Some Questions for a Coastside Artist


Some questions for Coastside artist Linda Montalto Patterson, whose latest work is currently on display at Moon News Bookstore in Half Moon Bay.

Halfmoonbaymemories.com: Does your latest work have a name or theme?

Linda: The new series doesn’t have a formal name. I consider it a garden series. There are 7 paintings in all They are each comprised of two panels that hang next to one another. Three of the paintings are hanging separately but not as a unit due to the space in Moon News.

HMBM: What’s your day like?

Linda: My typical day starts with a look at the ocean, and Of course you can hear the waves pounding. Our house shakes with the waves . I often feel we are living on a boat and the views from the garden reinforce that feeling.

I can be way in the back of the property sitting under the trees, and look out, and there is the ocean, and I feel as though I am on a island of my making floating on the water.

My day continues with a stroll through the garden. This is an important time for me, a time of reflection and appraisal.

How is my garden doing? What changes need I make? What is blooming? What changes have occurred over the night?

I begin my day with either working in the garden or painting, or taking care of a wedding setup or doing a landscape design. I work with local architects and also individual clients and do landscape concepts for them.

HMBM: Do you love living in Miramar?

Linda: I do love living in Miramar . We have lived there since 1984.

HMBM: Miramar is a little known place—Even today the Coastside retains a little bit of its identity as a “remote place.” You got here when the word “secluded” meant something.

Linda: We moved to the Coastside in 78 . We lived in the “Old School House” on 6th and Le Conte in Montara, now known as Montara Gardens. We lived there when the post office was in the small building at the end of 6th street and mail was sent to us marked:

“Linda & Richard
Old School House Montara.”

It was a different world, yet such a short time ago. We lived in the old apartment on the first floor of the School House. We rented it sight unseen. We were recently back from Spain; Richard was working on a Master’s at San Francisco State, and we had a big German Shepherd dog.

We couldn’t find a place in the city that would allow us to rent with a dog. So on a very wet, rainy night we heard about a space at the Montara School House, and Richard got into the phone booth at the peanut & fish bait shop on HWY 92 and called Colleen Fulller . She said she didn’t care if we had a horse as long as we paid the rent. We made an agreement and the next week moved in.

HMBM: Did you have a studio in the School House?

Linda: The School House was enormous. We had the whole first floor at out disposal. i taught art
classes on the stage in the theatre room, and my art studio was what is now the “mirrored room.”

Wild horses from Montana were corralled in the fenced area which is now the garden space around the school house. I’d paint at night and the horses would stare into the lights of my studio with their mournful eyes.

HMBM: Then you moved to Miramar?

Linda: In 84 we moved to Miramar and I loved the change. I used to ride my bike from Montara to HMB everyday to work for the local Ophthalmologist Melto Goumas.

I’d pass through Miramar and delight in the sunshine, and then work my way back into the fog of Montara each night.

Miramar sits in what is considered the sun belt of the coast. I often see the fog bank shrouding Princeton Point to the north and the “Ritz” to the south, while we are in the sun.

I worked for Goumas for 10 years and became an optician, and medical assistant. I enjoyed it. We did minor surgery in office and I loved assisting.

HMBM: What makes you the happiest?

Linda: Probably working in my art studio; the French doors are wide open, and I can take in all of the garden. I can hear the ocean, and the occasional sound of Michael Powers working on one of his stone creations, and I’m in the “creative zone” of the neighborhood and I feel all is well with the world.

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About June Morrall

1947 - 2010
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