Balancing the grace of the natural world between the real and the imagined by Wendi Schneider
Wendi Schneider is a Denver-based visual artist whose painterly photographs illuminate a deep reverence for the natural world. Born in Memphis, she holds an AA in Art History from Stephens College in Columbia, MO and a BA in Painting from Newcomb/Tulane in New Orleans. Her photographs are inspired by the lush Southern landscape and a background in painting and art history.
Wendi turned to photography in the early ‘80s to create references for paintings. Missing the sensuality of oils, she began layering glazes on her photographs to create a more personal interpretation. After she photographed, designed and produced the award-winning re-creation of the 1901 Picayune’s Creole Cook Book for The Times-Picayune, she moved to New York, where she photographed nearly 100 book covers and was a major contributor to the original Victoria Magazine. She moved to Denver in 1994, and after several decades of photography, design and art direction for clients, she recently returned to fine art photography. She is the recipient of multiple awards and her works have been exhibited throughout the world.
In order to achieve her distinctive photographic style, she developed various original techniques, which involve precious metals, hand painting and Polaroid film.
States of Grace Encaustic
In State of Grace Encaustic Wendy illuminates beauty amidst the chaos. She is calmed by the simplicity of a graceful line and the stillness of the suspended moment and compelled to share an impression of the serenity she finds here. She captures the ephemeral movement of light on organic forms, to preserve that mystical moment that stills time for her. Photographing intuitively - what she feels, as much as what she sees - and informed by a background in painting and art history, I portray a personal interpretation by layering the images digitally with color and texture to find balance between the real and the imagined.
Most of her hand-painted photographs date from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s. Her hand-coloring technique was developed from a background in oil painting and was influenced by techniques of old masters. Delicate layers of oil paint are painstakingly applied to each archival fiber print to achieve rich and subtle hues. This technique differs from traditional hand-tinting, which involves applying and then removing color to leave a 'tint" of color.
Josephine with Pearls - New York, NY - c. 1991
Draped Nude - New York, NY - c. 1991
Eve (Girl with Apple) - New York , NY - c. 1990
These images were photographed on slide film, copied to Polaroid instant film, then peeled apart before fully developed and printed on damp archival watercolor paper.Some of these prints were then enhanced with watercolors or colored pencils.
States of Grace
In States of Grace, she illuminates beauty amidst the chaos. She captures the ephemeral movement of light on organic forms, to preserve that mystical moment that stills time. White gold, silver or 24k gold leaf is applied behind the image, creating a silken luminosity on the print's surface. Throughout history, civilizations have prized the use of precious metals for their beauty and sanctity. The leafing process suffuses the intrinsic value of the treasured subjects with the implied spirituality of the gold. The perception of luminosity varies as the viewer’s position and ambient light change.