Discovering art is like discovering a whole new country. There are so many “places to go” as far as style, genre, and technique, and the average artist generally hits most of them on the journey to their own artistic expression. As I engage a new painting, my strokes, my palette, and my process are informed by all the artists I have seen and studied over the years. My most constant influence has been the painters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries. The post-impressionists, expressionists and early modern painters like Gauguin, Van Gogh, Marc, Matisse, Cezanne, Braque, and Picasso to name a few, did so much with color and form, freeing them from reality and developing new visual languages.
My artistic endeavors have run the gamut from realism to abstraction, all in an effort to find my own way, and I have come to know what is important to me. I love color. The knowledge of color, the appreciation of color, the use of color is a big part of my world and work. I like to play with patterns and rhythm. The communication of feeling or mood comes before realism. I enjoy simplicity.
My real appreciation of the physical world around us came as a result of studying drawing. What others learned to see under a microscope or in the meaning of a mathematical equation came to me as I tried to duplicate the lines and curves of natural objects or the form of a human figure. The parts that make up a whole, and how these parts inter-relate became intensely interesting to me and I believe it shows in the work I do today.
When I look at anything, I like to break it down into simple shapes and colors. This gives me a rather abstracted picture in which I can see patterns and rhythm more easily, and this in turn gives me another understanding of whatever it is I’m looking at. This alternative view can be very beautiful and stimulating, and gives the viewer more information about a subject than a strictly realistic presentation. My subjects are very ordinary but translating them in this way gives them another dimension. I often play with the elements of line, color, shape, etc., to create a better design and make a more powerful statement. While the original inspiration for my painting may end up being quite changed, hopefully the essence still remains.
I am an artist, I have always been an artist, I just didn’t know it before my 28th year when my husband and I and our 18-month-old son packed up and moved to Saudi Arabia. There I found myself in a painting class taught by another expat who was an art teacher in “real life” back in the States. What started out to be an interesting diversion turned into a life-long passion.
In our five years overseas, I studied painting and drawing and visited museums and galleries across Europe, parts of Asia, and the United States. Before living in Arabia, I earned a B.S. in Social Sciences, did some substitute teaching, and wound up in the business world. Upon returning to the States, I had other ideas. Staying home with my second son enabled me to enroll in college courses studying not only fine art, but graphic design and illustration as well. I taught the basics of drawing and painting to both children and adults for the Seminole Community School. As an interesting sidelight, I also worked with interior designers, producing one-of-a-kind hand-painted items for their clients.
Today, I am active with the North Tampa Arts League, serving as President for the 2012-13 year. I show in various venues in the Tampa area, have won awards in many, and still teach on occasion.
The Art of Arlene Wells
Garden Pattern 1
Garden Pattern 2
Garden Pattern 3