During a phase of experimentation in my art studio, a photo reference led me to the canvas, and I followed like a fish in water. The image of sand and sea spoke to me in echoes of my Gulf Coast childhood and the “low country” of South Carolina where, in carefree breezes, my husband and I often biked in our early marriage.
To my delight, the painting that resulted was a favorite instantly, and could have sold itself several times over. The experience became the taproot of an intersection, where mature techniques united with treasures tenderly engraved in a corner of my being. I have entered a new dimension of inner creating, opening new doors to the outer world of my career.
To this body of work I bring the classical techniques of my portraiture collection. Each composition is the result of an intricate process of under-painting, and many layers of glaze. Large shapes and blocks of color at the start give way to refined sketching, brushwork moving to music, and the use of luminous hues from carefully ground pigments. I avoid the outlining of objects: my focus is rather on painting value changes of color: from “soft” edges to “hard,” inviting the viewer’s eye into the “world” of the scene, while beckoning it toward the subject. Finally, I begin to add layer upon layer of glaze, requiring me to work on several pieces in a succession, allowing for each to dry at various stages. This gradual process of indirect painting and layering brings the hints, impressions and subtle complexities to articulation at the surface of the finished work.
I love creating from the chards of my coastal memories. The subject seems to offer me boundless opportunity for expression. Even more exciting is how the images seem to strike a universal chord in my viewers, evoking their own savored memories of sea, sand and flora. Each observer seems to be transported into unique recollections instilled from wide ranging locales, while the love of the coast we share with a singular joy.
McArthur’s Studio’s are based in Atlanta, Georgia. Wendy is a member of PSOA, ASMA, OPA.