Sarah Kilgallon, writing about leeks and a yellow taxi cab

by Wendy Artin

Sarah Kilgallon asks Wendy Artin about painting leeks

I discovered Wendy Artin’s brilliant work years ago at an exhibit in Boston, but her presence on Instagram allows me to view a bit of her process. In a recent video post, she admits that she had to use a “stand in” to finish her painting of leeks. The original subject was needed for dinner.

This led me to ask her via message, “Do you ever photograph your subjects in your creative process?”

She replied, “On occasion I take a photo in self-defense, when I remember, particularly in light of leaves wilting in the Roman heat. But this is erratic, since what I love about still lifes is how they can be right there in front of me as I paint them.

“With all of the crazy colors that you see in nature, focusing in and out, light changing with your focus, halos of colors… all of this is so exciting. Photos? Are less exciting however quite practical. So as a source of inspiration not great but to finish a piece – maybe. I do not love the leek painting. But not because of that. It was a gorgeous puddle that happened right at the beginning on the right. I wanted to preserve it and it inhibited me in all the rest. That’s just how it goes sometimes.”

Wendy later added, “there is so much I love about the leek painting.”

I agree. Her passion of capturing light and shadow in real time creates “halos” of colors that defy the definition of still life.

Scrolling back through Wendy’s feed, you’ll find that this has always been a feature of her work. In a highlighted post of one of her watercolors from 1988, her rendition of a Boston cab leaps with emotion created by her delicate use of shadow and shape.

During these Covid times, we may not be able to see art in person, but social media gives us the ability to connect with the art and artist. That’s a gift. View LUSH online at

And if you’re lucky enough to be in Boston, come in from the cold and visit the Gurari Collections at 460B Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118

Exhibit runs until March 20th!

article by Sarah Kilgallon, @sarah_kilgallon_artista
Instagram: @sarah_kilgallon_photography