Statement

My Paintings depict contemporary culture and attempt to illustrate how humans exist in an ever hostile environment and how this modern culture reflects history.  Although I work primarily from imagination my subject matter is based on reality.  Most of the details I paint I have observed.  I am drawn to neglect and desperation.  It is from these darker aspects that a painting portrays honesty.  Details such as disintegrating buildings, debris in a field, or trash by the side of the road ad humanity to a landscape. 

I display the people in my paintings in still motion.  They are not posed but rather engaged in everyday activities, disconnected from one another.  Each person is a life being lived, a story being told.  Since I spent much of my childhood exploring woods and swamps, nature is ever-present in my art.  Even my most urban landscape is being reclaimed by the forces surrounding it.  My objective is to emphasize not only atmospheric conditions but to create an image of an impermanent world in which the viewer is enveloped.  

All of my paintings are oil on canvas.  I aim to convey reactionary images through a traditional medium.  I prefer to work somewhat large, between three to four feet high and four to six feet wide.  Canvas size is tailored to the image envisioned. 

While my work has elements of Surrealism and Regionalism, it is actually more akin to Primitivism.  Outsider artwork lacks inhibitions and constraints exhibited in many works by trained artists.  I believe in working purely from an idea.  Instead of obsessing about what a detail is supposed to look like, I allow myself to paint exactly the image I imagine.  This free-flowing approach to painting continues to influence my style and technique to this day.

Wendy Cross