Wendy Willis

I have always loved the water. Growing up in Ohio, our family often vacationed in Florida where I spent a lot of time in the pool or the ocean. For the past ten years I have returned to the frolic of the waters as inspiration for my work. As I age, I have found the water to be a sanctuary where I am weightless and my mind is free of the noise of the news that worries or angers me. 

I work in a variety of printmaking mediums but my primary process is reductive relief. These prints convey both the joyful and contemplative aspects of the human experience underwater. I use images of friends and family poolside activities as resources for the work. 

Recently, my concerns over global warming and its myriad effects on the ocean, as well as the human contribution to the destruction of aquatic life has compelled me to showcase its beauty before it is lost forever. Endangered and recovering kelp, coral, fish and turtles, are at the heart of my current work. 

I love the analytical part of reductive relief printmaking and the challenge of trying to reduce an image to two, four or the fewest colors. While I have printed as many as 13 colors on one print, a two color reduction can be the most difficult. I see a similarity between my process and being underwater. I am creating images that are revealed as I carve away the surface of each step. 


For more information about the artist, please visit her website.