Linda Packard (b. 1952), who paints plein air whenever possible, brings a sensuous physicality to her visceral landscapes. She began painting in oils after years of working with a primarily black and white palette as a printmaker. Packard prefers intimate natural environments for her subjects, and she explores the coastal region of Down East Maine, on foot, or by kayak, in search of inspiration. Raised in central Massachusetts during the 1950s and '60s, Packard spent hours immersed in the outdoors. Her love affair with nature continued when she moved to the coast of Maine in 1985. Here, her lifelong connection to nature became the basis for her work, giving her work a sincerity that allows her paintings to stand out amongst the abundance of Maine landscape artists.
Packard, who studies with Maine artist Jon Imber, cites Cezanne and Matisse as strong influences on her composition and perception of the landscape, as well as Tom Thompson, the Canadian painter whose work greatly impacted the Group of Seven. Having always been attracted to the painters of the New York School Abstract Expressionist period, she studied the work of Willem de Kooning and second-generation painters, such as Joan Mitchell, both of whom influenced her mark making, paint handling, and the desire to work intuitively. Emily Mason's work (also a second generation AE artist) impacted her use of glazing to achieve color luminosity.
Packard continually seeks out opportunities to paint on Maine's coast and participated in the Great Spruce Head Island Art Week residency in 2009. She has a studio in Bangor where she teaches art workshops and serves on the Art Advisory Council for the University of Maine Museum. Her paintings are included in corporate and private collections throughout the northeastern United States.