Wendy Winfield

Biography and painting practice

Wendy Winfield was born in London and studied at Kingston School of Art and The Courtauld School of Art. In the 1970s she was a pupil with the American Abstract Expressionist painter, Abraham Rattner, and thereafter with the Bomberg-influenced school of painters under Roy Oxlade in Tunbridge Wells.

After a career in advertising, Winfield turned to full-time artistic practice in the latter half of the 1980s. Over the past 35 years, Wendy produced a vast body of work comprising oil and watercolour works, etchings and drawings from her light-filled studio in Kingston. She exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in London and elsewhere and, in the past few years, was a highly active member of the Drawing London Group She also exhibited regularly with the Piers Feetham Gallery.

Wendy Winfield's work is figurative and takes its inspiration from a study of motifs including landscape, figure composition and still life. It is informed by the paintings of Matisse and American and European Expressionism. Bold colour and expressive gesture are central to Winfield's painting and drawing. The process of painting is as important as the end result. The paint is manipulated, layered, allowed to drip, rubbed-in, scraped away and generally assertively used.

Sometimes the organization of the painting, the two-dimensional composition, colour and drawing are determined in advance, at other times these dimensions must be flexible in order to achieve a result. Colour which generally establishes mood is likely to be the initial stimulus to starting to paint and is likely to be the one constant but even this may be subject to change.

The importance of drawing from observation is an important feature Wendy Winfield
of Winfield's work. She spent most summers in France or Italy working out of doors directly from nature both drawing and painting: "I have visited Languedoc four or five times to paint, and love the wildness of the terrain, the changing light and temperamental weather. But the wonderful thing is that you can always find a sunny sheltered spot to set out your paints and get to work". Wendy's starting point for most of her work was nature. More recently, Wendy spent a lot of time drawing and painting in and around London. As she noted some years ago: 'What I love about working en plein air is the total unpredictability of it. You don't know where it will take you or what you will end up with! My interest is to capture the character of motif - figures or landscape - together with using the medium strongly and directly".