Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Lee Gadzuk.
Wendy, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I am a visual artist, musician, and writer and have been expressing myself in at least one of these ways for as long as I can remember. I grew up on the east coast and did a lot of traveling overseas as a kid. Many images of these fleeting memories, of European architecture, in particular, have burned their way into my subconscious mind, seeping out here and there and finding their way into my art and music. I now find the stark landscape of the desert equally inspiring.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I do a lot of mixed media assemblage work, using found and discarded objects, often doll parts and bones, transforming them into altar-like pieces reminiscent of reimagined or abstract religious icons. I did a week-long intensive Icon Writing course last year where I learned to work in the traditional Byzantine style of iconography from teachers from Russia. That was pretty interesting and has added a new layer to the way I approach my work. I recently did a large iconic assemblage using discarded medical waste from my boyfriend’s extremely unpleasant bout with sepsis.
I also draw, using a humble Bic pen as my main tool. They are sometimes embellished with colored pencil and gold leaf or touches of acrylic paint. They started as doodles I used to do when I worked as a host in a restaurant, and they have been fine-tuned to highly detailed, (almost) symmetrical flora and/or fauna-like apparitions. I work entirely freehand, in an extremely time-consuming method. This is a much more meditative way of creating than the constant problem-solving that comes with assemblage work. They balance each other well.
The music also balances the visual art. I’ve played guitar and sang and written for a number of bands over the years, the most recent being Andalusia Rose.
I hope that people can take away a sense of lightness that comes from a dark place.
How can artists connect with other artists?
Yes, it can be. But I also like being alone, to a point. I am an only child, and my parents separated when I was young, so I was alone a lot. I got used to it, and I like the depths that it has allowed me to plunge into in looking at myself and pulling out what I can. Connecting is important, too, though. I find that getting involved in group shows at galleries with like-minded artists helps with that feeling of slipping too far into “studio seclusion.” Finding your people and reaching out to them, sometimes even just on social media, can really keep you going at times when you wonder what you are doing. In the “professional world” of art, that doesn’t always happen immediately, but I’ve found that if I keep doing my thing the best I can, eventually I will find a little place where I fit into it all, or the place will find me, or however, that works.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Currently, I have work on display at the Yucca Valley Visual and Performing Arts Center in Yucca Valley, CA. I show at different galleries around the area, so the best way to keep up with where my work will be is by checking out my website and subscribing to my blog or following on social media. That is also a great way to support artists, even without spending money!
- Website: www.wendyleegadzuk.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @wendy_lee_gadzuk
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/wendyleegadzukart
- Other: www.andalusiarose.com
Photo of me is by Tony Buhagiar.
1st image of my work is by Mike Rosati.