Jan Vander Linden

West Des Moines, IA


I can't remember wanting to be an artist growing up; although my uncle was one. When I was 12 the school chose me to take free classes at the Art Center. I thought they were crazy!  

They must not have been because I continued art in school and on into college. Back then at ISU, art was in the home economics department which
meant you had to take family relations and food and nutrition classes. We had to wear a skirt to class and had a 10 pm curfew. Not much of an incentive
to be creative! I quit after my third year and worked as a bookkeeper for 10 years.  

Since that seems such an odd choice to most I should point out here that second to art, I have a compulsion to organize things. And, other people’s money seemed like as good a thing to organize as any! Until it occurred to me it was other people’s money. That, and I woke up one morning to discover I was more interested in keeping them honest than they were in being honest so I quit and went pell-mell into painting watercolors.

Boy did my life change! I soon recognized that art would give me opportunities I would not otherwise have. That I could use it as a tool to have the life I wanted. A tool allowing me to be who I am and share the best of who I am with others. I set about to creatively express the rhythms and pulse of life in the seeming mundane and to expose the opulence of simplicity. I started traveling to art fairs all over the US seeing wonderful sites and meeting the greatest people, both artists and customers. I have never had to change my painting style or subject matter to cater to the areas I traveled to. (Just me, the watercolor I love and the Iowa I love).

And yet I have been accepted in the top art fairs in the Nation. And talk about honest! Since 1978 I have NEVER had a bad check or someone trying to cheat me. Not in Iowa not a the Sausalito Art Festival or the Virginia beach art festival or the Fountain Square in Evanston Ill, or the Plaza in KC, nowhere, no time!! Well, times are changing again and I am coming off the art fair road and getting on the Internet highway. Can’t wait to see where this takes me and who I meet along the way.