PERHAPS IT WAS THE TIME she spent teaching art in southern Africa. Or maybe it was what she learned while living in
rural China. Wherever the inspiration may lie, Linda Hudgins has discovered a universal language of form,
composition and color.
HER UNPREMEDITATED APPROACH to painting energizes the eye. Earth tones and natural shapes populate Hudgin's
canvasses, but in fields of color and volumes of energy that transcend everyday experience. The forms she
paints in oil, acrylic, or mixed media, imply the images of nature: cloud formations at sunrise, or maybe a
forest during autumn. But her non-figurative gestures invite us to imagine what nature may have had in mind
while creating its dynamic forms.
A NATIVE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, Hudgins studied art at Converse College and later at the Rhode Island School of
Design. A lifelong commitment to artistic exploration has taken her to such exotic climes as Ghana, Botswana
and China, where she reeducated her vision in local terms to see the world anew.
THE UNIQUENESS OF HUDGIN'S STYLE is evident in her brushstroke, spontaneous gestures that invite us to consider the
pre-verbal and non-conceptual levels of experience. The images are familiar; perhaps we’ve seen these
forms before in our dreams or childhood fantasies. Or maybe this is how the mind encounters the world
before reason has its say. Clearly, this is the visual language of the unconscious, the vocabulary of intuition
and emotion, as opposed to rational analysis.
BUT IT IS THE CHOICE OF COLOR that enables Hudgins to make her most powerful statements. Saturated hues and
occasionally dissonant tones elevate common things to the highest levels of imagination. “My most delighted
moments occur when I can observe my surroundings as pure arrangements of color,” says Hudgins.
THESE UNUSUAL ARRANGEMENTS of elements and design show a search for balance between conflict and resolution,
dissonance and harmony. Their emotionally charged shapes and provocatively colored images suggest that
repose is always transient; metamorphosis is the norm both in nature and consciousness.
"ABSTRACT SURREALISM" might be a way to describe the recent work of Linda Hudgins, if indeed labels are even
appropriate. Whether we choose any labels at all, these paintings speak to the perennial growth and
persistent renewal of nature and the soul.
Dr. Mark N.Packer
Professor of Philosophy and Art History
University of South Carolina Upstate