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Dose of reality at Monroe Arts Center
Photo submitted The painting Silent Drive is among those in the exhibit, Images of Reality Suggested, by Rockford artist Tom Linden. The exhibit will be in the Monroe Arts Centers Frehner Gallery from Dec. 3 until Dec. 31.
MONROE - From Dec. 3 through Dec. 31, the Monroe Arts Center's Frehner Gallery presents "Images of Reality Suggested" by artist Tom Linden. This art exhibit features realistic watercolor landscape paintings, specifically rural landscapes.

Linden, from Rockford, studied art and painting while pursuing a degree in marketing from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. In 2001, his job, sales with a steel distributor in Chicago was eliminated, so he turned to his passion for art and began to pursue painting on a full-time basis.

Linden likes to travel the two-lane-roads around Rockford equipped with his sketchbook and camera. His realistic watercolors attempt to capture the sights most people pass without a second thought. He enjoys the sight of clouds rolling across the sky and the movement their shadows make across the fields, images of and old weathered farmsteads, or autumn wind rustling through matured crops which communicate the existence - but not necessarily the presence - of man.

Linden captures the original design on site with a pen and ink drawing, paints a small watercolor study to preserve the mood of the light, then photographs the scene to document the specific details. It is back in his studio that he combines these three elements to create the work that he exhibits.

"I find that a realistic technique in watercolor best suits my means of expression. I start my studio works with a detailed pencil sketch of any architectural items. I then lay in and manipulate washes of color to establish the direction of the painting, continuing to build the image through thin glazes of color to gain the rich passages in my paintings," Linden explains.

This accomplished painter has earned signature status with the Watercolor Honor Society, Northwest Watercolor Society, Watercolor Society of Alabama, and the North East Watercolor Society. He also received Patron Purchase awards for five consecutive years in the Watercolor USA Competition.

An opening reception for this exhibit is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in the Monroe Arts Center Frehner Gallery. Linden will give a short gallery talk beginning at 5:30 p.m. This free, informal, come-as-you-are event is for art lovers of all levels. Come stroll through the gallery on your way home from work or school and enjoy the wonderful refreshment table in a relaxed, friendly environment.

This exhibit has been made possible by Monroe Arts Center Corporate Underwriter: The Swiss Colony; Season Media Underwriters: Monroe Publishing, LLC and Big Radio; with additional support from Michael and Shelley Muranyi, Deb Thompson, Lee and Chris Knuteson, and Barb Woodriff and Pete Guenther.