Artist and printmaker Wendy Fetzer Mazza’s resolute vision for her work and her methodical creative process set her apart as an artist. Wendy is based in Tampa where she goes on neighbourhood walks to collect inspiration for her printmaking series. There, Wendy has also set up a small artist collective for artists of all stages. She offers golden nuggets of advice for artists just starting out and gives us an insight into her creative journey.
Where are you from and when did you start your art practice?
I live in Tampa, Florida with my husband and children. I have always been an artist, but began to focus on it as a full time pursuit about 3 years ago.
How do you describe your vision for your work?
My vision for my work is both personal and public. I love the exploration and expression that I experience through drawing, printmaking, and painting. Drilling down into an image or process until the idea is spent is the best fun! My vision for the viewer is that the can see the joy, life, and movement in my process.
What are your artistic/creative inspirations?
My two favorite muses are nature and the concept of home.
Are there other emerging artists you can recommend?
I started an artist collective in Tampa about 9 months ago. The other five women in the group are all at different stages of emerging, from caterpillar to butterfly. I admire them all! They are: Meg Britten, Jenny Carey, Audrey Leach, Susan Peloubet, and Katie White.
Tell me about your process.
The series that I am currently working on follows a very specific process. I begin by taking a walk, usually in my neighborhood, equipped with my phone fitted with a macro lens. I observe and take photos of nature. I then print and select one image to work with. That image is sketched over and over until it has become an abstracted ghost of the original. That image is then transferred onto a linoleum block and printed.
What do you like about the artistic community of today? What do you dislike?
I love that the current artistic community is not limited by geography. I can interact, at least visually, with artists all over the world. I also appreciate the openness of so many artists who are willing to share their experience and processes.
What is safe and/or dangerous in terms of experimentation?
I don’t look for safety when I’m experimenting. If a process or technique or color is interesting to me, I try it! I may love it or hate it. Either way I’ve learned from the experience. Many times I’ll return to a piece that I tried and hated, but discovered something small that can enter my work later on down the road.
What is one lesson you’ve learned in your artistic career that you would pass on to an artist who is just starting out?
Artists just starting out? I have two main pieces of advice: First, don’t let anything stop you. No space? Work small. No time? Do a 5 minute piece at a time? No supplies? Burnt matchsticks and printer paper are your friend. Second, please work until you mess up. You’ll learn so much by it. Messing up doesn’t mean that you’re a bad artist, it just means that you’re working hard to be a good one, pushing your own boundaries. (No one else can do that but you.)
Where would you like to see your work in 3 years? What goals do you have for your practice?
In 3 years, I’d love to have one or two small group shows under my belt. I’d like to find a good group of buyers/patrons who feel good owning my work.