The sixth featured artist in this ongoing series is Wendy, my sister in law! Wendy does not sell her beautiful artwork online yet but if I have my way she will soon! Wendy is a very talented artist who deals mostly in encaustics, monotypes and collage... to see more of her items be sure to check out her blog Off The Cuff Collage...
Start off by telling us about yourself...
I Believe that creativity is our birthright, but realizing that fear can paralyze the creative soul, I seek to bring the joy of creating into everything I do. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a visual artist but let fear keep me away from my heart's desire. For a million reasons, and one motorcycle man from Utah, I radically changed my life, and am now living my dream on beautiful Whidbey Island, WA, creating multi-layered, textural works in encaustic, collage and monotypes and teaching art, too!
When did you first get interested in creating your
art and how did you get into it?
I think I have always been interested in old rusty things, always dabbling with design, putting things together in a creative way (my room, scribbling and doodling in my notebook in high school) but I never put it down to wanting to do "art", that's art with a capital "A"! I was a singer in high school and thought that was where my talent was firmly planted, no place else. Did some stenciling and sponge-painting walls in my earlier adult years and loved to decorate homes, but never called it "art" either, was a weaver for a while in there, too, but again, didn't think of it as "Real art"......wasn't until 2003 that I really realized I wanted to actually try my hand at art. but not the truly "fine art". I was much more interested in texture and collage and slapping things together with glue and paint and seeing where they would lead. kind of like "instant gratification"!
Where do you get the ideas for your creations?
I'm particularly interested in textures and organic things. I have always gathered shells and leaves and interesting bits and bobs that I would find laying about, found objects that were all rusty and aged. stuff that other people might not look at because it might be considered "junk"..........those were the objects that held my attention. things that have had another life, another layer to them, not all new and shiny. for some reason graphic images hold an interest, too. I’m not sure why, but I am consistently drawn to strong graphic statements in advertising and fabrics and the like...........oh, and lets' not forget text! I love text of any kind......any kind of calligraphic markings are interesting, too. I work rather intuitively, I think. throwing things together, often what I have right at my fingertips, trying not to let "thought" get in the way, just going with the "feelings". more often than not, I don't have the slightest idea where I’m headed with a particularly piece. not a clue! make for an exciting journey!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Why?
oh, man, Tara, that's a hard one. but I know that it's a necessary question to ask. what's the old saying? "failing to plan, is planning to fail". oh, wow, since this is fantasy time, I’ll have a go at it. ten years from now? okay, here goes:
"I have a good reputation nationwide as a good art teacher and am sought-after for original and life-changing workshops. I’m producing high-quality, accessible, affordable art, encaustics, mixed media, collages and monotypes and actually making a good living from it, too! I get to attend a lot of high-caliber art workshops and am honing my skills, I’m writing a great art book that will inspire those fearful of art to SOAR and I’m still madly in the love with the love of my life and enjoying living on this island with our three pups!
oh, wow! that was fun, Tara! thanks for letting me dream and actually see what the future can hold if I stay the course and put my mind to it!!
If you could start over is there anything you would do differently?
I’d start younger. I did not come to art, not really, until I was in my mid-forties. but one shouldn't regret anything and I know that I am like a cannon ball being shot from a cannon! nothing's gonna stop me now!! I’m makin' up for lost time!
Do you work at your art/craft full time or do
you have another job?
I’d love to tell you that I am making oodles and scads of money from just my art. not true, at least not yet - SOON!! I’m working on it, day by day. happily, through a stroke of good luck and a little bit of nerve, I started teaching in the fall of 2007. I am teaching collage, composition and art journaling. it's been a real ride. very satisfying and kinda terrifying, too. and I find that I am actually good at it, especially beginners, those who are afraid of art and don't think they have it in themselves to do art. I love to prove them wrong!! I also do some work for a terrific catering operation here on the island on the side. I like the immediate gratification of working hard for 7-8 hours and getting a check at the end of the night. you can immediately see the results of your labor and it's very satisfying.
Who do you admire (artist or otherwise)? Why?
holy cow, girl. you ask good questions. oh, I know this sounds canned and maybe even phony, but honestly, I would have to say that Michael, my husband, has been the greatest source of admiration for the last seven years. I have never known anyone to be so single-minded in purpose and resolve. there is nothing this man can't do and he is always ready and able to encourage the best from me, too. honestly, I don't think I would be doing art if it were not for his kicking me in the butt. he is my best cheerleader and example!
What tips would you have for someone that
is just starting out?
show up in the studio. do your work, no matter what you think of it. work everyday, even if it's just organizing, priming a canvas, reading an art book. network! meet others in your field of interest. go to every gallery opening and art exhibit you can. read everything, look at everything, take art classes galore and NEVER GIVE UP!!!
Don't miss her other blog Bada Bling...