Coralea “Corky” Wennberg
AVA Gallery show of River Paintings, 2014
Here is the story of my switch from lawyer to artist. For 15 years, I taught law and ethics at Dartmouth and the Vermont Law School but then I took a year off and reconnected with my love of drawing and painting by taking some art classes. My father-in-law, Egmont N. Wennberg, had become an oil painter during the 30 years of his retirement and his love of the challenge of painting completely inspired me. I was inspired but I didn’t know a thing about painting, and of course I didn’t know what I didn’t know and everything I did looked terrific. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy transition from law to art when one of my first teachers, Clifford West, told me that I was always going to be a lawyer first and artist second. I wondered if my brain even had a right side? Undaunted, I started a list of famous artists who went to law school and got to work.
“Dad” E. N. Wennberg
Wennberg Bonnard Catlin Matisse Cezanne Dove Kandinsky
Though I almost workshopped myself to death at the beginning, I have primarily studied oil painting over many years with two extraordinary artists: Susan Walp (SusanJaneWalp.com) in Vermont and Scott Christenson (ChristensenStudio.com) in Wyoming. They are both excellent artists and committed teachers. I also worked for many years with Ann Holloway who is an abstract expressionist and printmaker. I love her work and her stories about the Art Students League in New York in the 1960’s and her amazing collection of art books, and she taught me a lot about the real joy of painting. At one point, Ann decided that I didn’t know how to mix grays and so we spent a couple of weeks with a limited palate doing just that and keeping meticulous notes about what we’d done.
One of the great pleasures of being an artist is the fun of painting with friends. I’ve had the great luck to know and paint with Sally Smith (SallySmith.com) of Charleston, SC who matches my drive and perseverance for work. We once spent 7 hours trying to paint a cloud. Sally and I have painted all over the world and never tire of trying to figure out how to improve our work. I’ve also shared some great painting and life experiences with Kay Northup (KayNorthup.com) and Eliza Chrystie.
Me and Sally
Eliza, Kay, Sally and me
I love painting landscapes and work en plein air (in the outside air) whenever possible. Sometimes the quick paintings I do outside work out, sometimes I rework them in my studio and lots of times I paint over them. I also paint people, things and more abstract stuff that comes out of my head. I hate to market and show my work so it piles up in my studio - sometimes for years, until something jars me into action. I have participated in a number of juried, one and two person shows in New England, Wyoming and California, primarily at the AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, NH (www.AVAgallery.Org) led by my friend Bente Torjusen.
I was born in Dayton, OH into a very unartistic family and have lived in Hanover, NH since 1980.
"Corky" by Stephanie Asbridge Katz