Meet the Artist: Wendy Brunhild of Wendy Joy Designs
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I’m originally from New York but grew up in Arizona and Michigan, and currently live in Henderson, Nevada with my husband and our two dogs. I have a background in both film and journalism and have previously worked as both a Video Editor and Writer, in the broadcast news industry. I have always enjoyed textures and paint, and combining different elements to create unique designs, mainly in the home and sometimes using the wall as my canvas. I really love using metallics, in both resin and paint.
What inspired you to become an artist
This is an interesting question because for me, it’s two-fold. I hadn’t realized until recently how much time I spent observing my maternal grandfather, who was in the fashion industry, and my mom when she was in her own creative space – she worked with both oils and water colors, as well as charcoal, and paper. For me, I believe I was inspired in part by the both of them where there was always some creative energy happening both at home and in New York, when we’d visit my grandparents, every year growing up. I also enjoyed gathering fabrics or mixing different colors, metallics and different metals in various ways – but it wasn’t until college when I found myself deciding between design and film, where I realized that I needed to have a creative outlet in my career, moving forward. I decided to major in film and journalism and ended up taking a position at a News station in Florida which put me in the path that allowed me to pursue creativity, in video editing. That’s the second part – for me, although I’ve always enjoyed being creative in some fashion, over the past year and a half to two years, my creative juices just seemed to flow in the form of pouring and resin. I’m completely self-taught and figured with having some extra time on my hands that this would be the perfect opportunity to learn and grow in this medium. I began connecting with other artists and watching them work and create online. I had already had a few different career paths as both a writer in various mediums, and in sales, and was looking for something I could sink my teeth into after Covid hit. I tried pouring and resin and fell in love! I’ve never looked back and was really flattered when after posting my work, people started to ask me to make them a piece – a Hamsa or a clock, and they wanted to purchase my work! I’d never thought that would happen and am so happy that at this point in my life, I’ve been able to begin a completely new path. It really is like a dream.
What is your specialty?
I love working with resin and embellished pieces. I enjoy using glass, crystal gemstones, feathers, small stones, whatever comes to mind in my work. Sometimes I might follow the lines of individual colors, and I work to create a piece that has a flow to it with different embellishments.
How and where do you work?
I’m fortunate to have been able to carve out a space in a room in our home and turn it into a studio. Sometimes it overflows into other areas of the house. I seem to spend a lot of time on my feet, standing over my work – it’s where I’m most comfortable and can get a view of the entire piece when I’m working.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
I have several, with the first being resin – my art room wouldn’t be complete without it. And believe it or not, my blow dryer. For certain types of acrylic and resin pours, the best results happen when working with a blow dryer. It took me quite some time to learn the ins-and-outs of using that as a tool, but it’s been invaluable to me. Other than that, I’d have to say my heat gun and my torch – I’d be lost without them.
Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?
I’m currently taking what I’ve learned and applying it to various pieces of Judaica art. I’m also pursuing the use of different types of embellishment in my art, whether it is on a painting with the glass from a Jewish wedding ceremony or using that glass with stones on a Hamsa, or a canvas piece. I’ve been commissioned to work on different types of canvas and truly enjoy working with newly married couples. Working on a piece for them that they’ll have forever, brings me so much joy and I feel I’m often inspired from the work of other artists – I love to see what they’re doing, the colors, and the techniques they’re using, and how they get to the end of a particular piece. I learn so much from the experience of others.
Do you do bespoke work?
Absolutely! I love to work on custom pieces and consider it an honor to work with individuals or couples, in creating something in particular, with their vision in mind.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a wedding-glass project for a couple who were married a few years ago. They had no idea what to do with their glass and their mom heard about my work and commissioned a piece from me. Their work will be done on a Hamsa, with their glass. I’m very excited to see how it comes out! I also have a few surprises coming up, which will be related to Judaica art.
What is or are your favourite items in your current collection?
Honestly, I’ve enjoyed working on all of them! But if I have to choose, it would have to be the first piece I did for a newly married couple – it’s called “The Tree of Life,” and the vibrancy of the colors, mixed with their glass and gold stones really makes the piece come to life. I also know them personally and I had a great time working with them and creating this special piece.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
I try to live by that expression “less is more.” So, when I step back and look at the piece, sometimes I need to walk away for a bit and come back to it and look again. It’s at that time I often know that there’s nothing more to be done. It’s difficult to explain but it’s just a feeling that I have that “enough is enough,” and there’s nothing more I can add to improve the piece. In fact, I’d go as far to say that I feel if I add anything else, it might actually ruin it, so it’s time to let it be.
What was the first artwork you ever sold?
A resin bowl and coaster set.
Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?
It’s between two – the first is definitely the “Tree of Life” painting I did, where I used the wedding glass from a newly-married couple as one of the embellishments and the second would be an all-resin Hamsa. I blew the colors out the way I do with some of my acrylic pours and was thrilled with the end result.
What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?
I would love for my work to be something that would be a welcome addition to someone’s art collection, whether it’s in a home or an office…just something that people feel is an enhancement to what they currently have or the beginning of something they’d like to maybe start collecting for their future. As for my wishes for the future, I’d love to be able to have my work featured in a gallery and also be able to continue to share my pieces on an on-going basis. I look forward to growing as an artist and expanding my knowledge and then sharing that knowledge with someone who’s interested in the process for their own work would be exciting.
Where can we find your work?
As featured in "Judaica in the Spotlight."