Oil painting of an elderly woman with a piece of pie on a paper plate

Temple II
By Amy Werntz
Oil, 2020
21.75 x 16 inches

Amy Werntz is obsessed with time, of the fear of its passing to the feeling of not living in the correct moment. This passion plays out in her art, explored through translated vintage black and white photographs that bring forward the past to her current work, which seeks to capture the seemingly insignificant moments of everyday life. Her meticulously crafted and highly realistic figures are isolated from the environment, they are the only story and their features, gestures, and clothing and props offer the only cues to narrative. Wernzt leaves the viewer to fill in the details from their own life experience, to create a story from their history and perhaps to see the importance of every life in a society often too fascinated with the lure of youth.

In Temple II, the viewer is presented with an everyday image of life, of a woman they know, are, or may one day become. The figure stands quietly, with all of the years of her experiences apparent. We feel the age through Werntz’s masterful handling of the translucency of skin, of veins and wrinkles visible in the face and stunningly executed hands. While the years lay heavy, brilliant blues and purples are visible, cues to the spirit of their wearer. Celebratory and melancholy, Werntz’s portraits remind us of the fragility and strength of life.

Werntz is a practicing painter and interior designer, with a BFA in interior design from the Art Institute of Dallas, Texas. Her paintings have been exhibited widely in Texas and in group shows in Wausau, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has received recognition and numerous awards for her portraits from the Portrait Society of America and took first place in the Richeson 75 International Art Competition Portrait/Figure category in 2020.

Three works by Werntz were featured in the traveling exhibition “Rising Voices 2: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters,” which premiered at the Muskegon Museum of Art in 2021. Inquiries about the paintings can be directed to the Muskegon Museum of Art.

You can find more information about the artist and her work at www.amywerntz.com or on Instagram, @amywerntz_art.