Congratulations to our March Artist of the Month, Wendy Carney! She was a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine‘s Annual Art Competition. Her painting North End Flavors is below. Keep scrolling to see what Carney has to say about her process and the amazing time she was stunned to see her own work in a friend’s home!
Boston, MA www.wendycarney.com
I went to a multi-artist show looking for art to decorate my home, and as I was walking around, I became more and more convinced that I was capable of painting myself. Instead of buying paintings that day, I bought art supplies, went home and began to paint. I spent a great deal of time educating myself about art – techniques, styles, different mediums, lighting, composition, etc. After I began hanging my paintings in my home, friends started to buy them, and through word-of-mouth, I began to sell a steady stream of commission paintings.
I paint with oils. Realism, with its compelling use of light, color, and detail, is the most effective way for me to capture and share the story I’m trying to tell. The North End of Boston is full of stories, from past and present, and rich in colors and flavors and smells. When I saw this spice rack inside a small corner shop, it felt like such an amazing representation of the vibrant life there that I knew I had to paint it.
I don’t draw anything on my canvas except sometimes a vague outline. Because my paintings are realistic and finely detailed, I paint in small sections, beginning in the left top corner and moving across the canvas. My color palette generally consists of titanium white, ivory black, yellow ochre, burnt umber, raw umber, cadmium yellow lemon or pale, ultramarine, and cadmium red. I have a particular fondness for the color red.
The parts of North End Flavors I enjoyed painting the most were also the most challenging. I loved painting the glass bottles – the color variations within the glass and the reflections were difficult to portray with the accuracy that I was aiming for, but it was also very enjoyable to mix and manipulate the paint to create the perception of transparency, substance and smoothness all at the same time.
Once, a very good friend of mine took me into her guest room to show me the painting that she had hanging on her wall. I was shocked because there on the wall was one of my paintings! It had been sold at a show four years previously. It turned out that my friend had bought the painting before we ever knew each other, and even after we met, she still did not realize that I was the artist until much later.
I paint because I feel compelled to reveal the stories that are part of the everyday scenes and objects around us. The encouragement from my children has helped me reach higher goals in my work and my life and I would like to thank them for their endless support, kindness and love.