Linda J. Zahavi

Lev Shomea: 2011-2013
Kol Zimra:  2004-2006
Massachusetts College of Art, Painting major, BFA 1979.
Marylhurst University.  MA Art Therapy 1979.
Artist Statement:
My experience as an artist and art therapist has demonstrated to me that art making and immersion into creative process is for everyone and supports spiritual, emotional and psychological wellbeing. I am passionate about the journey into a painting that expands the mind and fosters authentic original expression.

I have been heartily engaged in creative process since early childhood.  Painting/art-making is born from a state of inner excitement that emerges from the dance with uncertainty and reflects not just my own individuality but brings that forth in the viewer. This is experienced uniquely by each person who sees it.  It is beyond liking and not liking, It is not over controlled or under controlled and most important is that it is not about “story.”  The process itself that elicits more process is extremely compelling and occurring all around us all the time, whether with art media, in nature or at the molecular level.

This is my interest regardless of whether I am creating pastel landscapes, large abstracts, odd “Judaica” or  combinations.   The finished piece that arrives is anti-story: not my story, not your story, nothing you can experience with any degree of definition.  There is nothing to hold onto, but reveals the ability of the mind to expand into possibility.  Beyond liking and not liking, beyond preferences and certainty.  Diving deeply into the unknowing, uncertainty and possibility that is the center of our experience before we put a face and a name on it or try to pin it down.

My inspiration has come from my early studies of artists from the 60s and 70s.   In addition, Buddhist mindfulness practice and Jewish mysticism have had a profound influence.  I am a synthete (which means that other senses transfer to images) and these moving colors and shapes appear in my mind in response to every sound, emotion, word, or experience.  They cannot be pinned down and what arrives on the canvas changes in relationship to itself and even that cannot be held onto or repeated.

I was born into an Ashkenazi Jewish family in the 50’s, in the shadow of the holocaust.  We were somewhat secular, and yet somewhat religious which dissipated as I got older, after multiple moves and family dissolution.  In later years I was fortunate to be with each of my parents into their old age and death.
My spiritual life included many years practice in the Vipassana tradition of Buddhism, then in Jewish Renewal.  I am a long term member of P’nai Or of Portland and in ongoing studies and mentorship with Rabbi Shefa Gold.  I offer a monthly Jewish chant group since 2004.

I am recently retired from 35 years as a Professional Counselor/art therapist and have also been a massage therapist.  I am still a Reiki Master and Spiritual Companion.

I am deeply happily married to Paul since 1982, the Light of my Life.


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