Interview with an artist – Wendy Nolan

As I grow as an artist, my work becomes more and more an essential part of my being. I like to think of my art as exposing an otherwise unseen part of myself. My intentions are to awaken the senses and evoke memories, allowing the spectator to form a unique interpretation of my work. Painting is a sensory experience for me. I am sometimes surprised by what actually takes place as the brush pushes paint across the surface of the canvas. My mind tends to zero in on details, and I work with anticipation of the end result as the process builds layers, textures and form with colour. Being able to paint is a gift I will always treasure.

When did you become interested in art?

I don’t remember being not interested in art. From a very early age, I enjoyed drawing, as a child it was my favourite pastime. For me though, marriage, children and work took over. So art was kept it in the background until I studied Interior Technology in 2007. I completed modules in gouache and watercolours and realised I could paint, that’s when I started to experiment with different mediums.

I spent the next few months creating my first ‘masterpieces’ and placed them in a group exhibition at a local art gallery. Seven out of ten pieces sold, and I was amazed that people were willing to pay their hard earned money for something I had made! I’ve wanted to create ever since.

Could you tell us some more about your work?

Most pieces begin with intent, and I carefully plan them out before I begin work. Despite my planning, these pieces usually end up substantially different from my original idea, as I tend to modify my ideas along the way.

I also have a fascination for colours. I love going into an art shop and opening paint tubes to look at the pure colour. Colour inspires a lot of my work; I tend to use rich, vibrant colours that give my work emotional impact, I think colour focus’s the viewers’ attention and helps effectively convey my message. Plus, I’ve never met a colour I didn’t like.

Which movements and artists have influenced you, and how?

I admire so many artists, both dead and alive, that it is difficult to name just a few. I was exposed to the great masters during a trip to the Louvre, Paris and I still remember the impact. I was enamoured by these amazing paintings that make the mind boggle. I like to think I can still see their influence in my work, to this day.

What’s been your favourite project(s) to date in your career and why?

The painting I’m working on is usually my favourite project. I have yet to create the perfect artwork and with each new work enjoy the challenge of painting something better.

Does the internet have a positive or negative influence on art?

Definitely positive. The internet provides artists with a wealth of information, new resources and creative ‘fodder’. I believe the internet is the marketplace of the future which gives exposure to a wider audience.

I’m in awe of a lot of work on Bluethumb but it doesn’t put me off, rather, it inspires me to try even harder.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am trying to finish a painting that I would love to enter in the Clayton Utz Art Award for 2011. I am struggling to complete this work and fast running out of time.

I decided I needed to learn something new and attended a workshop at the Art Shed in West End with Deb Gillett. She demonstrated her original technique of wet-into-wet with acrylics and inks to create the illusion of movement with colour. I was inspired and have used that knowledge to attempt my own interpretation.

What’s your greatest ambition as an artist?

Finishing the painting I’m working on is my goal at the moment. Being creative makes me happy, ‘just painting because I need/want to, so this is my measure, if this should lead to fame & fortune, then so be it! Really I just want people to see my work and like it. If I can manage this before I die I will be satisfied.

Finally, what do you do for fun (besides painting)?

My children, young adults, are at the centre of my life. They have their own lives now but I treasure every second I get to share with them. I also love spending time with friends, & traveling, although I haven’t done much of late. Books & movies have always been a favourite pastime. My newest pastime is music; the words inspire my work and take me to another world. I love to listen to my music very loudly while I’m painting.

For more Wendy Nolan

Interview with an artist – Pen Donovan

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