Biography for Chris Wenlock (1947)
Chris Wenlock b. 1947 in Wivenhoe, has lived and worked in Essex all of his life. Growing up he incessantly drew and painted, but instead of going to art school he took himself to evening class for years and was mentored by Jean Sunderland. It was not until he went to a Turner exhibition at the Royal Academy, London, in the early 1960’s, that Chris had an epiphany moment. Enthralled by Turner’s paintings, and his amazing sense of atmosphere and colour combined with his use of bees wax, Chris’s imagination took off. He soon learnt the same technique of melting wax with pure turpentine and mixing it with oils. This way he too was able to meticulously build up layers of glazes using pure colour yet sensitively retaining a softness and warmth to the work.
Inspired by grasses, expanses of wild flowers, beguiling buildings, dunes and beach huts by the Blackwater estuary, Chris still uses this same method today. Light and atmosphere are fundamental to his ideas, alongside pattern & design as he lovingly weaves the shapes of nature to build up an enticing composition over several months.
In edition to having a solo exhibitions at Hayletts Gallery, Chris has exhibited mainly in East Anglia in addition to showing at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition