By Alexandra Fuller
Wendell Locke Field was born in 1965 in Kalamazoo Michigan. Raised on a dairy farm by a community of family, extended family and neighbors, his was an idyllic childhood. It makes sense then that Field’s art restores us to an original state of mind, a homecoming to a self we didn’t even realize we had missed.
Supposing that it shouldn’t be possible to do your life for a living, Field graduated with a degree in agricultural business from the University of Wyoming in 1987. But it didn’t take him long to realize that ignoring his true calling would be his soul’s death. For nearly three decades, Field has created a life that allows him to make art, and he has created art that reflects his deliberately simple life. “Art, for me, is the product of an attempt to be true to the divine path that has been laid out for me,” he has said.
A profound recognition of spirit is present, often explicitly, in all Field’s work. His mountains reflect authority; his South American villages resonate with collective grace; his New Mexico adobes appear as places of soulful refuge. It’s as if Field is putting into paint what the poet Wendell Berry has put into words, “There are no unsacred places;/ there are only sacred places/and desecrated places.”
Field has spent most of his adult life living and working in Jackson Hole, Wyoming splitting his time between a yurt on the edge of Grand Teton National Park, and his studio in Jackson. He has also spent time in New Mexico, and travelled extensively in Asia and South America. As well as oil painting, Field makes watercolors, block prints, sculpture and public art.