Meet the artist, D. Renée Wilson.
Sanford artist D. Renée Wilson grew up in Ohio and traveled South for her studies, where, she reports on her website (http://dreneewilson.com/), “my heart rooted itself deep into the sandy soil, much like the majestic live oaks of the Southeast Coast.” She works in a variety of media and was a juried finalist in Baterby’s Art Gallery’s 2012 Olympic themed artist competition for her work celebrating the pioneering women athletes from Qatar.
What made you want to become an artist? How have you developed this skill?
As far back as I can remember, I was making things. One of my first memories is reconstructing a tiny forest out of fallen leaves and tree branches and taking photos of it with a toy camera. I was always altering my dolls, painting their faces and turning them into other characters. When I finally reached art classes in middle school with access to new materials and a teacher that was also a professional artist, that was it for me. I went on to get my B.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art & Design. I do hope to eventually complete a masters degree in art therapy to continue to work within the special-needs population. I also have a deep love for storytelling, theatre, and dramaturgy. My inner research nerd is usually behind the complex symbolism and narratives in my work. I’ll always have strong fascinations with many subjects and occupations, but with art I can explore aspects of them all!
Do you have any themes or subjects that you find yourself returning to in your art?
Lately, I keep retuning to “totem” animals, or animals that have significant symbolism for me. Avian art has an especially deep resonance in my current work.
Where do you get your ideas?
I’m constantly inspired by the world surrounding me, current events, and human interest stories. But I also have incredibly vivid, and often lucid, dreams. Once an image is swimming in my head, I like to do research and see how my subconscious meshes with the collective.
Do you have any rituals that you like to follow before you begin to paint, or do you just get straight to work?
I always walk the dog, fix a cold drink, & set up my music. If I’m not in a particularly motivated or happy mood, I do a little meditation to refocus and come from a place of freedom and gratitude.
Is there a particular piece that you are proudest of? Why?
I believe a little piece of my heart is in every piece I create, but I was particularly proud of the handwritten calligram portrait I created for Leo Burnett UK and a charity in London. Their curator found my work online and approached me to contribute to the Day of the Girl campaign. It took many hours of tedious work, but it was totally worth it and for a great cause.
Meet the Artist: Robin Maria Pedrero: Robin Maria Pedrero is an elected signature member of the Pastel Society of America and is listed in Florida International Magazine’s Florida Artists Hall of Fame. This year she was named Best Artist in Florida by Baterbys Art Auction Gallery, and her work won a competition to appear on Artiste Winery labels.
Meet the Artist: Robert Reedy: Robert Reedy is director of the Advanced Design Lab and a professor in the School of Visual Arts and Design at the University of Central Florida.