Whenever Linda Paulsen paints, she seeks God’s help, praying for inspiration to touch viewers’ hearts.
Paulsen’s art has had such an impact on viewers that the center decided to extend the show, “Making Me Smile: An Art Exhibit from Linda G. Paulsen,” through October.
“When I let God help me, I have greater success,” Paulsen, a BYU graduate, said. “When I let go of my pride and pray for it, I receive the inspiration I need. That’s when the joy comes. And that’s the joy I hope to share with the viewer.”
Adam Robertson, CEO and President of SCERA, made the decision.
“We’ve received wonderful comments for the show,” Robertson said. “Her work is beautiful and has sold several pieces, so we decided to extend the exhibit to let others have a chance to get to know her work.”
Paulsen paints with four mediums: watercolor, pastels, acrylic and oil paints. For this artist, painting is more than a job — it’s a spiritual expression.
“I bear my testimony when I paint,” she said. “I am hoping people see that life is good and beautiful. There is no need to be discouraged or afraid. And people are beautiful, too.”
Along with painting, Paulsen said she loves to watch BYU football games and to visit the Pardoe Theater at the HFAC. She started attending BYU in 1969 but married before graduating. However, she returned to BYU in 2003 and graduated in 2007 as an English major.
“I really enjoyed being the ‘old lady’ in class,” she said. “There was none of the social pressures students ordinarily feel in college. I was the ‘token adult.’ I had the confidence born of my life’s longer experience.”
Before taking up painting, Paulsen published several poems and stories for children’s literature and anthologies. She has taught several workshops of creative writing and illustrating in Utah and Wyoming. After moving back to Utah in 2003, she joined the Utah Valley Artist Guild, which helped her receive inspiration to become an artist.
“It has been really fun to become good at painting,” she said. “But I continue to write, too.”
Paulsen said it was very satisfying to see her poetry accompanying her paintings at the Terra Nora Gallery, 41 W. 300 North in Provo, last May.
“This was particularly poignant because these images were from a special trip my husband and I took to Europe,” she said. “It was an important articulation in both word and paint that expressed the wonder and depth of my feelings; sort of an illustrated journal of my experience. Many of those same paintings are part of the exhibit this month at the SCERA, although I did not include the poetry in this show.”
Verdie Taggart, a painter from North Carolina, purchased Paulsen’s painting, “Percussion: Yellowstone Falls,” at the SCERA exhibit.
“It speaks to me,” she said. “She paints with her heart and tells a story about her painting. She addresses well, and it just lifts the heart. I love all of her work, especially her miniature paintings.”