Great news! Wendy Dudley now has her paintings in The Lost American Art Gallery and Museum in Longview, Alberta, Canada. This is a unique gallery in cowboy country, in the foothills southwest of Calgary. It is about as close to a Southwest Art gallery as you will find without crossing the medicine line. Pueblo pottery, turquoise, Navajo rugs, and where you can say the word “Zuni” without explaining what it means. The gallery is also carrying my photo cards, art cards and my illustrated book, Don’t Name the Ducks. Please drop by and say hello to Happy and Bob who own the gallery. This is the real deal, folks. Worth the drive alone.
These are the Wendy Dudley paintings currently on display and for sale in the gallery.
Waiting For The Storm To Pass Original 9 x 12 inches $325
His Magnificence by Wendy Dudley, Original Acrylic , 11 x 14, $375
Painting Clouds. Original Acrylic 36 x 18 $1000
Inside the Raven’s Nest 16 x 20 $575
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a baby bird, nestled deep inside your nest, staring up at the passing blue sky and bright sun? And then to have parent birds fly down, towards your gaping beak, as they arrive head-first. What a view from your circular world, built of moss, leaves and twigs, cradled in the branches of a towering tree. This is the feeling I sought to convey in From Inside The Raven’s Nest, the outer dark edges of the nest circular and open to the rising morning sun and pale blue sky. I was inspired to do this painting earlier this week, while watching ravens somersault through the blue, their groaking filling the valley in which I live. If you call out to them, they do answer.
If interested in this painting, please email me at email@example.com
The red tails are back! Walking the dogs this morning, the sky suddenly split with the shriek of my favourite hawk, the red-tailed. Last spring, they nested in my valley and I grew accustomed to their day-long cries until late autumn. Reaching the open meadow, I spotted the pair, circling above the high hill to the north, at times their wing tips almost touching. Their call is so distinctive, deeper and of a sounder pitch than the weaker imitation by the blue jays that have been playing the hawk-mock trick outside my kitchen window for the past week. The hawk’s call cuts to my core, taking me over the hills, viewing the world from such an expansive perspective. Oh, to soar on the hot afternoon thermals, and to view things in the big picture. Later today, I watched a pair of ravens drift in the afternoon breeze over my barn. I called, and they answered. They circled back, looking down. And then I heard the wind of powerful wings. From the open field came the red-tailed, diving down on the raven. They disappeared behind the spruce tops. And then the hawk circled back, and, once again, in full throttle, sliced the air with its speed towards the black birds. Minutes later, I heard the ravens’ distant groaks, and then the pair of hawks once again returned, wheeling and wheeling. For now, they own this space in the sky.
Her World 20 x 20ins Original Acrylic $800
For some reason, we as a species find it necessary to label, categorize and to define within boxes. I work hard not to do this. I prefer to exist as is, defined more by my life experiences and natural evolution as I move along the life spectrum. And so, when it comes to beliefs, I cannot tell you what I am in a single word. As in an animist, a pantheist, a Buddhist, a Christian, or a pagan? I can only share my beliefs, and let them stand as is. I express myself through my words and art, so within each you will find a blend, a meeting of diverse wisdoms, a coming together of various stories, whether told by the skies, the ancients or medicine souls. What I can say is that I am attracted to the primal. As in the Old Age, which of course is carried into the new age by those who apply the teachings of the past. So while the Dalai Lama sharing a canvas with Turtle Island, shamanism, transformation, and the celestial may be to some a curious combination, it actually tells the story of how different beliefs share a common path. We may come from different directions, but we all seek a compassionate destination.
Ancient Teachings Original by Wendy Dudley 11 x 14 $450
Original painting. Born of the Desert. Work in progress.
The finished painting.
For those interested in process, this image — Born of the Desert — reveals the backstory and development of such a painting. It started with the idea of a donkey being part of the desert, connected to it throughout history. The desert is the native home for our longear friends. So I decided to put down the warm colours as the background, letting the globs of paint do what they wanted to do. I then added salt, to give it texture, a sandy feel. I am purposely working the donkeys into the background layers, letting thick blobs of paint remain as their forelocks. And letting the vibrant colour run through them, as part of their souls. My wish is for the jenny donkey and her foal to rise from the desert, for it to be part of their existence. Those of us who own donkeys know the challenges of providing proper care for them in areas that are not arid and warm. They can become obese, and develop skin and hoof problems. But with good care and attention, they can thrive, as the adaptable creatures they have been throughout time. Enjoy!
I am beginning a series of paintings, introducing stone art. The first of which is She-Bear: Ursus Major. At the heart of this bear is Sodalite, a stone of intuition and higher knowledge, truth and perception. A stone of communication; a stone of writers and artists. Among some indigenous cultures, the bear is said to be my birth totem. My heart beats like a drum, its rhythm singing in the forest. It reaches the bear, and she listens, her heart drumming back a message.
She-Bear: Ursus Major , with Sodalite stone Original by Wendy Dudley $950
Finding Hope, Finding Home, Original Painting by Wendy Dudley, 24 x 18 $850
FINDING HOPE, FINDING HOME
Just like words, a painting tells a story. In Finding Hope, Finding Home, a young Border Terrier finds himself lost in ripening crop fields that rise above his wiry head. He races from home when frightened by gale winds, the gusts pushing him further and further away. For four days and nights, a crew of friends and family searches, never losing hope that somehow this little guy will survive the odds. On the third day an animal communicator seeks help from many guides, hoping positive forces will light the weary little dog’s path home. On the fourth day, at dawn, he finds his way back, scratching and pawing at windows to get in. Then, a door opens….
His is a story about never giving up, hanging onto hope, and believing that we are all connected, from the sky above to the trees and earth below. It is about Finding Hope and Finding Home.
This event was so inspiring, I was compelled to share the story through paint on canvas, reflecting the canary canola throughout the spectrum. After all, Yellow is the colour of Hope. And it seems only fitting that a percentage of its proceeds will be donated to the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), an organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing abandoned and neglected animals. Ironically, its regular donors are called AARCS Angels.
This painting has been sold.
Many of you have expressed the fact you enjoy seeing my paintings in progress. I don’t work up all my pieces in the same way; it depends on the subject and colours and style I wish to achieve, but generally I block out the design and the shadowed areas. I don’t like over-planning, as much of the fun comes from seeing how the paint goes down and where my mood will take it. Just like writing, the painting begins to take on its own life, and it is always a thrill to see where it goes.
I am often asked how I come up with my painting themes. Often I will dream of certain colours bursting like fireworks, and that will be worked into one of my subjects. Other times, I may have a dream or vision and want to get it down, like I did with my Walking With the Dalai Lama image. I woke up, seeing the Dalai Lama accompanied by two bears, one on each side. It was remarkable and I just had to paint it.
With my painting, Cheeky, it was based on a bear that came to visit in the summer of 2014. I was sitting by my garden, reading. I became aware of a black and white blur and looked up, expecting to see one of my dogs. But there, also sitting near me, was a sow bear, bending down the long grasses. It was a moment we shared, both of us enjoying the quiet day. The image of her sitting there, so content, stayed with me. She had a big white splash on her chest. A year later, I am finally painting her in the same pose.
Cheeky in Progress
Cheeky – Finished
Welcome to Wendy Dudley Art. While this website is dedicated primarily to my acrylic paintings, I am a writer by trade and enjoy sharing my thoughts and inspirations. My work rises from my surroundings, a chunk of paradise in the Alberta foothills, southwest of Calgary. I will take you on a journey down its trails and over its hills, as it is the land and animals that give me strength and ideas. I am connected to the whims of the weather, the migration of birds, and the wanderings of the elk, deer, wolves and cougars. Mornings are a cacophony of bird song, evenings a sonnet of owls and coyote choruses. You will meet my donkeys, mule and dogs and various other creatures. We are all animals, and we breathe the same air and witness the same moon and sun that gives us life.
My response to the natural world travels through my paintbrush and onto the canvas through vibrant colour and energy, always telling a story, and leaving much to the viewer’s imagination. After a lifetime working as a journalist and then freelance writer and photographer, I was driven to once again pick up my brushes. As a kid, I loved to paint, inspired by the wilds of the Canadian Shield; its lakes, rock outcrops and forests. And now, at the other end of my life, I have returned to playing with primary and secondary colours. Such fun! There is nothing like watching others react to an image. Each person sees something different.
I want my art to be uplifting, to be a reprieve from chaos. I hope it brings you both strength and joy. Along the way, as we navigate hills, valleys and switchbacks, I will share with you my process. Enjoy!