Kettle Falls, Wash. She learned oil painting at the age of 12 from an artist who had recently retired to the area. “I remember the exhilaration of putting paint to canvas, producing the appearance of formed light and shadow,” she said.
Professional work: After high school, Cancel pursued a career in display design and moved to the East Coast, where she eventually married and had children. When her older children were in school and she just had a baby at home, she decided to pursue a career in oil painting. “I didn’t want to have any regrets and I just went with it,” Cancel said. She made a living by learning to combine critical and commercial appeal, producing work that had both artistic value and sold well in galleries.
Achievements: Her work has won countless awards since she began showing in 2001, and she was recently named Artist In Residence at Lake Roosevelt National Recreational Area in Washington.
On her nest theme: Nests have become a signature theme and began as something she could sell at art festivals, where they’d be featured on small square pieces that were accessible and conveniently sized. The nests have evolved with her role as a mother — as her children grew and left the home, more of the paintings have taken on a more serious tone and featured hatched eggs or empty nests.
On her landscapes: Cancel’s landscapes are typically horizontal and often set at twilight, which occurs at both morning and at night. It is a time of ambiguity, when certain visual elements are obscured and others are revealed. “I love that mystery,” Cancel said.
On her still life work: In several of her still life pieces, Cancel mimics the Dutch tradition of painting the prize from a hunt. She will collect items she encounters on a walk and paint them together, creating statements and new ideas in their combination.
On her connection to Beth Rimmelspacher, Clarkston artist and exhibit collaborator: Cancel heard about Rimmelspacher and her work through her family and friends in the area. She saw her work at Wasem’s in Clarkston and later connected with her on Facebook. “Our careers have been somewhat parallel — we’re the same age and grew up in this area, we have a love for the area and its landscape,” Cancel said. “I’m grateful to her for inviting me to do this.”
The meaning of “mythologia:” The term is a modern Latin one that refers to a personal history or story. Cancel said her work is to be taken more like a diary than as literal and both her and Rimmelspacher felt the word encompassed the wide range of their collective work.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: “Mythologia,” an exhibit featuring Linda Hyatt Cancel and Beth Rimmelspacher
WHEN: The opening reception is 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday; the exhibit runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday from this Sunday to May 28.
WHERE: Artisans at the Dahmen Barn, Uniontown