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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Building Your World

Those building a dream know to create one's own world takes courage. Artist Linda Paul-Sontag is familiar with creating a world and the courage it takes. Linda's father worked for the Railroads and the Interstate Commerce Commission, requiring several relocations during the years she was growing up. By the time the family settled in Los Angeles, Linda had attended seven elementary schools across Nebraska, Texas, New Mexico, and California.

Ironically, it wasn't until she enrolled in an art class in seventh grade that a teacher commented on her creativity. At that point, Linda suspected drawing and painting might be something she would want to pursue. In high school, Linda decided to focus on art and take it as a major in college. Linda remembers, "My parents weren't thrilled by the prospect of me becoming an artist but relented if I agreed to include courses in bookkeeping and typing." Over the years in college Linda's interest evolved from the fine arts into graphic arts, and finally placing her at the finish line with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. Shortly after graduation, Linda worked for Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, CA as a graphic artist and technical illustrator. "Much to my parents' surprise, they found I could make a living in the art world." She goes on to explain that, "We produced sales presentations, technical support bulletins, and the company collateral."

"Much to my parents' surprise, they found I could make a living in the art world."

The downturn years in the aircraft industry found Linda looking for her next career. To her surprise she found work as a project manager in the wireless industry. Linda states, "I found myself in an entirely different industry. I was responsible for managing projects, leasing contracts, city entitlements, regulatory compliance, and the construction development of new cell sites. My territory covered Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico." The opportunity to move to Arizona arose when Linda and her husband Terry, a general contractor, moved to Prescott to build custom homes. Unfortunately, the collapse of the real estate in 2008 forced Linda back into the wireless industry in California. As she tells it, "We lived separately for five years until we could finally reunite and move to the Phoenix area in 2013, where we decided to stay."

Today, Linda is happily settled in a home with an art studio she calls "Walking Rain Studio." A place she can expand her painting career as a fine art painter. "I am fascinated with all things western and that hold a nostalgic image. Most of my subjects are vintage motels, gas stations, and neon signs along Route 66 and other dusty roads. I call this series of paintings "The Blue Highways." She explains, "My experience in aerospace gave me drafting skills so that I can incorporate those architectural elements in my work." Linda is a member of the Sonoran Arts League and participates in the annual Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour each November. She is one of the founding members of 'The Finer Arts Gallery' in Cave Creek and creates a video series "Quick Tips for New Artists" on her YouTube channel.


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