Kristen Coates Wendy Briggs Powell

I met Wendy Briggs Powell in December at my holiday pop up shop, Christmas Coates, in Newport, RI. Not knowing she was an artist during our lovely chat, I was surprised to receive an email from her with beautiful and unique imagery of her work. Her pieces master the blend of subtlety and boldness that I love so very much and to me were an obvious match for the gallery.

Kristen Coates Wendy Briggs Powell 2

Wendy refers to her pieces as Watermarks. She says her hand is in the work as she has become quite familiar with how to predict results from manipulating the paper, but it is the colored water that leaves the mark. I find Wendy, like her Watermarks, speaks to me in a very fluid and organic way. “By changing one element in an overall composition,” notes the artist, “one alters the composite and the image changes. I believe the same process is true within ourselves and in relationship with others. By observing and engaging in these parallels between art and design, and understanding ourselves and each other, my work continues to interest and excite me on many levels.”

Kristen Coates Wendy Briggs Powell 3

RISD professor and author, Anne West, said about Wendy and her work when she received her Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Art.  “Wendy is our custodian of openness. The saturated, whole body vibrance of her watercolors teach us the power of another logic – a poetic water logic that requires receptivity to unintended results. Through sweeping fields of color, often with intricate shifts among layering, we become soaked in surprise. As a designer of the expanded expressive filed, Wendy bleeds her fields of color into our world, awakening us to the dynamic emotional intelligence that lives just below the surface of our awareness. We need color to feel our fullness.”

Kristen Coates Wendy Briggs Powell 4

With a successful exhibition at The Brick Lane Gallery in London, several large commissions, a few wonderful features on blogs like Stylebeat and an entire body of new work now available through the gallery, Wendy is on the upswing of a very bright, artistic adventure. We look forward to her fields of color hanging on the walls of the gallery this summer and to her Watermarks to come. See Wendy’s available work in the gallery and online here.

Available Work By Wendy Briggs Powell Online Here
More details about the artist at
Photos courtesy of the artist

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