Studio Visit: Wendell Gladstone

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

I first met Wendell after we interviewed him for an issue of B/D a few years back. You never know what artists will be like when you actually meet them but Wendell’s been one of the most sincere artists I’ve met in a while. We’ve been trading studio visits for around a year now and will be in a group show together later this month at Pedersen Projects in Pomona. Wendell is also getting ready for a solo show in October at Kravets|Wehby and a group show at Galerie Jean-Luc&Takako Richard in Paris so I stopped by his studio to check out the progress. Turns out Wendell had a studio jam packed full of massive paintings well on their way to being finished.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Before I get into images of the paintings let me break down Wendell’s process. He usually starts each piece with a list of notes and descriptions of various stories, scenes and images. As these lists develop, he comes up with ways to connect them together to create complex narratives. Sometimes the story is evident, and sometimes they are private narratives that turn into coded abstractions.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Once the idea is fleshed out on paper, Wendell creates these digital collages that lay out the painting. It’s amazing how detailed these Photoshop collages are. Some parts of it are hand drawn on the computer while other parts are images found online that are then digitally manipulated. Just a few weeks ago Wendell called me to see if I had photos of seaweed on a person’s head. Now I know why.
Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

And here you have the painting in process. It amazes me how close the digital sketch is to the final painting. This piece is 40-50% done.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Most of the paintings are a mixture of acrylic and airbrush. Wendell is a master of tape. Here you see some seashell outlines that are cut out of tape. The tape allows him to move the shapes around easily until he gets a composition he’s happy with.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Like I said…. Tape Master. This ball is just a few paintings worth.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

The painting on the left is completed.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Here’s a great detail of an old maid in a sack.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

One of my favorite pieces in the studio. Not sure if that’s a turkey or vulture but I love the detail on the neck.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Wendell originally began as a sculptor. You can best see the effects of him working in 3d in these white silhouette that pop up in the paintings. They are created with many layers of  white paint that has relief patterns and lines cut into it. It leaves you with a nice effect, with lots of small and delicate details to get lost in.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Hip hip… Horray!

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Another favorite in the studio.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Sacks seem to be a reoccurring theme in the work. Here’s a sailfish in a sack.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

The all important paint supply studio shot.

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Not sure what the title of this piece is yet… but I’m going to call this one “Rainbow Head.”

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Rainbow secrets…

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Wendell Gladstone painting studio visit

Thanks for the sneak peak at the new work Wendell!

Advertise here !!!

  • Jess

    Wendell your paintings are SOOOOOO AWESOME! .

  • http://jasonredwood.com jason

    there it is. great post

  • http://inkstainedhands.com Bill

    great post. I loved hearing about the process, and the paintings look beautiful/sophisticated.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericdrawshaw eric shaw

    interesting stuff!

  • patrick

    just happened upon wendell’s show at kravets/wehby and am now an instant fan. thanks for doing this post! seeing the process behind his work makes me appreciate it that much more.

  • Walpa D’Mark

    Man, so good!