Willa Vennema lives in Portland and Swans Island Maine. She grew up in Greenwich Village, NYC, and has spent almost every summer of her life on Swans Island. Vennema works in the encaustic medium to create luminous multilayered works which range from the abstract, as in her recent series “Layers of Time”, to semi-representation as in “The Boat Series”. The push and pull of city life in Portland, and the small town coastal life in Swans Island has always informed Vennema’s work. During the winter months, in her attic studio, Vennema explores and remembers. The “Layers of Time” series investigates her changing relationship to time as big life events such as the death of a parent, and a child going off to college have influenced her. She now sees time “as a circular phenomenon, rather than a linear progression”.
In the “Boat Series” Vennema explores the evocative image of the archetypal fishing boat, the dory. These boats can still be seen along the coastline and Vennema employs them in her work as a metaphors for the passage of time, for the contrasting desires for adventure and stillness, and for the emotions of hope and loss.
Vennema’s work can been seen at Susan Maasch Fine Art in Portland Maine, and at the Harbor Square Gallery in Rockland Maine. Her work is in well over 100 private collections, as well as Maine Medical Center, Avesta Housing, and Southern Maine Community College.