Click on an image for enlargement and more information
Mike D. Wodnick
Mike Wodnick was born and raised in Minneapolis and now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has had a lifelong interest in the arts and remembers an elementary school field trip where he was mesmerized by Jean Baptiste Chardin’s Attributes of the Arts. According to Wodnick, “Chardin was a master of composition. His still life paintings are nothing but still and he guided the viewer through the picture, which is something that I strive to do.” Wodnick took just about every creative class available to him while in school. However, learning the craft of painting and honing his aesthetics were accelerated during the four years he studied under Richard F. Lack. Lack was an exponent of the “Boston School” having studied with Ives Gammell, who studied with William Paxton and Edmund Tarbell.
Wodnick’s artistic process is to take an idea, theme or even the title of a piece and use them to help him focused on the center of interest of a work of art. He typically does several thumbnail sketches and intentionally keeps them small … as he wants the idea to evolve. He will often try different formats … vertical, horizontal or square. This is the stage where he is concerned about the big abstract shapes, the breakup of space, variation and repetition of form, and flow of line and values.
As an artist, Wodnick is always trying to grow and he wants to get caught up in the energy of his paintings. It is at this point that some of the elements of a scene that he identified in early sketches might get dropped in the moment while painting. He does not strive for photorealism … as his goal is for his paintings to have a soul.
In addition to being an accomplished artist, Wodnick has also been doing fine art restoration and conservation for over 30 years and he is an expert framer … designing, carving and finishing each frame to fit the artwork.