Wendy Chidester: Giving Relics New Life

Painting of a dress form
Adjust o Matic Dress Form by Wendy Chidester

About a year ago, I read about Wendy Chidester’s paintings in an art magazine and found out that a gallery in Boston was showing them in person. After seeing the vibrant images in the magazine, I just had to see and experience them in person. I was not disappointed! They were even more captivating in person because you can see the variations in colors and brushstrokes. I was amazed out how inanimate objects could look so alive.

Painting of Books by Wendy Chidester
Painting by Wendy Chidester

Wendy’s work causes the viewer to pause and linger a little while, to reflect upon simpler times, and most importantly, to smile when positive memories flood one’s consciousness. Even though her paintings are of relics and antiques, they still have a contemporary feel plus a touch of playfulness and whimsy. I certainly felt a little happier when I walked away from the gallery.

Painting of Pool Balls by Wendy Chidester
Painting by Wendy Chidester

After my visit to the gallery, I wanted to know more about Wendy. Wendy actually started her career as a landscape and figurative artist. One rainy afternoon, she ended up painting an antique camera that she borrowed from a local antique shop, and something clicked. She has been painting items from a bygone era ever since. Her goal is to show appreciation and respect for their years for service.

Painting of a Vintage Record Player by Wendy Chidester
Painting by Wendy Chidester

Wendy loves imagining the story behind all of these old things – who they belonged to, where they might have been, or how the person used them. She wants to honor the human ingenuity and craftsmanship that went into making each piece. She finds color fascinating and often uses saturated colors that she adds patina to so she can gracefully show their age.

Painting of Vintage Cameras by Wendy Chidester
Painting by Wendy Chidester

Wendy usually paints from life, borrowing pieces from antique shops or inheriting old pieces from family and friends. She works out of her studio in Draper, a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah.

If you are interested in learning more about this artist, please visit http://www.wendychidester.com/