artist statement

I create symbolic and abstracted paintings that explore my past and present relationships, experiences, and emotions.

I begin with a lyrically expressive line drawing, a thin color wash, or by free- journaling raw feelings directly onto the substrate. I paint, write, scrape off, re-paint, cover up, expose, sand off, and add texture in layers.

As I work, my painting becomes a chronological story I tell to myself – sometimes with urgency, other times meditatively. I relive and process, celebrate and honor, purge and heal — and I struggle. I am torn, conflicted by a juxtaposition of working to openly share my truths while, at the same time, every survival instinct in my body is screaming to keep them hidden.

With each painting, I limit my palette as a personal challenge to use color symbolically. I purposefully abstract certain figurative subjects to represent them as raw and exposed — with no façade to hide behind.

I am exploring cultures, exorcising voices from my childhood, normalizing internalized rage and anxiety, expressing unbearable joy, fragile vulnerability, and crippling depression, and simply seeking to understand my experiences as a woman.

biography

Contemporary artist Linda Hellfritsch grew up free-spirited and independent, skateboarding and riding her bicycle in the rural suburban hills of Tustin, CA. She later spent additionally formative years wreaking havoc in the coastal town of San Clemente. In 1989 she moved to Santa Cruz, where she raised her children and lived until 2017. Recently moved to Nebraska, Linda now paints in a beautifully restored studio in a historic building near downtown Omaha.