Georgia O’Keeffe wrote, “To create one’s own world takes courage.” Artist Linda Paul-Sontag is familiar with creating her own world.
Her father worked for the Railroads and the Interstate Commerce Commission, which required several relocations. By the time the family settled in Los Angeles, Paul-Sontag had attended seven elementary schools across Nebraska, Texas, New Mexico and California.
In the seventh grade, a teacher commented on her creativity. At that point, she suspected she should follow drawing and painting. She decided in high school to study art in college.
“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,” Paul-Sontag said.
Her interests evolved from the fine arts into graphic arts, placing her at the finish line of her bachelor’s degree in business administration. Paul-Sontag worked for Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach as a graphic artist and technical illustrator shortly after graduation.
“Much to my parents’ surprise, they found I could make a living in the art world,” she said. “We produced sales presentations, technical support bulletins, and the company collateral.”
Thanks to an aircraft industry downturn, Paul-Sontag had to look for a new career — project manager for the wireless industry.
“I found myself in an entirely different industry,” she said. “I was responsible for managing, leasing, city entitlements, regulatory compliance and the hand-off to construction to develop new cell sites. My territory covered Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico.”
She moved to Arizona so her husband could build custom homes in Prescott. Unfortunately, the 2008 real estate collapse forced Paul-Sontag back into the wireless industry in California.
“We lived separately for five years until we could finally reunite and move to the Phoenix area in 2013,” she said. “We decided to stay.”
Today, Paul-Sontag is happily settled in a home with her space, 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,” she said. “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.’
“My experience in aerospace gave me drafting skills so that I can incorporate those architectural elements in my work.”
As a member of the Sonoran Arts League, she is exhibiting at studio 26 in this year’s Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour, sonoranartsleague.org and at The Finer Arts in Cave Creek, facebook.com/thefinerartsgallery.
To view artist Paul-Sontag’s work from “The Blue Highways” series to “Whimsical Animals,” visit lindapaulsontag.com or her Instagram @lindapaulsontag. She also has a YouTube channel with tips for new artists; search YouTube for “Quick Tips for New Artists.”