Linda Kristin Blix (née Allen) was born in The Pas, Manitoba on October 14, 1947, and peacefully passed away May 19, 2020, in Muskoka, Ontario after a long, brave fight against two kinds of cancer. She grew up in Winnipeg and moved to Toronto in 1970 to join the love of her life, Danny Blix. They married and with their sons, Tyler and Ashley, they lived in homes in Bond Head, Aurora, and eventually full-time at their cottage on Loon Lake. Every home, including recent rentals in The Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto, was made beautiful because of Linda’s impeccable good taste, a flair for design and her own hard work and energy. Her walls, and those of her friends and family, are covered with her dynamic prints, and her green thumb was evident in the incredible gardens she nurtured every year.
One cannot speak about Linda without using the word passion. Art was certainly one of Linda’s. Her love of printmaking was firmly established when she attended an art-focused high school in Minneapolis during her teens. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba and continued specialized studies in painting and printmaking at The Ontario College of Art, graduating in 1997. She lived her entire life as an artist, winning awards for her work, exhibiting frequently, and working with various programs and workshops to nurture and promote creativity and creative skill in artists of all ages.
Linda was not a solitary artist –she enjoyed collaborative and stimulating work environments as well as artist cooperatives, feeling that creativity was infectious and would thrive between like-minded people. It was as an art educator that Linda discovered a passion for teaching. Her intimate printmaking workshops expanded the techniques and love of printmaking to novice and experienced artists alike. She taught many printmaking workshops throughout the Toronto area, at the McMichael Gallery, the Haliburton summer program, as well as in towns around her home base. Countless people have been motivated by her energetic belief in the value of exploring and expressing one's creativity. Linda was a true communicator and for someone who considered herself shy and vulnerable, leading groups of students and creative explorers was a perfect forum for her. Spontaneity was a constant theme in her work and her teaching and indeed, in the way she lived her life. Interestingly, however, the work she did was very focused, technical, and physical. She was happiest when carving and hand rubbing inked relief prints onto Japanese paper. Her work was bold, dramatic, and richly textured, largely inspired by the geography and the flora and fauna of Muskoka and her many hikes in the area. It was important to her to continue to evolve as an artist and in recent years, she developed more complex and subtle uses of multi-layered colouring and more representation of figures and animals. Linda said, “Throughout my life, I have been fascinated by the surprise element of printmaking - not having total control. The intimate contact with the materials and the evolving processes enthrall me.” Linda considered Muskoka to be her “spiritual and creative muse,” feeling her creative interest stimulated by living surrounded by forests, lakes, and rocks, with her beloved birds flying nearby.
Linda was beautiful, colourful, and charismatic. She was also deep and complicated. Friends have said that no one loved as much as Linda – her heart was huge and generous, and she made friends easily. She also was gritty, stubborn, and determined, and never shied away from a battle. She often referred to her “Viking Spirit.” This determination drove her “one foot in front of the other” attitude while facing her recent struggles with multiple myeloma and leukemia. She refused to be defined by illness and lived every moment until the very last with her typical feisty élan and grace.
The world will not be the same without Linda. As recently stated by a good friend of hers, Linda’s work as an artist, her fierce battle to be creative, independent, healthy, and happy, to "grow where you are planted", inspired many around her.
Linda was predeceased by her husband Dan and her parents Herb Allen and Sylvia Allen (née Jonasson.) Linda (Amma) was loved and will be sadly missed by her sons and their families: Tyler Blix and Kelly Baranieski, Graydon, and Vivian; and Ashley Blix and Nicole Gargarella, Aria, and Ember. Also bereft are her brother Larry and sister Judith and their families, her stepmother, cousins, and many dear and true friends. She was wonderful in her role as family matriarch and stayed connected to hundreds of people while making every individual feel special and unique. Her presence will also be missed by her many social networks and online communities.
Following Linda’s wishes, cremation has taken place.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in Linda’s name to:
The McMichael Canadian Art Foundation https://4531.thankyou4caring.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=298
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre Foundation - Choose ‘Cancer Centre/(Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre)’ from the drop-down donation menu. https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/12144
Linda's beautifully done photoshoot is to the credit of Kelly Holinshead - The Shutterbug Gallery - firstname.lastname@example.org - http://kellytheshutterbug.com/
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