Chante Nakapaahu

Pint-Size Painter

Posted: 04.29.2012

Wendy prefers to paints portraits. “The face says more about a person than you are able to ask them about themselves,” Wendy expresses with warmth. After getting settled into the studio, Wendy sets up her materials and explains that she randomly selected one of her Facebook friends profile pictures to paint using an oil medium. She is currently working on a series about social media and how people’s profile pictures describe their personalities.

While looking around her studio, Wendy explains the process of her craft, she explains “I normally paint everything in my studio white, so that I can have a clear vision while painting.”(Everything includes the floors). Wendy’s palette knives Bella, Bertha, Bobbi, Debbie and Tiny are intrinsically nicknamed to give her instruments of art personality. “Bella is my favourite. I think the others are jealous because I always use her for the most detailed strokes,” Wendy proclaims with sincerity.

Detailed and methodic strokes are what separate Wendy from the typical anxiety driven art student. She explains that some of the other students snare at her work, because they view it as commercial. Wendy is patient and calm with her paintings. She not the one to splatter a bucket of paint on a piece she is dissatisfied with. Instead, she quietly tucks them away in a corner not to be seen or heard from again.

Although Wendy separates herself from the artistic norms, she is not separated from her need and insatiable desire to have a positive impact on people through her work. You might be able to spot her in a tiny art-student huddle outside of the Massachusetts College of Art (Mass. Art). She’s the one that is small enough to fit in a large pocket. Standing only four-feet ten inches with a curly afro, a beaming smile and a jean jacket with the sleeves rolled up. She’s as vibrant as the colours she uses to paint. The vibrancy flowing through her veins keeps her social life on campus thriving like Lance Armstrong in a Tour De France competition.

Let’s rewind to three and a half years ago, before Wendy made a name for herself at Mass. Art. She first had to have the “I’m going to art school talk” with her parents—who happen to be the traditional kind of parents. The same parents with the hopes and dreams of their children growing up to become doctors and/or lawyers. Unlike most families, Wendy’s family embraced her with loving arms after putting her through brief but agonizing scrutiny for making one of the biggest decisions of her life.

Moving forward passed the awkward conversations with her parents, Wendy received the support that she needed and is empowered through positivity. She is not your typical art student, starved for attention and positive thoughts. Wendy is that positive art student who paints with vibrant colours that would brighten anyone’s day. She wants to have a positive influence on people through her work.Just having a positive influence through her work is only the beginning.

In September, Wendy is planning to apply for a discipleship through a program called Youth With a Mission or simply YWAM. She explains that she has been contemplating applying for this program since she was fifteen. “I do not want to spend all of time in the studio painting. I want to get out there and fulfill my purpose in life—you know, make a difference,” Wendy turns and explains with pure passion in her eyes.

After asking Wendy, “What about the YWAM mission statement speaks to you?” She does not hesitate to respond, “I’ve been waiting to do this.” She reads the mission statement aloud and grasps hold of her chest. “Christ’s love inspires us to use many creative means to make His gospel understood to any audiences—large or small. We use such tools such as music, performing arts and sports to connect with people of all ages and develop friendships which can lead to conversations of eternal values,” she takes a moment to gather her thoughts. “I stay away from the term religion, but I believe in the spirit. What comes in then goes out. Essentially, people’s spirits need to be nurtured with love.”

On top of being full time fabulous, Wendy was accepted to the YWAM program! Go WENDY!! I'm proud of you!!!


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