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ARTIST EXPOSE: Wendy Palermo


From Layers to Light – Wendy Palermo’s Spiritual Connection with Nature


Who are you and what do you do?

I am a Canadian artist who has been painting in the Niagara Region in Ontario for over 40 years. I am a self-taught artist who worked as a memorial designer at a local monument company where I created many creative monuments for dignitaries and local families. In 1989, I received a prestigious award from the Monument Builders Association of North America for best design.

I have also received some awards for my artist abilities and have received 1st and 2nd place awards at local shows for my works in drawing and watercolours.

I now enjoy working in acrylic painting and creating landscapes that have a spiritual connection to the land we live on.

Huddled Canoes by Wendy Palermo

Huddled Canoes

How do you do what you do?

I primarily painting with acrylic paint on Canvas or Wood and enjoy plein-air painting when time permits. Most of my work I try to capture the light that falls on the various subjects.

How do you work?

I will often go walking to various towns or rural areas to find my next painting. I will gather a lot of photos of the area before settling on one idea. Then I will either paint on site or in my studio and plan out my composition and colour pattern. Once that is done, I begin to paint the painting.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

I think it is important to develop a concept or message that you are trying to convey so that all decisions after that relate back to your initial concept/message.


Just Around the Corner by Wendy Palermo

Just Around The Corner

The Tool Shed by Wendy Palermo

The Tool Shed

What role does the artist have in society?

I think artists can have an impact on society by engaging the community in thoughtful discussions about the issues of the day. Many of my works show you the beauty in nature and that this treasure may be lost due to human’s impact on the world. My hope is that you appreciate the landscape more because of my works.

What has been a seminal experience?

I had taken a break from my art because I needed to reinvent myself and figure out who I was and what I needed to do. After going back to school and helping my family grow and returned to my art and discovered that I was better and enjoyed it more because I understood who I was and what was important to me (family, nature, art).

How has your practice change over time

I believe my works have a explored the beauty of Canadian Lands. I believe this is important as many of us go through life without appreciating the world around us. It is my hope that bringing attention to the landscapes that a greater interest in preserving the land on which we borrow.

Great Day for Fish by Wendy Palermo

Great Day for Fish

Falling Waters by Wendy Palermo

Falling Waters

What art do you most identify with?

Many of the artists that identify with are American artist, John Singer Sargent, Canadian artist Mary Pratt. Both artists works have a glow to the colours they use and John Singer Sargents brushwork is something I strive to achieve.

What work do you most enjoying doing?

I enjoy doing art outdoors and celebrate the moments of time that I can achieve this. With busy and hectic schedules, it is not always easy to find the time but there is nothing like painting outdoors to capture the energy of the scene.

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

Once memory that stands out is that from a very young age, I was often seen tearing paper, or colouring.

What themes do you pursue?

I primarily work to present the Canadian landscapes and try to capture the beauty around us.

Trio of Canoes by Wendy Palermo

Trio of Canoes

What’s your favourite artwork?

Usually the most recent painting I am working on is my favorite probably because I learned from my past paintings and try to do better.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

I have often stopped mid conversations to capture a scene or pull over on the side of the road while driving to draw a sketch or take photos for my art.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

As mentioned previously, I was a memorial artist who created personalized monuments for peoples whose family member recently past. This was a family business, and I took over all the drafting and creative aspects of the job when my grandfather retired.

I currently work at the local college to place recreation therapy students in the community to complete the required experiential learning. My ability to be adaptive, flexible, and creative talents lend them to my paid position and my hobby.

Why art?

I come from a line of creative people.

What is an artistic outlook on life?

Appreciating the world around you, the colours the people the surroundings that most people pass by.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Many of my customers appreciate the work because it reminds them of places they were or places they would like to be. I often paint calm scenes and many people express that is what they see in my works.

What food, drink, song inspires you?

Jazz and Blue is great to paint to

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

Visiting with my colleagues when life permits.

Lily Pad Pond by Wendy Palermo

Lily Pad Pond

Pond Beauty by Wendy Palermo

Pond Beauty

What do you dislike about the art world?


That it seems to be less interest and appreciation for art now that digital photography makes it easy for everyone to have an image enlarged. What they don’t realize is that an exact copy is not the same as a painting.


What do you dislike about your work?

I would like to paint my loosely and I try to achieve this in every work I do. Sometimes I successful and sometimes I’m not.


What do you like about your work?

I love the colour blue and those are the paintings that speak to me the most.


Should art be funded?

Yes, with less and less people buying are it should be something that the government should sponsor as part of the cultural heritage.


What role does arts funding have?

To help not only new artists but established artists.


What is your dream project?

To be able to provide a large scale series to support those in need. Either to create a series of paintings for seniors in long term care homes or to help with funding for to support programs for people with additions and mental health issues.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?



What wouldn’t you do without?

Opportunity to be creative. 


Catching the Wind by Wendy Palermo

Catching the Wind

Retired by Wendy Palermo


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