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  • Writer's pictureLinda Donlin

Love for hometown inspired series

After completing the Missouri River Crossing at Bismarck painting, I was looking for ideas for my next painting. I paged through a family history book and came across a beautiful photo of Lake Hiawatha in my hometown of Sykeston, ND.

I decided to try to paint that scene in my style -- impressionistic using a palette knife. I worked on it for a couple days -- a few hours each day. I had some challenges with the bridge and the water tower, where I needed to get a ruler and a brush out, but otherwise, it came together nicely using mostly palette knife. I have a special round knife that I use on clouds. Love that thing!

When I was fairly satisfied with the painting, I posted it to Facebook. My hands trembled a little as I did so, as I knew I had painted a scene near and dear to many friends and family. However, I needn't have worried, the comments were overwhelmingly positive. I also discovered that the photo in the history book was not an old one, which I had assumed when I saw it, but a fairly recent photo. It was taken by Christine Tremoulet, daughter of a former schoolmate. I happily give Christine credit for the photo that inspired my painting.

With my hometown's 135th anniversary and all-school reunion coming up, I decided to paint a few more scenes of Sykeston. It's been a great deal of fun and also very gratifying as classmates share the memories that the paintings bring back.

My former babysitter told me that looking at this painting made her "heart happy." My dad passed away around the time I was working on this scene. I think seeing it would make his heart happy too.

Stay tuned for more stories about the Sykeston series.

Lake Hiawatha painting in progress. A few more details were yet to come.

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