I approach painting with a sense of adventure. Each canvas is an opportunity to explore relationships through shape and color. I find myself pondering how much territory a specific shape will occupy, whether it should expand or overlap a neighboring shape...will these forms meet in a strong defined way or will the edges barely touch in delicate softness? The use of color opens yet another avenue for interplay of relationship. A bold orange painted next to a companion bold red will look and feel completely different if paired next to a muted yellow. This dialogue of shape and color is one I cannot resist.

In a sense each painting is either portrait or self-portrait. How do I choose to allocate the minutes of my day? What and who are my priorities? How am I affected by those closest to me and how do I influence them in return? Each of us is being affected by, even as we in turn affect and shape the lives of others.


Wendy Westlake’s canvases are defined by an openness to explore color and shape. Her harmonious palettes set your eyes at ease and invite you to meditate on the delicate interplay of pleasing shapes against tonal variations; color becomes a consequence. There is a depth and sincerity in her gestures and layering. What would otherwise be chaotic in an unskilled hand is where Wendy shines, creating a beautiful dance set to enchanting music. The rhythm of her pieces are profound, like improvisational jazz.

The delicate underpinnings of Westlake’s canvases are the lines layered just beneath the bold surfaces. They create a suspended animation that makes the shapes feel as if they could come alive at any moment. Those subtle marks becoming anchors, drawing attention. There is a fresh perspective that happens in the search for familiarity, a slow meander than leads the eye to the edge of every pleasing shape. Wendy creates balance through those relationships.

Wendy Westlake hails from the heartland of Minnesota where she lives with her husband while practicing her craft full time. Westlake has a background in gallery work and exhibitions. She has been the recipient of several independent awards and her work has been featured in several group exhibitions since 2011.


EDUCATION and experience

535 Gallery owner/curator

Minnesota Watercolor Society President

Associate of Applied Arts, Pima Commnuity College

teaching experience

Sessional Instructor Wet Paint, St. Paul, MN

Sessional Instructor Crossings, Zumbrota


The Mill Yard, The Nature of Things

Parkside Gallery / Michelle Fagan, Charterhouse

Gallery 360
535 Gallery / Bonnie Cutts

535 Gallery Show / Nick Sinclair
Award MNWS, (Minnesota Watercolor Society) Honorable Mention

Red River Watercolor Society National Juried Exhibition
Phipps, Hudson Hospital Healing Arts

Award MNWS, Honorable Mention
MNWS, Award of Merit, Spring Juried Show
Path of Light, Ten Brushes  BPAC Burnsville Performing Arts Center(now Ames Center)

Award MNWS, First Honors
MN State Fair, Fine Arts, Juried Exhibition
Transparent Watercolor Society, (TWSA) Juried Exhibition
MNWS, Honorable Mention, Spring Juried Show, 2010 MN State Fair, Fine Arts, Juried Exhibition