Gretchen Wood was born in New Orleans, LA in 1981. She enjoys using a playful if not almost classical approach to her paintings with an expressive use of color and application. She has been married for 16 years and together she and her husband have four children. Currently the six of them reside in Appleton, WI where she works in her home-based studio.
“My hope is that my work will remain a reflection of our culture, continually evolving, and creating a means to observe the beauty of the ordinary in a new and exciting way. Most of my work revolves around things found in nature, intended to challenge the viewer to question how they perceive their environment and their connection to it as both an observer and a participant. A lot of my focus and attention is directed at color and movement… the way it plays together to create life and depth within a piece.” – Gretchen Wood
Raised in the countryside of Kenosha, WI; Hector Acuna is an emerging artist working with oil and watercolor/gouache.
The studio paintings portray people, both fictional and non-fictional, in moments constructed to challenge definitions of society. Stereotyping, materialism, and family relationships inspire concepts for these bodies of work. Shifting between the artist’s candid family imagery to imagined portraiture as subjects provides room to discover conversations between developing paintings. Working “en plein air” informs and assists techniques used in studio work. Painting from life trains a painter’s eye by offering insight into understanding subtlety and the affect of changing light and color. The process of layering pigment offers opportunities for reflection and risk taking which reveal new directions for the artwork.
Hector earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he exhibited on campus and held a solo exhibition at the Scarrabochio Art Museum. As a student his paintings were recognized by the University where he received three scholarships and six awards including the Hipstamatic Entrepreneurship Award of $5,000. As a senior his painting “Portrait of the Poet: Emmitt James” won first place in the Gamblin Torrit Grey Competition. Since earning his degree, Hector has began building his career as a fine artist selling his paintings to collectors throughout the US.
My paintings are drawn from nature, inspired by it. In my work, I’ve reduced nature studies to pure moments. I am ever more attracted to the experience of being–the quality that transcends the organic to become the highest spiritual representation.
What I try to document is the magnification of distance—the play of natural light on foliage; keeping the image evocative, not instructive. I strive for harmony in every painting even when the subject is frenetically charged. The goal is always beauty represented through truth.
I focus on color and movement, and keep it spontaneous. I directly reference nature.
I’ve always been drawn to it as essential part of myself.
After studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I lived in the city for ten years. Then I moved to New York. After eight years maintaining a studio in Manhattan, I was left with a new appreciation of green. Now, residing in the Wisconsin countryside and seeing it daily, it is never taken for granted – it always surprises and inspires me.