Wendy Cordwell — The Happy Painter
Wendy Cordwell is a ray of sunshine in the local art scene.
I have never seen her without a smile on her face and bounds of enthusiasm. She is interested in what others are creating and totally supportive of their efforts. You could look at a gallery full of paintings and be able to identify at a glance which works are hers, bold and happy.
Wendy was born in New York State not far from Binghamton. Her parents were very creative and artistic. One reason that I mention this again in my column is that it is a common thread among artists. Creative parents tend to produce artistic children.
Her father was a photographer, woodworker, carver and even made much of the family furniture in their home. Her mother was a gifted seamstress, rug hooker and knitter. Both parents shared their interests with Wendy and her sister.
Wendy didn't start out to be an artist. She has a degree in elementary education, worked in accounting and then drafted floor designs for her company's warehouse systems. After she married, she moved to Dallas where she stayed at home to raise their son.
In 1982. she and her husband moved to Canton and she thought she might like to further her creativity beyond counted cross stitch and quilting. Haywood Community College afforded her that opportunity. She took beginning watercolor from one of their instructors, Lil Parks.
She continued her art education by enrolling in drawing, design, composition and advanced watercolor classes. She also supplemented her education by reading art books and taking workshops.
Three years ago Wendy saw an exhibit of torn paper collages. She was "smitten" with the technique and purchased a "how to" book by the artist. She is still tearing paper and now teaches others the technique. You may see her collages at the Mahogany House Gallery and Gallery 86, both in Waynesville, or at various other exhibitions.
"This collage technique that I am doing right now is becoming quite popular. Once you have learned the basic method you can then let it evolve into something uniquely your own by making small changes," she said.
Wendy teaches this technique at the Mahogany House Gallery in Waynesville and The Stecoah Artisan Gallery in Stecoah.