‘chester Magazine: Tell us about your background – when and how did you get started?
Wendy Legge May: I’m a marketing manager by day and a self-taught artist by night (outside of a 7th grade art class!) My first attempt at painting was just after graduating from high school. My mom used to paint before my brother and I were born and I came across her old paint set one day. I finished my first painting and was hooked after that. I completed a few commissioned pieces on the side during college, but mostly just made Christmas gifts for family and friends. I began painting again on a more frequent basis this past fall and decided to develop a website and Facebook page to share my work with others.
cM: Describe to us how you paint – what inspires you, what is your technique?
Wendy Legge May: I love artwork that evokes an emotional response, one that can be totally unique to each person. I would categorize my personal style of painting as an abstract version of reality. I prefer bold, intense colors and like the artwork to look textured, so I do quite a bit of layering to add dimension. I also love the stippling effect and try to incorporate it into as many pieces as I can.
cM: What images are you most drawn to paint?
Wendy Legge May: I find inspiration in so many things. I may see a cowboy boot, someone may mention a lighthouse, or I may run by the Handley Library and instantly an image will appear in my head of a different way to present it visually. The image may stay in my head for weeks until I finally feel that I can put it on canvas. It may sound odd, but some of my artwork actually begins without a vision. Many times I’ll just get a feeling that I have to paint at that very moment. I’ll sit down with a blank canvas and just begin painting and see where it leads. Several of my favorite paintings—See Things Differently, Under the Oak Tree, and Brighter Days Ahead—were painted in that very way.
cM: This is something you do “on the side” of a full-time job. What are your goals for your painting?
Wendy Legge May: Art will probably remain a hobby for the foreseeable future, but I would love to get to the point someday where it becomes a business. I’m not really interested in maintaining “starving artist” status, so I realize this may not happen until retirement age! As for a short-term goal, I would really like to become more active in the local arts scene.
cM: What advice would you have for someone who wants to get started with painting?
Wendy Legge May: If you’ve ever thought about painting, I can’t think of a reason not to try it. Grab a few painting supplies from the local craft store and just see where the brush leads you! If you find that it really is something you enjoy, you can always invest in a few art classes to further develop your talents. Happy painting!
On the web: www.wendyleggemay.com
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wendyleggemayart