Wendy Schwartz has lived and worked along the marshes at the southern end of Tomales Bay and Point Reyes Peninsula since 1983. Many of her oil paintings depict remote landscapes, the open road, sometimes include structures or telephone poles, now and then a figure, the occasional ominous sky, and often, the play of light and shadow on whitewashed surfaces.
I am drawn to a spare but emotionally powerful landscape– long fields, shadows, tidelands, the edge of a town, its back alleys, a simple shed or cottage, the not-quite empty room, or places that appear no longer lived in but suggest a past story. The western landscape possesses a certain majestic solitude that I try to capture in my paintings.
My paintings are created both “en plein air” and in the studio, The larger paintings are made in the studio using my own photos. These serve as a departure point for content and composition, by piecing together, rearranging, and sketching as needed. I include only enough detail to strengthen the painting. Once begun, the painting takes on a life of its own. I try to focus on light and form and composition, and welcome whatever lucky surprises might occur. I strive for a sense of authenticity; the painting has to feel true, free of artifice. In referring to a particular painting, people sometimes ask me “where is that?” My answer: the place depicted may really exist, or it may not. What is most interesting to me is the integrity of the painting and the relationship between i