Exceptional at capturing the play of light as it falls on a variety of familiar objects, artist Wendy Higgins creates still life paintings that are absorbing in their quiet beauty.
Although still life paintings are static images, they remain a staple genre because of their ability to move our emotions through light, texture, color, and naturalism. Artist Wendy Higgins has established a lasting career built on her exquisitely beautiful still lifes, which have a luminosity and glow that imbues them with a dream-like mood.

Wendy Higgins, “Reflections,” oil on board, 36 x 24 in. (c) Greenberg Fine Art

On August 7, Greenberg Fine Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, opened its annual exhibition of Higgins’s newest works. Gallery director Bella Gaspich offers, “Wendy’s work captures the mysterious allure of familiar objects with a subtlety that begs the viewers to look longer. I watch people every day entranced by the beauty of the most sumptuous arrangements of velvet-soft petals or frosted grapes. The carefully balanced colors and delicately draped light make Wendy’s work absolutely timeless.”

 Wendy Higgins, “The Silver Spoon,” oil on board, 12 x 24 in. (c) Greenberg Fine Art

Indeed, “timeless” seems to capture well the overall impression of Higgins’s “Reflections.” Perched atop a wooden tabletop sits a tall ceramic vase, which supports the long stems of a pink orchid. Sitting next to the vase, and dwarfed by it, is a small candle. Certainly, the bright glow of the candle draws the viewer’s gaze and encourages a lengthy meditation. Framing the vase and candle is a massive round platter, which contains our focus to the objects on the table, but also adds a number of compositional devices. The orientation of the platter in the background, propped against the wall, and its perfect geometry add a degree of movement to the piece, keeping our visual interest. Truly amazing is how a simple scene with limited objects can pack such a large impact.

Wendy Higgins, “A Love Affair,” oil on board, 20 x 10 in. (c) Greenberg Fine Art

“In the Mood” is dazzling as well. We can almost smell the lilies that populate the masterfully rendered bouquet of flowers that forms the focus of this still life. The flowers appear to emanate their own supernatural glow, giving life to the subjects with near-blinding radiance. Perhaps adding an element of narrative are the flowers that lay in an arch around the vase on the table. Perhaps we are to imagine a florist has just composed this bouquet as artfully as Higgins has rendered it?
“Wendy Higgins: Glowing Simplicity” opened on August 7 and will be on view through today, August 20.
To learn more, visit Greenberg Fine Art.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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