Whitney Gardner Biography

Whitney Gardner Biography

Whitney Gardner is an oil painter born and based in Southern California. With a focus in painting landscapes about the Southwest, she seeks to expand the barriers of western art to the deserts of the far west in which she calls home. Residing in the Mojave desert for over decade, a fascination with the rugged scenery has led her into an artful study of this region. From plein air to studio rendered compositions, her paintings are an ode to the remarkable facets of the desert.

Whitney attained a BFA at California College of the Arts in 2010. Her work has been published in the nationally circulated magazines such as,Western Art Collector and Southwest Art.In 2019 her painting, Ocotillo Sky, received the Best of Show award at the Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition and in September 2022 her painting, Stone Wash, received the Best Painting award at Slopoke Western Art Show. In May 2021 she had her first ever sell-out show with Western Gallery.

Artist Statement

My work depicts desert landscapes of the southwest, particularly the far west of California. My oil paintings are an ode to that which I find experiential, such as fleeting cloud formations and colors the desert summons at sunset. While avoiding a stylized aesthetic, I’m also not interested in creating a painting that is realistic, but rather something that is naturalistic, believable, and authentic to how I see my subject.

Living in the Mojave Desert for the last 12 years has led me to an artful study of the region, though I’m fascinated and make work about deserts beyond the Mojave as well. Most of my work is done in the studio with my original reference material of photos and studies. I paint plein air to study the natural values, light, and shapes of the landscape, which informs my understanding of the subject while in the studio. I also collect my reference by keeping a camera handy while camping, hiking, and exploring places that interest me. These methods of spending time outdoors allow to me to absorb my surroundings by experiencing light changes, desert flora, weather, and atmosphere. In this way, when I’m working in my studio, I can draw on more than a visual memory, but also a feeling or sensation of the landscape, which is essential when trying to communicate my desert experience to the viewer.

In my practice, I explore the truth and purity of the wilderness. It’s timeless and perfect. I am humbled by rendering its beauty, and hope to draw attention to these aspects that are fading from the human experience.

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