Linda Dunbar: The Search for Excellence

NOAPS Dunbarr Ricco of Black Wall Street 36x24 Oil RS Hanna  “Ricco of Black Wall Street”, 36×24, Oil, RS Hanna Gallery, Fredericksburg, Texas.  Winner of ‘Best People’ in the 2020 NOAPS Spring Online International Exhibition

The very best portrait paintings always have a story to tell.  In Linda Dunbar’s painting of Ricco, the story of the model is evident in his facial expression and gesture.  The background adds to the story with not only the colors but the repeated angles of the sitter and the hard edges.  The active background and position of the model are uniquely contemporary, and add to the complexity of the painting.

NOAPS Dunbar the Young Artist 48x36 acrylic CA  “The Young Artist”, 48×36, Acrylic, Collection of the Artist.

Linda Dunbar always had a penchant for art, but it was not until later in life that resources allowed her to pursue it full time.  Her search for knowledge led her to many workshops, including local artist Ross Myers, and later well-known artists including Derek Penix, David Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, Rose Frantzen, Jeff Legg, Kelli Folsom, Lori Putnam, Daniel Keyes and many others.  Her main goal is her search for excellence in her paintings, no matter the subject.  She is inspired by artists such Sorolla, Fechin, Zorn and Sargent, along with contemporary artists such as Richard Schmid and Quang Ho.

NOAPS Dunbar Smoke Em if You'be Got Em 36x36 Oil PC  “Smoke Em if You’ve Got Em”, 36×36, Oil, Private Collection

Dunbar works mainly in oils, but also acrylics and watercolors.  the portrait and figure are her main genre, but she will venture into other genres for a diversion, most recently in abstracts.

Linda is currently focusing on a double primary palette, consisting of different versions of warm and cool colors.  She prefers Rosemary brushes, and uses a variety of oil paint brands.  The support she most favors is Centurion Linen.

The painting process for Dunbar begins with careful planning, thinking through the goal of the painting and the process and skills required to express it.  Although she prefers to paint the models from life, this is not always feasible, and works most of the time from photos on a tablet.  The tablet allows her to hone in on details of the models, a useful tool for today’s artists.

NOAPS Dunbar In Progress 36x36 Oil  Unnamed Work in Progress, 36×36, Oil

Continuous learning is a constant for Linda; she takes time to study art through reading, visiting galleries and museums, and by just observing her environment.  Her advice to readers is to value that constant learning process, as she states, “there is no end to learning or improving and for that we all are grateful.”  Linda has also found great learning through teaching, and finds inspiration in helping others succeed.

For Dunbar, winning the NOAPS Award was a boon to her confidence; the validation for years of hard work and attained skill.  But her learning is not over; she encourages all artists to regard themselves as never beyond learning.  And once learned, to share with others that valuable insight and skill so hard-earned.

To view more of Linda’s work, go to

To view the 2020 NOAPS Spring Online International Exhibition, go to




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