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As a Seattle native, I’m endlessly inspired by Hawaii,” she says. “The shapes of the crashing waves, the colors of the flora and rainbows, and the unique textures of the earth influence every painting."
My art functions as a way to creatively explore my relationship with the natural world. Using a palette knife instead of a brush has allowed me to develop a bold sculptural painting style that brings color, texture, and movement together.
My current body of work is inspired by the landscapes, seascapes, colors, and spirit of Hawaii. So many things about this environment intrigue me as an artist: the texture of sand, the ripples and folds of lava rock, and the audacious color palettes found in flowers and plants, for instance. But the majority of my work either depicts or is inspired by the ocean. I enjoy the challenge of capturing on canvas such a vast elemental force that’s constantly in motion and forever changing form.
I have recently begun to use my work to call attention to ocean conservation, an issue whose urgency has been brought into sharp relief by my proximity to the Pacific Ocean. When you see a photo of a picturesque beach, everything looks clean (enough) at first glance. After participating in beach clean-ups, I’ve realized just how deceiving appearances can be. It was a rude awakening to discover the amount of debris and microplastics that are hiding just beneath the surface of Oahu’s gorgeous beaches. Even in the most breathtaking blue water, you will find damage caused by careless and wasteful treatment.
This is why I created my latest series “For the Sea”. Each painting holds debris collected from local beaches, contributing an unexpected and thought-provoking twist to my signature texture. I hope these pieces serve as a call to care more mindfully for our beautiful, vital and irreplaceable oceans.
© 2020 All Artwork Jenna Wellein
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