Linda Weil is a professional artist with over 30 years experience in fine drawing and illustration. Beginning with a career as an artist/illustrator for a variety of top Australian national magazines, she now exhibits her work in a diverse number of galleries and exhibitions throughout Australia.
Her engaging and detailed drawings have won numerous awards; previous Australian Geographic art calendars have featured a selection of Weil's award-winning drawings. She has authored and illustrated How to Draw Lifelike Animals and co-authored The Art of Drawing Animals for the international art publisher, Walter Foster.
More recently, as Weil explored presenting her work in solo exhibitions, she has branched out in her art practice. Now, the world is a clockwork construct as seen through the eye of Linda Weil’s drawings.
Using the simplest and most common drawing implement, the graphite pencil, her freehand yet exacting and precise drawings explore natural and everyday objects often with a mechanical bent. A rich, expressive and exhaustive medium, Weil uses the humble graphite pencil (with touches of colour here and there) to explore a vast range of effects in her works. Needle sharp contour lines to soft velvety depths of shading allow her to travel the boundaries between realism and fantasy, creating her own special mechanistic reality.
RMIT Diploma of Art in Graphic Arts
I think I was born with a pencil in my hand. In fact, I can never a remember a time when I did not draw, and my earliest memories are of scratching fantastical animal shapes on my bedroom wall. Born in California, money was tight growing up. We were not a wealthy family, but pencil and paper were always available. I knew without a doubt I was going to be an artist, and no amount of negative comments on the suitability of this goal for a girl could deter me.
Things changed radically for me in 1972, when my mother took a teaching position in Australia. High school art classes in Australia were certainly different! You were expected to learn about art, history, and methods. It was somewhat to my chagrin to struggle and not be the ‘top’ in art class anymore. I had to work hard to make the grade and Australia was one of the best things that could have happened to me as an artist.
Once out of high school I had to make a serious decision, I required a job where I could use my drawing to give me a living wage. RMIT offered an excellent Graphic Art course. Remember, this was pre-computer age so being able to draw was a prerequisite. It was a fabulous course, with hours of life drawing, technical drawing, interpretative drawing, illustration, as well as photography and printmaking.
After graduation and a few years working as a paste up artist for various print houses, I eventually landed at Southdown Press/Pacific Publications in North Melbourne in the position of a Graphic Artist/illustrator/Art Director for their stable of national magazines. Here I honed my drawing skills in ink, pencils, watercolour, and digital illustration; drawing anything from flowers and garden plans, to home interiors, architecture, cartoons, and abstract designs. Most of my time was spent on Your Garden magazine, but I also did stints on TV Week, Post, Home Beautiful and New Idea.
'Aeronaut' Tea stain and graphite pencil by Linda Weil
'Lead Balloon' Graphite pencil by Linda Weil
While I worked fulltime, I also continued drawing for pleasure. Birdwatching, nature journaling and wildlife art kept me grounded during those heady days on the magazines. After 15 years in magazines, I realised that I was thoroughly bored with the work, and it was time to take my art further and seriously consider exhibiting my drawings. Already a member of the Australasian Wildlife Art Society (WASA), working on Council as WASA Secretary, I began exhibiting with them and had a few small successes.
Encouraged, I started to show my wildlife art more widely. This brought attention and soon I was teaching workshops in Wildlife Drawing throughout Australia. As well, my local art group, the Mentone-Mordialloc Art Society (MMAG) asked me to take their Thursday night drawing class. More recognition followed as I was approached by Walter Foster Publishing to illustrate and write a wildlife animal drawing book for their ‘Drawing Made Easy’ series creating the title ‘Lifelike Animals with Linda Weil’. This was very exciting stuff! Even more so when a couple of years later Derwent Pencils commissioned me to create original drawings for use in their packaging and promotional materials.
Teaching and workshopping around Australia introduced me to many different artists and students. I got to know many of the VAS artists, and Clive Sinclair in particular supported and sponsored me for membership at VAS. When the VAS Members' Room began to offer exhibition space, I did a small show of my drawings. After this show, VAS asked me to start running drawing classes with them and I was delighted to accept.
After some 40 years of experience as a professional artist specialising in all forms of drawing mediums, but particularly graphite, I am best known for my detailed drawings of wildlife, nature studies and found objects. My years working in print taught me the value of telling a complex story with a minimalist palette in line and tone. In the past decade I have returned to my childhood love of imaginative, science fiction and fantastical work. ‘Painting’ with a pencil allows me to explore a vast range of tonal effects from needle sharp contour line to soft, velvety depths of shade. Mechanical gizmos fascinate me, and I enjoy engineering reality and life with the technical. I find it sheer enjoyment to explore the intricacies of detail within a concept, its’ mechanics, surface textures and relationship to the world. Melding my experience as a naturalist artist with a mechanical bent, this new body of work reflects a steam punk vision of the world, and I am having great fun on the journey.
'Girl', pastel pencil by Linda Weil
'Harrod's Spoon', Watercolour wash, colour pencil, graphite pencil by Linda Weil
'Manglerfish' Graphite and colour pencil by Linda Weil
'The Young Prince' graphite pencil by Linda Weil
We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.