Gwen Hendrix left her work life of 33 years building Sikorsky helicopters to pursue her passion for making art. “As an abstract painter using textile pigments,” she explains, “I love to capture the translucent imagery of shapes, form and movement in vivid color on fabric and the microfiber material, Encaustiflex.” Formerly a machinist, she is currently exploring 3D forms in fiber to create kinetic sculptures.
Hendrix has studied with Graziella Patrucco de Solodow, Debi Pendell, Elizabeth Busch, Elin Noble and Jane Dunnewold. Her work is published in Creative Strength Training: Prompts, Exercises and Personal Stories for Encouraging Artistic Genius by Jane Dunnewold. Hendrix is a graduate of Dunnewold’s 2015 Art Cloth Mastery Program. She is a member of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County. A Connecticut native, Gwen lives in Oxford with her husband, Wayne, and is a full-time studio artist at Metro Art Studios in Bridgeport, CT.
I am drawn with wonder to natural objects and images that are transparent or translucent. In winter, ice forms over puddles and brooks; sometimes the ice is clear & completely frozen to the bottom. Other times, the ice is thin and opaque, its surface covered in patterns.
In photographing these eco-systems, I am fascinated by the layers of leaves, sticks, grasses and air bubbles that are frozen spatially in place. In sunlight, the colors in these pools come alive.
This wonder translates into my paintings by developing layers—of textures, patterns, shape, form and line—using pure textile pigments in vibrant colors. Imagery evolves using masks, palette knives and shaping tools. Adding shadows gives forms their contour and dimension.
Creating these forms in paint has led me to a natural progression of wanting to make 3D sculptures using fiber. I’m intrigued by the use of teabags as an art form. Using acrylic medium as a stiffener to stabilized the teabags, gives them strength to be sewn, stitched, creased, then bound into form. My intention of making them kinetic as geometric shapes and free-form sculptures allows for the opportunity to examine the work from different vantage points that are not realized in a 2- dimensional painting.