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Gaell William Lindstrom

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Gaell William Lindstrom
(Salt Lake City, UT, 1919 - 2009, St. George, UT)

Gaell William Lindstrom was born in Salt Lake City on July 4, 1919. During his life he became a master artist of both watercolors and ceramics. Lindstrom views his pieces as experimental and expressive and depends upon his elusive application of paint to convey a message through the finished image. Lindstrom is not sure when his interest in art really began; it may have always been there. His father, William Lindstrom, was a painter and decorator of churches and houses as Gaell was growing up. William had a slight interest in watercolors, which may have had an influence upon Gaell. However, Gaell was able to take art classes in his public grade school in Salt Lake City, which nurtured his young talent. At the time he entered the University of Utah, Lindstrom believed a degree in painting to be superficial. So after three and a half years at the University, the young artist graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Art. From this point on, he dedicated his life to the arts and to art education. His first position was as a high school art teacher in Cedar City in 1953. While in this position, his involvement in watercolors began and grew. Not much later, Lindstrom was hired by the College of Southern Utah. Lindstrom went back to school at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, where he received his Master of Fine Arts in painting. During his graduate studies, Gaell had the opportunity to train personally with many great watercolorists. Among them was Roy Wilhelm, who was living in Ohio when Lindstrom studied with him for the summer. Because Wilhelm was a better painter than a teacher, Lindstrom had to learn by observing Wilhelm at work and by examining his completed paintings. Lindstrom notes the revival of ceramics after World War II as a partial influence on his involvement in ceramics. After teaching in Cedar City, Utah State University hired him. During his years there, Lindstrom began the school's first ceramic institute and became a leader in his field. His pieces were often made from Utah's native clays, using natural slips and glazes and emulating the state's Native American tradition. His work at the University inspired other ceramists to begin pottery guilds with the artist's experienced help. At the same time, another strong influence upon Lindstrom was J. A. F. Everett. When Lindstrom was hired by the University of Utah department of art in 1957, he came under the influence of the master painter. Everett was a poet with paints, according to Lindstrom. However, Gaell wished to experiment with the medium of watercolors and go beyond the typical pastel palette. Lindstrom refused to obey the stringent rules and regulations connected with watercolor painting, which were then generally accepted. Instead, his works, such as Remembering Butte, use dark pigments and multiple layers of paint. Time he spent in China also had an impact on his style, producing a more elusive brush and the use of symbols. The end result is not only an image that conveys its content but also a manipulated application of medium that carries the message and mood of the content. Gaell Lindstrom says that good art should speak for itself. A well-executed painting should be able to convey its meaning without explanation. The artist has continued to create such expressive pieces even after his retirement from the University of Utah in 1984. He currently lives in St. George, Utah. You can get additional information from Gaell Lindstrom's own web site online at

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