• Gathering Table

Artist Spotlight: Gwendolyn Wilcox

Carissa Cady Photography
Carissa Cady Photography

This week’s artist spotlight introduces Gwendolyn Wilcox of Symphonies Studio. Gwendolyn is a talented visual artist, musican, wife and mother. We had the opportunity to connect with her in her home studio last week, and we are excited to share our interview with her.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself (what you do, family life, hobbies, etc.). Maybe tell us something people might not know about you. It could be funny, a hidden talent, or a fun fact.

A: I am an artist and a pianist, but my real passion is my family. A few things others may not know about me are that I am a country girl who is occasionally girly. I’m a bit addicted to Moo Creamery’s basil lemonade, which I order with tea and want to name “Liquid BLT.” I also love to waterski and composed the CSUB Fight song.

Q: Where do you get inspiration from? What drives you creatively? 

A: I am inspired by music and nature. Sometimes, I compose a piece on the piano and see where it leads on the canvas. Other times, I turn up my favorite Spotify playlist and paint my heart out. I'm blessed to have a studio with amazing windows, so the light and views are perfect! For the days when I need quiet and calm, I open the windows and let the sound of the river be my peace and inspiration.

Q: How and when did you discover your talent in the arts? 

A: I discovered my love for the arts during an elementary school art class. I'm not sure I had any exceptional talent; I was simply drawn to all things art and music, like a kid to a cookie jar!

Q: What has surprised you most about working in a creative field? 

A: The kindness of other artists, locals and those from my Instagram family, has amazed me. Those who place community over competition are so impressive and selfless. We're all trying to follow our dreams (and some with full-time jobs and kiddos), but it has been a blessing to be a recipient of others’ motivating encouragement and kindness, and to encourage others as well.

Q: Have there been any recent highlights with your art that you are particularly proud of? Share about a challenge you have had to work through to overcome.

A: Sometimes the best highlights are the quiet moments of achievement when no one is around to say, "I love this!" or "Keep going.”  I recently did a painting that I was pretty sure might kill me! I had failed so many times (big canvas, big fails), but I kept at it. I remember standing over it thinking, “This is seriously so bad!” In that moment, I knew I could only repaint this canvas so many times before it became too heavy for the frame, so I went for it. I poured the paint on and started creating with a new freedom. About an hour later, that thing just happened! I almost cried and decided the title should be “Miracle” because it was a miracle that something good came out of my failures. I’ve always felt that it’s not the amount of failures that matters (we fail all the time), but it’s how we recover. As artists, we must develop the tenacity to keep trying. We have to move forward through mistakes into something better, and hopefully, something beautiful!

Carissa Cady Photography
Carissa Cady Photography


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