In this Spotlight artist interview, Gail Wendorf shares her work and inspirations. To see more of Gail’s painting, visit www.gailwendorf.co.uk.
Being a painter
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
An American painter, living in Scotland and now France; exploring and painting the light, color, passion and movement in a landscape or figurative study involving music or dance.
When did you decide to pursue painting as a career?
I knew when I was 12 that I wanted to paint, but I became a full-time artist in 1998.
What training did you have?
I have a BA in archaeological illustration, that was a self designed degree from CSULA which included art and archaeology departments.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
What I’m doing now – painting in Brittany for 6 months or more. But before that, it was leaping off the cliff and moving to Scotland to paint.
Who is your favourite artist?
What are you aiming for?
To paint and be able to take care of myself.
How will you get there?
Perseverance, stubbornness, and hard work. Never giving up.
Is anything holding you back?
Only my own limitations – and a difficult world economy at the moment…
You and painting
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?
If they can smell the smoke, hear the music, or feel the rain/wind/sun/heat in their faces, its successful.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
Sometimes a day, sometimes weeks….
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
Depends – usually something completely different to what I’m working on…i.e, when I painted ‘Waltz Across Texas’ I listened to Scottish music from the highlands…. Rock ‘n’ roll works a lot, as does jazz, or country western…. pretty much anything – depends on the mood.
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
I’m just starting to work in Brittany, France right now.
Being inspired by painting
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
Georgia O’Keefe – I was shown her vision when I was 12 by a family friend who knew her, and I saw the art in it….
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as a painter?
Light, emotion – passion, color, movement, spontaneous joy, and simple events/lives of people/places
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
Like asking me if I’ve a favourite child!
a painter’s advice
For those thinking about turning a passion for painting into a career, could you give any advice?
Never give up, and learn how to talk about your work, market your work, write grants, coordinate events, and think outside the box.
Any tips on how to get your work seen and get the commissions coming in?
Contacts, contacts, contacts. Press is good; but most commissions I’ve had have been referrals, or people who have become acquainted with my work.