WENDI SCHNEIDER | States Of Grace | The Patina Collection
” I’m driven by a search for grace and the elusive glow of flow of the creative process; when the awareness of time and space disappear, the senses align, and my eyes and essence are engaged. It’s an obsession – calming and centering, exciting and enchanting. I crave the concentration and connection that comes with looking intensely for the essence of a subject and photograph intuitively to capture what I feel, as much as what I see.
I purchased a camera in the early 1980s to reference models for my oil paintings. Mesmerized by the possibilities of the photographic art form and the alchemy of the darkroom, yet missing the sensuousness of oils, I began to layer oils on my photographs. This process laid the groundwork for the layering and gilding that would become the foundation of the ‘States of Grace’ series, begun in 2012.” – Wendi Schneider
My work illuminates transformative moments of spiritual connection to nature, guided by the serenity I find in the stillness of suspended light on the sinuous elegance of organic forms. I’m compelled to preserve the visual poetry of these fleeting moments of vanishing beauty in our vulnerable environment to make the intangible tangible and celebrate the ephemeral.
My original capture is the starting point for the final image. The images are layered digitally with color and texture to manipulate the boundaries between the real and the imagined, often altered within the edition, honoring the variations. Printed on translucent vellum or Kozo, these ethereal impressions are then illuminated with white gold, moon gold, silver, or 24k gold leaf behind the image, creating a luminosity that varies as the viewer’s position and ambient light transition. My process infuses the artist’s hand and suffuses the treasured subjects with the implied spirituality and sanctity of the precious metals – reflecting the meditative moments of capture and creation. Within the series are collections that can be curated by subject, theme, or treatment.
Wendi Schneider is a Denver-based visual artist known for her ongoing series of hand-gilded photographs, States of Grace –– illuminated impressions of grace in the natural world. Drawn to the serenity she finds in the sinuous elegance of organic forms, she embraces photography to preserve vanishing moments of beauty in our vulnerable environment.
Schneider has perfected a gilding process in which her images seemingly dance on the paper’s surface amidst reflections of light on precious metals, creating a synthesis of technique and subject. Her interest in photography germinated in the early 1980s with the use of a camera to reference models for oil paintings. Mesmerized by the possibilities of the photographic art form and the alchemy of the darkroom, yet missing the sensuousness of oils, she began to layer oils on photographs to manipulate the boundaries between the real and the imagined.
This process laid the groundwork for the unique layering and gilding that would become the foundation of ‘States of Grace’, which she began in 2012.
Schneider’s work is influenced by her collection of turn-of-the-twentieth-century art and objects, the lush landscapes of Memphis, New Orleans and New York, and a background in painting, art history, design, art direction and editorial and advertising photography. Exhibited worldwide – including AIPAD and Art Basel – her work has been published, awarded, and collected internationally.
Her photographs are held in the permanent collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and Auburn University Library Special Collections, among others. Schneider is represented by A Gallery for Fine Photography (New Orleans); Arnika Dawkins Gallery (Atlanta); Catherine Couturier Gallery (Houston), Galeria PhotoGraphic (San Miguel de Allende), Rick Wester Fine Art (New York City); and Vision Gallery (Jerusalem), and sits on the executive board of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center.
THE PATINA COLLECTION
‘The Patina Collection is an assemblage of gilded prints in the ‘States of Grace’ series paired with antique frames – the synthesis of 40 years of collecting turn-of-the-twentieth-century art and objects and creating images inspired by the sinuous elegance of organic forms. The serpentine shapes are echoed in the subjects I photograph, and the curves of the Art Nouveau & Arts & Crafts frame house these works. Each of these unique framed prints is a one-of-a-kind object of reverence.
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