Artist Statement

Transparent watercolor speaks to me as a medium because of its ability to glow with light through bold or delicate color. My palette is made up of sedimentary pigments that have a tendency to mix and mingle on the paper, offering surprises and challenges to the original plan of the work. Another of the great challenges is keeping the whites white and lights light so I need to plan ahead and avoid accidentally painting in those areas, because once they are painted, they are gone for good!  I am a person who likes to be in control, and with watercolor, it is a constant effort to allow the paint to have its voice and let its magic happen on the paper without my controlling everything.  When I let it happen, the paintings sing; when I don’t, the pictures can be tight and strained. 


I enjoy having nature around me, and so living in a suburb of a big city, that means a small yard.  I enjoy having a flower garden that heralds the beginning of spring, summer and fall.  Those flowers and plants may be ephemeral in the strong seasonal changes of Chicagoland, but capturing them on paper can last much longer and renew that original joy I felt every time I look at the paintings.  And I can share that vision with others who view my work.


Each day holds surprises, both good and bad, mixed up within the mundane.  I hope to explore the good surprises and share that happy wonder with others through my art.  If I can help someone look for a great surprise in their routine day, I will have succeeded.

Lin Beribak


Capturing Joy and Light in Paint: Lin Beribak

By John Rice


Speaking of her life as an artist, Lin Beribak said, “Each day holds surprises, both good and bad, often hidden within the mundane. I explore the good surprises and share that happy wonder with others through my art.” Beribak’s preferred form of art is painting watercolors. “I have chosen transparent watercolor as my medium, because of its ability to glow with light through bold or delicate color. It’s a challenge to keep light colors bright and darks un-muddied.”

Beribak paints these watercolors in her home studio in Forest Park, a near-western suburb of Chicago, where she grew up. After attending the University of Illinois, where she studied drawing, design and drafting, Beribak decided to stay in Chicago and never regretted that decision. “I love the first weeks of every season in the Midwest. I can’t choose one season over another; the changes can be inspiring.”

Art has been an inspiration to Beribak ever since she was a child. “I used to get lost in drawing or coloring.  I reach a state of Flow, total consciousness and satisfaction. I become completely absorbed in an activity that involves my creative abilities.”

Beribak pursued art, because she wasn’t as athletic as her brother. “I did my homework and then spent my time coloring, drawing and making crafts.” Her biggest challenge was seeing objects clearly in focus. “I began wearing glasses when I was five.” Every few months, her prescription had to be strengthened. “I was amazed that the new prescriptions allowed me to see the leaves on the trees and the bricks in the buildings again.” Beribak believes her near-sightedness helped her to focus better on details.

“I find the Midwest plains and skies are too big to capture on canvas. I focus on close-ups of the flowers, the clouds and sunlight on objects. I love the drama of light vs. shadow and attempt to capture that spectacle in my paintings.”

There wasn’t much drama for Beribak during her childhood. Raised with one sibling, she was shown affection and support but her parents were careful not to spoil her. “My mother made it clear to me that we are each given talents and will have to account for these talents when we die.” Her mother was also talented in drawing and watercolors but was too busy working as a nurse to develop her skills.

Beribak followed her into the medical profession. “I became an occupational therapist, because it combined my artsy side with the medical side.” However, changes in the economy made using crafts as a therapeutic activity less feasible. “I eventually specialized in hand rehabilitation.” Her creativity was expressed in hand therapy, as she fabricated splints and orthotics to fit each patient’s needs. “I created ‘sculpture’ for each patient’s hand or arm, according to their anatomy and injury.”

This was satisfying work for Beribak but she found even greater expression taking adult art classes in the evening. “I discovered watercolor painting and the medium had me hooked!”

Beribak chose a palette of granulating pigments that mix and mingle on the paper. These colors bring surprises and challenges that may not be in her original plan. “I allow the paints to lead the way and I let go of my need to control it all.” Beribak works in a loosened realistic style. In this regard, she emulates the Impressionists, who were her greatest influence.

“Their conveyance of light was inspirational,” Beribak said, “Monet painted the same scenes in different lighting conditions. It makes me concentrate on light and dark patterns.” Renoir’s saturated colors helped her focus on her subjects. Gaugin’s paintings sent a strong message, without superfluous details.  She appreciates Sargent’s mastery of implied detail. “I also love contemporary painters, whose loose style expresses a freshness, a surprise in their limited detail.  I appreciate negative painting and implied detail.”

As for her choice of subjects, “I am inspired to paint what makes me happy to look at – sunny landscapes in the changing seasons, colorful flowers and a still life of a treasured object. I also do home portraits and the occasional personal portrait.”

Living in Forest Park gives her plenty of subjects to paint.  “I enjoy having nature                around me and living in a suburb of a big city, I enjoy having a flower garden that heralds the beginning of spring summer and fall.” Flowers can be ephemeral in the extremes of Chicago’s climate, which makes it gratifying to capture them on paper. “They renew that joy I feel every time I look at the paintings. I can share that vision with others who view my work.”

Beribak’s works are in numerous private collections throughout the US. She has also donated works to support charitable causes, including hospitals, schools and universities. She has entered paintings in juried shows that include the Michigan Avenue Art Walk, the Bloomingdale Art and Craft Show and Art in the Park. She has also displayed them at The American Artworks Gallery in Forest Park.

Lisa Dodge, who operated this gallery, said, “Lin’s paintings reflect her view of nature, which includes beautiful colors and shapes. The composition of her pieces makes them easy on the eye. They are lovely additions to any room, no matter the décor.”

“Lin’s painting of my grandfather and me brought the physical feeling of that cold morning fishing on the river to life when I first looked at it.  My family and I always look upon it fondly as it beautifully captured the bond we shared while bringing to life the vivid backdrop of nature that was so integral in our relationship.  I truly feel as though he is still with me every time I look at the painting.  It is my most prized possession and the artistry and sentiment put into its creation are dear to my heart.”-Travis Clarke, Brookfield, IL,

Kathleen Okkema found a home for one of her paintings in Wisconsin. “Lin’s watercolor painting enjoys a prominent location in our Northwoods home. It is a wonderful portrayal of northern trees in the fall. Visitors comment how well it captures the beauty of the day.”  And Sarah Marren of Chicago says “Lin's paintings capture memories with warmth and joy.”

“Lin releases the beauty from natural landscapes in all her art pieces.  Her vision explodes on the paper with each brushstroke,” says Donna Masiulewicz of Mesa, Arizona and Danette Johnson, Chicago, “The picture has a unique and alluring color palette with an ethereal representation of flowers which really appealed to me. 

It’s not just her landscapes that are eye-catching. “Lin captured the personality and spirit of my children in a timeless watercolor that my family will treasure forever,” said Stacey Mladic.

Mary Beth Cobleigh-Beal said, “Lin’s artwork is exquisite in all aspects; the color, line and form perfectly express her subject matter. Experiencing it always makes me feel happy and peaceful. ”  And from Marie Melkonian: “It is so refreshing entering my hallway to be greeted by Ms. Beribak's pieces of art which I cherish, one of red poppies and one of wisteria.  It takes me back to my youth on a Mediterranean island.” 

Beribak’s current focus is developing her career in painting. “I am a member of the Oak Part Art League and the Illinois Watercolor Society. I’m making time to create and devote more time to my business.”  Beribak’s business is making people happy, by sharing the visions that bring her joy.



Lin Beribak

Education:  Lin Beribak studied design, drawing, drafting, weaving and pottery as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, but by the 19890s she settled on transparent watercolor as her medium of choice.  She has studied under various instructors, including Joseph Fettingis, Irving Shapiro, Nita Engel, Lewis Barrett Lehrman, Brigit Austin, Linda Kemp, Janet Rogers and John Salminen.


Style: Lin has chosen transparent watercolor as her medium because of its ability to glow with light through bold or delicate color.  She has chosen a palette of sedimentary pigments that have a tendency to mix and mingle on the paper, offering surprises and challenges to the original plan of the work.  She works in a realistic impressionistic style, always striving to allow the paints to have their way


Experience: Lin’s works are in numerous private collections throughout the US and have been donated to raise funds for the American Hand Therapy Foundation; donations of home portraits have been auctioned for Habitat for Humanity New Orleans Musician’s Village, Children’s Memorial Hospital (now Lurie Children’s Hospital), Scott School Special Needs Program, St Bernardine Parish, St Juliana School, The Griffin Theatre, Creighton University, Friends of Shalom Uganda, the Oak Park Conservatory and the Illinois Hemophilia Society.


Juried shows include Michigan Avenue Art Walk, Felician College Art Show, Bloomingdale Art and Craft Show and Art in the Park )Oak Park, Illinois).  She is currently represented by The American Artworks Gallery in Forest Park.




Barb & Jim Mayer, Naperville, IL

Kathy & Jim Okkema, UP Michigan

Kathy Reed,  Oneida,TN  (6)

Danielle Pierro, MD, Oak Park, Il (3)

Stacey  & Scott Mladic, Lockport, IL

Karen & Rey deCastro, Springfield, IL

Jan McGrath, Oak Park, IL (4)

Marybeth Cobleigh-Beal, Forest Park, IL

Marie Melkonian, Clarendon Hills, IL

Joe & Rosa Kobal, Mt.Prospect, IL

Nina & Joe Bavone, Oak Park, IL

Amy Beribak, MN (3)

Dave & Cathy Walz, Forest Park, IL (3)

Rodger Brayden, Zion, IL

Laura Jaye, Boston, MA

Tammy Muza, NC(3)

Dianne Smith, NC (2)

Travis Clarke, Chicago, IL

Holly & Sia Rahbar, Littleton, CO

Donna Masiulewicz, Mesa, AZ

Kristen & Andrew Morrison, Denver, CO

Danette Johnson, Chicago, IL

Tom Marren, Chicago, IL

Wayne & Marian Bibergal, Chicago,IL (3)

George & Nancy Isdale, Forest Park, IL

Joseph Lepkowski, DDS, Oak Park, IL

Maria & Julian Kuca, Poland

Carolyn Caponiori Newtin, Chicago, IL

Lori Coughlin, DVM, Oak Park, IL


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