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Meet Lina, a painter

15 Dec 2020

Radiant, bubbly, warm. That’s the incredible Lina in a nutshell. Her authenticity is palpable and her energy is contagious, even through the screen that separates us. It feels good to get carried away by the joy and passion emanating from this inspiring artist who generously opened up to us. It’s your turn today to let yourself be charmed by this amazing person. 

What we see instantly in Lina is her love for people. It’s at the heart of her artistic process: “I do figure painting, characters, faces, and bodies. There’s always an introspective side to my paintings; people have their eyes closed, they're meditating, they’re thinking. When I see bodies, I try to imagine what’s inside; it fascinates me! Skin becomes like clothing.”

She sincerely believes her art saved her over the last few months. After experiencing a creative block (she can’t paint when she’s too sad or upset) and her workshop’s unexpected relocation, she found her inspiration again. She’s even been more prolific than before!

“I have my little rituals in the workshop, listening to certain music, scribbling, looking at old paintings, sometimes covering them up, starting back up on art that I had already started, then bam! I get going again! I completely lose track of time and I’m in my own world.”

Newly settled in Montreal’s former fashion district, she came up with new points of reference. “From the tenth floor in the late afternoon, I see extraordinary sunsets before I turn on the lights and continue painting. I discovered it this fall and I thought I’d be comfortable here; everything’s quiet. It takes me somewhere else.”

Despite all the upheavals, her work hasn’t changed. “What I’m doing now is the continuation of what I've always done, the current situation just brings it out a bit more! There wasn’t any break in my approach.” 

Where she felt this break the most was with her loved ones. As with many people, she found it difficult to adjust to isolation. “I felt caged up. Outside the workshop, I’m a social butterfly. I wanted to see my friends!” 

Her family is closely knit. Every Sunday, they used to have dinner together with the children and the grandchildren. These dinners led to wonderful moments shared and created precious memories.

Getting together has always been important to them, and the holiday season is no exception: “For me, Christmas is a time for getting together and focusing on the family. We want to recreate a bit of that magic!”

Lina fondly remembers her childhood Christmases, when her mother made the turkey dance in the kitchen sink, or when her grandmother, an extraordinary seamstress, made pyjamas for everyone. She smiles as she remembers the years when she and her husband built an outdoor rink to enjoy winter with their children. 

Although they’ve evolved over the generations and changed over time, traditions still permeate the family celebrations today. A natural tree decorated with classic green and red ornaments collected by the couple over the years, a nativity scene inherited from her parents-in-law that’s seen 75 Christmas Eves, a new electric train that creates a magical setting, bringing the whole decor to life and captivating the grandchildren, and the turkey, lovingly prepared by her husband of 44 years, who continues to pay tribute to his mother with her recipe for stuffing. 

Traditions will be different from years before, but unshakably positive Lina still maintains a serene attitude towards this holiday season: “Beyond getting together, it’s connecting with our loved ones that matters. Having a strong bond, no matter how you keep it alive, whether it’s through Zoom or around a table, that’s what counts!”