HOUSTONIA — Many in the local area know artist Linda Hoover for her acrylic paintings and other art forms, but they may not know she’s spent 35 years creating caricatures. Caricatures that make people smile.

Hoover, who is also the president of the Sedalia Visual Art Association, started out creating portraits for people but her career soon blossomed into caricature drawings.

“In Cole Camp, I used to do portraits of the (high school) athletes,” she explained. “Some of the mothers knew that I did draw, and one of the mothers (Barb Knobbe) asked me if I would do caricatures for their senior lock-in.”

Although she had never created a caricature she decided to try and the drawings began to grow on her. Hoover said caricature portraits are fun because they have a light-hearted cartoon feel.

“A lot of them that I see, they are really not like the person,” she noted. “It’s not like a portrait, but mine, I do get a likeness. So that makes mine, I think, something special.”  

Over the last 35 years she has taken her easel and paper to high schools, local fairs and events such as birthday parties, graduations and picnics, demonstrated at the Missouri State Fair and brought smiles to the residents of the Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg.  

It was only recently she began to draw in color using pastels. Normally Hoover would use charcoal to create a caricature, but color has opened up a new world in her drawings. A piece can be created in nine minutes, start to finish.

“I just started this at my church on New Year’s Eve,” she said of drawing in color. “I’ve always been doing them in charcoals, all black and white, unless people give me a picture to do them at home.

“I do pastel pictures at church during service,” she continued. “Since it was something that I was doing as my gift to them, I thought I’ll experiment with color.”

She added she had tried color before and wasn’t successful because she tried to combine pastels with charcoal.

“But, I decided to start drawing with a Sharpie and coloring in with pastels and it worked out really good,” she said.

When drawing a caricature, Hoover said she finds the person’s positive attributes to exaggerate, instead of the negative.

“I don’t try to hurt anybody’s feelings,” she said. “If I notice someone has especially large eyes, I’ll exaggerate that. I look for their best features.

“I just want to have fun with it, it’s fun if you can get a laugh out of it,” she continued. “The best part of the whole thing is inevitably, people smile when I’m done and I love seeing those smiles.”

For more information about Hoover’s caricature art call her at 660-238-6242. 

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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