Acrylic painter Wendy Marquis was the featured artist on Cow Art and More for November 2010. Wendy's decision to relocate to Montana a few years ago allowed her to focus painting her favorite subjects: antique vehicles and the rustic countryside. As Wendy explains, "I invite people to savor the distinct time and place that my trucks evoke…a romantic, simpler time of unspoiled landscapes that so many of us long for and long to hold on to."
How did you get started?
I got started by being born into a family where I was exposed to wonderful art. My mother was a gallery owner and an artist. Our house was filled with a variety of art from pottery to lithographs to paintings. In art class in middle school, I remember how intrigued I was with every project we did. My art teacher encouraged me which make me very happy as a child.
Why do you paint/do art?
I paint because nothing makes me happier. It calms me when I am anxious and I am still fascinated by the magic of what comes out of my paintbrush.
How do you decide what to paint?
When I see something that inspires me it just hits me…something clicks inside my heart and I instantaneously see the painting in my head…
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by the natural world around me here in Montana. I am blessed to live in a place of beautiful light and spaciousness. I also am inspired by many of the artists around me and on the internet.
What is your technique?
My technique starts off with observation of the rural views around me. I look for farms, old trucks, animals, and vintage buildings. Then, I photograph the subject when the light is falling on it just right…when the shadows describe the shape and dimensions. Then I come home, print out my pictures, and start drawing. Sometimes I combine elements from the different scenes that I have found. So I kind of create a puzzle for myself to solve. Then I lay down a colored wash and draw out the images with a watered down sienna color. Then I start painting in the darks and the lights in acrylics, using glazes and layers of colors…
Where did you learn your technique?
I was an art major in college. I majored in graphic design and studio art. Then later on, I took faux finishing classes. My paintings are a combination of these three influences. I combined what I learned from each one and created my own style.
How long does it take you to get an average creation?
A couple of weeks. I get the main composition down in a few days…I need to leave it alone for few days and then I come back and work on it some more till I am satisfied.
How did you get interested in creating art of farm animals?
I am in love with the rural landscape. Farms fascinate me. The machinery intrigues me. The animals make me smile and lend a humorous vibe to the whole scene.
What would you like to do more of in the future?
Large paintings of farms, buildings, trucks and herds of horses, sheep, goats, or cows and beautiful skies.
Do you ever have goof ups or work you don’t like?
Oh definitely. I just repainted a new painting over an old one that I was not happy with.
What else do you do besides your art?
I love to hike with my dogs. I love to be creative in the kitchen. Entertain. Practice yoga. Play with plants…Listen to beautiful music..Spend time with my daughters and go for scenic drives with my husband.
What advice to you have for aspiring artists?
Get ready to work really hard but don’t forget that you have to learn to be a good business person as well.