Roberta Wesley Biography Continued:
...viewing partner. And if a single human being can be touched by her work, their response is, indeed , of great consequence, to her as a person, to her as an artist. The artist's work gains strength from her intense desire to reach out and build that ever important human link.
When viewing the works of Roberta Wesley, you are instantly aware of the striking spectrum of her subject matter. Pastoral scenes, gentle rememberences and romantic nostalgia somehow co-exist with waves of rampant elephants and tigers flying through lightning drenched skies. The creative diversity of her portfolio is evidence of the intense enthusiasm that fuels her artistic vision. She is an artist actively exploring and seeking to communicate life's many expressions and viewpoints.
She was born in Happy, Texas. She began drawing at about age 12, receiving encouragement from her mother. Her parents were rural school teachers, raising her with love within the strict confines of their Southern Baptist faith. Their protective attitude led her to repress many feelings, and resulted in a certain degree of rebellion.
She studied drama at West Texas State University, art at the University of Texas, and received her degree in art from Texas Woman's University. As with many novice artists, she worked for a time in commercial art. She also did portraits, experimenting with many different mediums and styles.
Today her medium is alkyd, unique and especially apropos for this artist in that it is faster-drying than oils and slower-drying than acrylic, allowing the artist to carefully gauge each painting step. Alkyd may also be richly worked in detail, among the artist's fascinations, and it renders strikingly luminous colors, permitting great play with light.
Detail is enhanced by superb lighting. "I can never seem to get enough light", said Wesley. Yet the light bathing these canvasses illumines them in an almost Bierstadt-like glow; controlled, yet mysterious.
Roberta's originals grew in demand through her associations with some of the finest galleries in the South - western United States. Although grateful for this long awaited recognition, she began to see success was both a blessing and a curse. There seemed to be constant pressure to produce the same most popular subjects again and again. "I began to feel that I was plagiarizing myself" she says, remembering this stage in her career.
A solution seemed available with the publishing of open edition prints. Open editions allow her freedom to spend time to fully develop and detail subjects that interest her, and then move on to the excitement of new inspiration. "In my mind, open editions offer an opportunity to present less repetitious work." She also appreciates the honesty of open editions. The art is the focus..."What you see is what you get. There are no questionable reprints or oversized 'limited' editions in open edition publishing."
In the early 90's Roberta began experimenting with the use of a computer in her work. Slowly she began to understand the creative potential of combining this new technology with her mastery of traditional artistic techniques. Roberta's alkyds on canvas now merge in her computer to produce the mixed media of Wesley Prints™. Her expertise with the computer has allowed her to publish her own work, maintaining the integrity of her artistic vision and translating all the intensity and power of her originals to the fine open editions offered through Wesley Prints™, Inc.
Wesley's originals hang in numerous private collections throughout the United States, including those of former President Lyndon Johnson and Texas Governor Alan Shivers. Her gallery associations have included the Overland Trail Gallery, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Conquistador Gallery, Taos, N.M.; Savage Gallery, Santa Fe, N.M., DeGarmo Galleries, Hawaii; and the Lindsey Gallery, Carmel, Calif.