Wendy Allen

“Lend your eyes to music, open your eyes to painting, and stop thinking!”
– Wassily Kandinsky

“Come into relationship with art. Receive it, and experience it with your senses. Do not grab a hold of it with your eyes and break it down with critique and analysis as if it were a product or a thing. Meet and embrace it as a living being.”
– Wendy Allen

Artist Statement

I remember when I was about five years old sitting in our living room with my mother and a small group of her friends. They had gathered to share and “piece” together their lives around a quilting frame. I recognized some of the re-purposed fabrics as dresses both my mother and I had worn. They had been re-cut and re-combined to form a beautiful new pattern. My mother and her friends had an intuitive and intrinsic understanding that their shared stitches and their shared lives wove a blanket of connection. Their quilting was inherently feminist in nature.

My art reflects that early experience of re-purposing and re-combining fabrics. I primarily work with fabrics that I re-purpose. There’s something about the whole process of finding interesting designs in fabrics at thrift shops that is pleasing to me. I enjoy the tactile experience of working with fabric, of cutting out patterns and then collaging, sewing and embellishing them. I primarily work with themes of feminism, spirituality, and our relationship with nature.

My creative expression has been enhanced and informed by my spiritual development. As my mind has slowed and quieted through the years of my spiritual practice, I have experienced a downloading of creative inspiration. I attempt to express through my art the sacred Presence that I experience in the inner. The creative process for me is a dialogue between me, the art, and Source. I want my pieces to communicate the fragrance of this “Presence”. Then it may be possible for the viewer to follow this fragrance back to Source.

Some of my work is figurative, incorporating primarily female figures and landscapes. I am also attracted to creating geometric mandalas (cross-cultural symbolic representations of the universe), because they represent wholeness and connection to the Infinite, qualities of the Divine Feminine. I begin at the center which represents our connection to the Higher Sacred Self, and then allow the design to naturally flower.

I received my Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Drake University in 1973. I studied art in Florence, Italy, for a year. I taught elementary and high school art for three years before I got my Master’s in Counseling from the University of Iowa. After years of providing in- and out-patient therapy, I was a practicing art therapist for 15 years. I’m currently retired and can devote my attention to art .