Wendy Orr paints still-life images and landscapes that have a connection to her life experiences, both past and present. She is drawn to the quality of light and the textures that create a mood in the images she paints. She works with a variety of media such as graphite drawing, acrylic, mixed-media, casein, watercolour, and encaustic.
Wendy is an artist member of Gallery 96 and has shown her work frequently through Gallery 96, Gallery Stratford and the Blyth Gallery. She is the owner of Salt Harbour Studios in Herring Neck, Newfoundland where she offers studio space, mentoring and artist workshops during the summer months.
The rural landscape and the documentation of traditional ways of rural life have kindled her interest in community life. Wendy is now beginning to focus on portraiture in her recent work.
Wendy’s childhood was spent in a rural community south of the city of Woodstock, Ontario. As a child she learned to appreciate the natural county side. She was involved in many activities of rural life such as; gardening, canning of preserves, baking and sewing. Her favourite times involved exploring the woods and wandering along the creek down the gravel road she lived on. Many of these experiences she values have surfaced in her work.
Her early education began in a two-room schoolhouse. After attending College Avenue Secondary School in Woodstock, Ontario she successfully completed the Illustration and Design program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. Wendy worked for a number of years as an illustrator in Niagara-on-the-Lake and then in Ottawa. She later obtained her degree in Visual Arts through the University of Western Ontario, followed by achieving her teaching qualifications at the Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario.
Wendy accepted a teaching post in Stratford, Ontario and began teaching Visual Arts in September 1986. She taught secondary school visual arts and special education classes for twenty-five years before retiring to pursue her interests in the fine arts.
In 2011 Wendy purchased a summer home in Herring Neck, Newfoundland. She now spends the summer months at Salt Harbour Studios where she has been working on a series of paintings that document the history of a small fishing village and its people. Wendy now offers the opportunity of an artist retreat in an outport community in rural Newfoundland to other artists. She will act as an artist mentor, providing instruction in painting or drawing if desired. Artists, amateur or professional may also rent the house and studios by the week, to work on their own during the months of August and September.
Through the fall and winter months you can find Wendy busy in her studio at the 3rdRail Society (a co-operative office space above the train station) in Stratford. Once a week she gets together for a ‘painting night’ with several other local artists. She values the opportunity to share ideas and gain input from her artist friends.
It is Wendy’s goal to continue to draw and paint subject matter that is significant to her. She looks forward to the challenges involved in developing a successful artist retreat and being a part of the artist community in both Newfoundland and Ontario.