As a child growing up in southern Michigan, I was fascinated by horses. I drew horses, daydreamed about horses, repeatedly molded horse heads from clay, and persistently begged my father for a real horse. On Christmas Day of my eighth year, Santa Claus brought me a cowgirl outfit. It was the most beautiful ensemble I'd ever seen: shiny red patent leather boots, a red felt hat, and a matching vest and skirt. I felt sure I'd arrived at my destiny -- I was going to be a cowgirl.
Lynda Schumacher (Lynda Van Wagner) studied Commercial Art at Northwestern Michigan College, and Social Work and Psychology at Siena Heights University and Eastern Michigan University. She enjoyed a twenty-year career as a chemical dependency and mental health therapist before returning to her drawing nearly four years ago. Since that time Lynda's work has been seen in a number of statewide, national, and international exhibitions, and she was featured in the American Artist Drawing Magazine in 2008 as a finalist for their annual cover competition.
Lynda is a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, and a member of the Detroit, Michigan CPSA District Chapter 104, the Gainesville, Florida CPSA District Chapter 113, and the American Plains Artists. She resides with her family on their small horse farm near Brooklyn, Michigan.
Over four decades and a career in social work later, I still have not become a cowgirl: but much of that original intrigue with the American West remains. My choice of subjects is often intuitive, and I am drawn to individuals with whom I feel some type of emotional connection. It is very important to me to be technically correct -- I want the image to look like that person, to capture whatever quality they possess that I found so engaging in the first place, and to portray something of their fundamental spirit. In striving to create textures that look as if one could touch them, I will spend long periods of time methodically working out areas of detail.
Most of my work is done on sanded pastel paper, a rough surface (much like sandpaper) that is very forgiving and can take numerous applied layers of colored pencil. I normally will put the darkest tones down first and gradually work my way up to the lightest colors, laying them in on top of the darker ones. Often I will employ a dry, stiff oil painting brush to blend colors, and lastly will add the finest areas of detail.
Colored Pencil and Graphite Artist