Watercolor artist Linda Soderquist has many years of experience in the field supporting education and stewardship projects benefiting our area’s natural treasures. That includes the habitat of sea turtles and shorebirds. The Florida Master Naturalist has worked with the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission for more than 20 years, as well as the Florida Shorebird Alliance and Venice Audubon. She’s also a longtime supporter of the water quality monitoring and testing program with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Linda is a lifelong educator beyond her 40-plus year career as a teacher of elementary and gifted students mostly in Sarasota County. As the Children’s Education Program Coordinator for Venice Audubon, she has shared her enthusiasm and knowledge about birds and other wildlife with thousands of area students.
All of these activities in the field have provided Linda a front row seat to the wonders of wildlife in their natural setting. It helps explain the realism and visual appeal of her lovely paintings.
Linda was born in Illinois and her appreciation for the outdoors and wildlife was inspired from spending summers in the remote boundary waters of northern Minnesota. She moved to Englewood in 1972 and has lived on Little Gasparilla Island for the past 26 years.
In addition to painting with watercolors, Linda has edited and illustrated three conservation activity books about Florida turtles and tortoises, which have been translated into several languages and distributed free to youth worldwide. She also co-authored and illustrated an activity book about the importance of native Florida plants for birds.
“I love transparent watercolor for its translucent effect, bright clean colors and technical challenges,” said Linda. “For example, I never use white paint, so the white you see is merely the paper. Painting with watercolors requires planning and precise techniques.”
Linda sees her art as a way to promote conservation. “Revealing the beauty of birds and other wildlife inspires people of all ages,” she noted. “It’s important to advocate for sensible environmental stewardship and the protection of wildlife given extensive urban development.”
Linda enjoys painting in her studio and exhibiting her award-winning art with her husband Chuck at Florida outdoor festivals. She’s a signature member of the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society, and a former Artist in Residency at Big Cypress National Preserve with the U.S. National Park Service.
See more of Linda’s art at LindasIslandArt.com.