Monday, March 26, 2018

A Mentor's Legacy: Marie Linnekin

 I was told I should meet a fellow artist called Sue in our village in Ohio and so I invited her over for tea. I was bowled over by her sketchbooks and she felt the same about mine. The discussion over the sketchbooks sparked a conversation about who had inspired us and I said I had this wonderful mentor in Maryland. Sue said "how interesting, me too". I told her it was a teacher at Ann Arundel Community College and again Sue said "me too". I was one of the students the teacher invited to her monthly critiques in her home for several years. Sue again said "me too" and in unison we shouted "MARIE". I mean what are the odds LOL! We could clearly see the influence Marie had on us when it came to our sketchbooks. Unlike some instructors Marie encouraged us to use our sketchbooks like playgrounds for the imagination and exploration of everything. 
Colours, shapes, words, quotes, bits of cloth etc were all tossed into the sketchbook, along with formal drawings, thumbnails. Marie said in time as your skills develop you can go back to those early sketchbooks and realize some of the ideas that seemed impossible to achieve at the time or they will inspire new ideas.
Painting by Marie Linnekin

I was 40 when I took my first oil painting class. My intention was to go to college and work towards my social work degree now that my children were older but that all changed. Marie saw something in me and took me under her wing and that was the beginning of an amazing art journey.  Those monthly group art critiques at Marie's house were a crucial part of my development as an older artist. Learning how to do a critique, how to take one, how to stretch the boundaries, how to get your work photographed, etc etc.
Marie was an amazing artist, an inspiring woman, a fantastic teacher and mentor. I am forever grateful to have been part of her life for a short time and for her kindness and support. 

Last Christmas was the first time in over 20 years I hadn't sent a card and letter. Not sure why but I decided to double check to see if she was still at the same address and I found her obituary.

Marie was a beautiful BRIGHT star and she will continue to guide the way for all those she touched. 

Jacqueline Marie Mills Linnekin's Obituary on The Capital Gazette

Read the Obituary and view the Guest Book, leave condolences or send flowers. | Jacqueline Marie Mills Linnekin, 84, died in her home, with her children at her side, on February 25, 2017. Jacqueline was born in San Diego on October 17, 1932 to Marjorie and James "Jimmy"

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