Photo Courtesy of Bebe Alexander
Vanessa Withun is a contemporary representational artist of Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage originally from Bronx, New York. Coming from an artistic family, she was always drawn to the arts. After serving in the military and moving to southern coastal areas of the United States she developed an interest in conservation and ecology. She was inspired by the wetlands and marshes that surrounded the coastal area and decided to pursue a degree in environmental science. Although her work is representational, she heavily relies on an intuitive process to tell a unique story. Her style incorporates traditional representational art with expressionism and impressionism. She believes that from the start of the of the creation process, the painting/drawing process becomes a part of the artist’s unique experience. She is interested in how humans relate with their environment to create meaning and the way in which objects, natural or man-made, are perceived by humans in relation to their environment. She enjoys the use of color and heavy texture to show the intricacies of form and the behavior of light. Her method involves working boldly in alla-prima, on a heavy textured surface, laying the paint on thick, and scraping with the palette knife to create a mural-like scenario. Although she focuses on nature, she also enjoys painting portraits and still-life as well. She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband and three children. Her work has been exhibited across the United States.