Photo by Bodie Collins on behalf of Go Kailua Magazine. See the associated article here

Aloha!  I am Wendy Roberts, an Oahu-based artist.  I started painting under the guidance of my father from the moment I was old enough to hold a paintbrush.  My Dad, quadriplegic artist Wendell Johnson, was my first teacher, not only demonstrating the root skills of oil painting, but displaying incredible perseverance through adversity.  Applying these skills, and growing under the mentorship of many talented art teachers and professors, I earned a BA in Fine Arts.  Shortly after college, I married Jeremy Roberts and began my married life by moving eight times in ten years through six states including Utah, Colorado, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Texas before finally settling in Hawaii on the island of Oahu in 2010. My family lives in the shadow of the beautiful Ko’olau mountains.

Among the beauty of the lush forests, sheer mountains, and gorgeous beaches of the windward side, I have found a deep sense of peace and inspiration. My connection to the land, the ocean, and their natural inhabitants motivates me to capture and share the beauty.  I hope it will inspire love and care for nature in those who view my work.  Particularly I would love to help protect endangered plants and birds, sea life, and aid in the preservation of green spaces. 

In each painting, I balance realism and painterly qualities to suit each image, taking inspiration from the amazing artists of the past and deeply inspired by the skills of many of my colleagues. From a young age, I was always surrounded by books about Art History.  I used to flip through them just as I would look at books by Dr. Seuss or Beatrix Potter.  The only rule was to make sure I had clean hands so that I would not ruin the pages of the expensive glossy hardcover books.  I was further nurtured by the various classes on art history and technique in college.  I love the Old Italian masters with their exquisite gold leafing and smooth paint, but the Victorian era with its wider subject range and painterly approach to realism with accomplished groups such as the PreRaphaelites, the Skagensmalerne, and other painters from around 1850 to the early 1900s most capture my imagination.  There really is something magical in paint that looks very real from a distance but still looks like paint, especially when viewed up close. Some of my favorite painters include John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, John William Waterhouse, Claude Monet, Frederick Waugh, Peder Severin Krøyer, and Frederick Edwin Church, all of whom possess impeccable color sense and a painterly approach to realism. In my own work, I will often combine metal leafing and direct painting together to create a blending of these favorite influences.

Art is always better in a community, and I have been fortunate to be part of supportive Oahu artists, having started in a guild.  I have had the pleasure of being recognized for my craftsmanship through various awards and have participated in numerous exhibits throughout Oahu.  My artwork is in private collections throughout the U.S.

Aside from painting and raising my children, I enjoy participating in community organizations.  I am a current member and board member of the Windward Artists Guild (2013 – 2022), served on the board for Association of Hawaii Artists (2017 – 2019), and helped with the launch of the Downtown Art Center as a volunteer webmaster throughout 2019 and 2020.  Additionally, I served on the board for Kailua Historical Society (2016 – 2018), and I still assist with online tasks, booklet compilation and printing, and correspondence. Other favorite pursuits include hiking, dancing, and gardening.

Current Art Associations:
Windward Artists Guild, general board member
Oil Painters of America, Associate Member
Portrait Society of America