"Within each canvas is an opportunity to explore relationships through shape and color. I consider how much territory a specific shape will occupy, whether it should expand perhaps overlapping neighboring shapes. Will these forms meet in a strong defined way or will the edges barely touch in delicate softness? The use of color opens yet another avenue for interplay of relationships. A bold orange painted next to an equally bold red will look and feel completely different than if paired with a muted yellow. Each color is influenced by those closest to it." - Wendy Westlake
In a sense, each painting is either portrait or self-portrait. Westlake is inspired by the American Abstract Expressionists, particularly the color fields of Mark Rothko and collages of Conrad Marca-Relli. Born in Washington state, Westlake earned an Associated degree in Applied Art from Pima College in Tuscon AZ, where she studied a wide range of media including oils, print making and ceramics. Upon moving back to MN in 1992, Wendy connected with the watercolor community in the Twin Cities area. She became a Board Member of the Minnesota Watercolor Society in 2012 eventually becoming MNWS President from 2014-2016. A desire to work on a larger scale than paper would allow pulled Wendy back to her earlier training with acrylic and oils. She works in her studio in Zumbrota, MN. Her work is influenced by her background in watercolor as well as the tradition of American Abstract Expressionism.