BEAUTIFUL NATURAL SURROUNDINGS
While walking on the beach, she photographs and collects objects from the wrack line that will be incorporated into her watercolor paintings.
Living on a bridge-less barrier island off the southwest coast of Florida affords Linda
Soderquist the opportunity to observe a variety of wildlife and be inspired by pristine beaches. While walking on the beach, she photographs and collects objects from the wrack line that will be incorporated into her watercolor paintings. Sea turtles and shorebirds are frequent painting themes. Attuned to nature, Linda’s paintings reflect the essence of a rustic, simple life.
My focus is to coax out the bright light in my work through negative painting that helps portray the beauty of natural surroundings.
Soderquist’s sub-tropical watercolor paintings feature landscapes, seascapes, wildlife portraits, coral reef scenes, and mangrove habitats. As her work is viewed, Linda hopes the beauty of an unspoiled habitat is felt. It is her wish that a connection with a beach view or tropical image will nurture a heightened awareness of our fragile environment, and deepen appreciation of the wonders and beauty of nature.
Born in Illinois, Linda spent summers in the remote boundary waters canoe area of northern Minnesota, where she first nurtured a deep appreciation for the outdoors and wildlife. After college and a few years of teaching in Illinois, Linda settled in southwest Florida, finding the beauty of Little Gasparilla Island, where she takes care of the island’s sea turtles and shorebirds…a never-ending inspiration.
Soderquist’s education includes a B.A. in Fine Art and Elementary Education, and a Master’s degree in mathematics. For many years, the education field occupied her attention while she taught elementary students, authored curriculum materials, and lead teacher workshops.
Upon retirement in 2010, Linda became a Florida Master Naturalist and began to focus her attention on art and a painting career. Linda has continued to be involved in education, writing and receiving grants for outreach education and stewardship projects, while mentoring youth exploring conservation issues. For twenty years she was a primary permit holder with Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission for sea turtle data collection, volunteer training, and education.
Linda also volunteers year-round as a shorebird monitor with the Florida Shorebird Alliance and has authored award-winning programs for elementary students in partnership with the Audubon Society. As a part of a Department of Environmental Protection water quality monitoring network for over fifteen years, she participates in water testing and collects monthly samples for analysis.
The quiet of dawn allows Linda to observe the water and appreciate the beauty of her environment, translating directly into her art. Soderquist’s art connection and mentoring of youth has led her to edit and illustrate three conservation activity books on Florida turtles and tortoises, which have been distributed to youth worldwide. She has worked as a watercolor instructor at art centers and in informal settings. Soderquist exhibits her work in various Florida art shows and galleries, and has received numerous awards. She has also done a National Park Artist in Residency at Big Cypress Preserve. Watercolor painting continues to be a priority in Linda’s life.