Inside Wendy Ortiz’s Red

With her latest release, artist Wendy Ortiz returns with Red, which finds the California painter experimenting with a softer muted color palette and more attention to realism. Painted over the course of a year, Ortiz’s latest edition has been recreated in both Standard and Hand-Embellished editions. Read on as we caught up with Wendy Ortiz to discuss her latest edition, technique and much more. . .


1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this piece, anything immediate you would like us to highlight about this image?

Wendy Ortiz: 
As I write this, I am struggling with answering this question, because I began this piece so long ago that hundreds of new emotions unexpectedly had come into play as I rendered her. Anything I have to say about it now wouldn’t reflect the initial idea. She morphed into something unexpected. So I suppose that’s what I’d like to highlight.

1x: When was this piece created and what materials were used? How did the idea and execution come about for this piece?
Ortiz: She was born May 24, 2017

. The original painting was mixed media, with colored pencil, oil, acrylic on wood. 
Honestly, I hate to be so vague, but I feel that explaining the history would only take away from another’s experience. I prefer to leave my imagery to be interpreted by the viewer so that it takes on deeper and more personal meaning.


1x: How long did each of this image take to create from start to finish?
Ortiz: Almost an entire year. I initially created her May of last year (2017). I tend to erase or recreate a ton because I don’t plan out every aspect ahead of time. I’m usually unable to focus if my feelings at the moment don’t reflect the work at hand… so my window of focus on any given piece tends to be small… I’m working on changing my formula. It’s really hindering to productivity to work as I currently do.

1x: What is unique about this piece compared with your other work?
Ortiz: My approach/technique was different for with this one. I wanted to experiment a bit and had the hope to produce something that felt a little ‘aged’ yet modern. A large portion of my aesthetic tends to be heavily illustrative — heavy line work, exaggerated non realistic figures…a bit cartoony in my opinion —  so I wanted to contrast that with muted color tones to convey an older look. I’m not sure that I was successful in that plan, but I’m happy with the result.


1x: Why should people buy this one of these prints?
Ortiz: Because if you love someone’s craft you should support it! Oh and I’m broke and have a ton of school debt. Lol…I dunno…

1x: Describe this image in one gut reaction word.

Ortiz: Orgasmic… (Also, boobs…[just being honest, it was a draw.]) wendy-ortiz-red-he-18x24-1xrun-01-2

1x: What have you been up to over the last few months? Bring us up to speed on how things have been going recently for you…
I took some time off to focus on my family…I always try to keep up with my art in some way or another so I committed to a few shows and collabs during my ‘down time’…it was much needed and really great but that nagging feeling that drives me to create is back. It’s been getting louder. I can’t ever ignore it for too long.

1x: What are some of the ways you have been trying to push yourself with your work over the last year?

Ortiz: I’m trying my best to push myself to focus on new perspectives. In the past my work has always been more portrait type pieces…although I’m sure I will always continue to do that, I’d really like to learn how to capture movement and incorporate deeper narratives within my pieces.


1x: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Ortiz: I like collecting antiques (my husband calls it hoarding) and I like ‘thrifting’ I’m pretty sure the last piece of art I purchased was a c1910 wooden steamer trunk at a flea market. It was filled with the belongings of the first owner. Hand crafted photo albums, post cards, hand knit doilies, etc.

1x: Do you have any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?

I’ll be participating/attending the upcoming San Francisco Comic Con (June 8-10, 2018)Also will showcase a new piece at Spoke Art Gallery, NY, ‘Suggestivism’ group show (July 2018)

1x: Where else can people find you?
Wendy Ortiz: WebsiteInstagram @wendyortizart – Twitter @wendyortizart – Facebook

– 1xRUN