HIGHLANDS - Linne A. Grant paints buildings. Not just any buildings, but she does paint buildings of all sorts. Buildings that are familiar, buildings that are fun, buildings that have special meaning.
And that’s not all she paints! Linne paints anything that brings memories, joy and happiness to others.
Linne is an artist, and you can see her and her work every Saturday at the Farmer’s Market in Huddy Park.
A native of Michigan, her family discovered Highlands when her dad was stationed with the Coast Guard at Sandy Hook so she grew up in the Bayshore and went to Henry Hudson Regional School.
She doesn’t know exactly why or how, but Linne feels she has always known all her life she could do anything. She taught herself fall kinds of crafts, was proficient at embroidery and loved watercolors.
But it was Lorraine Niemela a Colts Neck resident , a highly respected art instructor at Brookdale Community College that really got Linne into painting.
To assuage her own grief after the death of her mother, Linne attended classes at Brookdale and decided to take one of Niemela’s class trips to France. The artist took her students back to her native Provence and taught them all that art is everywhere, from capturing everything on canvas, from quaint villages in the French Pyrenees, to meandering roads along the Mediterranean.
And that’s essentially what Linne is doing along the roads and through the towns, rivers, cities and communities of Monmouth County. In fact, her variety of local scenes in just about every municipality in Monmouth County has earned her the title of Monmouth County Artist.
Linne was also making tea cozies for the Women’s Exchange in Little Silver, and once she started painting her scenes, she had copies made for post cards, framing and special occasions.
When Highlands had an art show many years ago, she set up a table, and though she was the only artist there, she never lost hope. The next year, the show was bigger, and Linne was more popular.
When Joan Wicklund and Andrea Bohinski opened their very popular Sandy Dollar Gift Shop in Highlands, the ladies were quick to invite Linne to display her work. And a brand new very colorful career was well underway for this amazing artist.
Linne’s paintings are unique in style and color, with many also offering great touches of whimsy. For instance, you might recognize the row of houses on a particular Highlands street because of their shape, size and location, but their coloring might be a colorful display of pastels, making each individual house stand out from the rest.
The artist does most of her painting after visiting the area, realizing something that is memorable or outstanding to her, then capturing it with her camera first. Back at her home in Navesink, she uses the photograph to produce her artistry in all sizes. She then has prints made for postcards and other specialties and can tell a story about every one of the buildings and places she has painted.
“I have done at least one piece of art in almost every one of the 53 municipalities,” she explains, “I just haven’t done anything in Millstone or Marlboro yet.”
She has done numerous scenes in both Highlands and Atlantic Highlands, as well as farmlands in the Colts Neck area, the Coast Guard Station at Monmouth Beach. “And don’t forget my favorite bakery,” she laughs, as she displays a painting of Dixie Lee, the legendary and long time bakery in Keansburg.
She has painted Zoe’s, the café on Center Avenue in Atlantic Highlands, as well as the Highlands bridge, other bridges, RJs, which was a popular store on First Avenue in Atlantic Highlands, and Sandy Hook.
She has painted Brookdale and several main streets of other municipalities, and a colorful work of the blue Victorian on Main St in Matawan. On her display table at the Highlands Farmers Market, she is displaying an outstanding painting of the rear of the rear of the Linden Avenue houses, portraying it in a unique perspective since the home is on the hill and Linne’s depiction is how it’s seen from below in the Market.
While Linne does all the photography herself as well as all the artwork, she does rely on her husband and best friend, Jim, to taking her to visit all the sites, and to share in her joy when someone purchases either a print or a painting, framed or unframed.
Linne’s works range in price from postcards at two for $5.00 to framed originals at over $100. She’s at the Highlands Farmer’s Market every Saturday, from early morning until closing.