Willena “Jeane” Belden is an artist living and working in Lexington, Kentucky. Her work has been shown regionally and nationally, featured in several books on watercolor and won numerous awards, recent venues include the St. James Art Fair in Louisville, Ky. and a solo show in Berea, Ky. “Personal Poetry-Beyond Language.” Her work is in many private collections.
For more than thirty years she and her husband Ronnie( a potter), have traveled around the country showing their work at various Art Fairs. During this time she has found inspiration for her work by absorbing the beauty and diversity of the countryside. Always a lover of nature she enjoys spending time at the ocean or hiking in the mountains and woodlands. The large urban cities hold a fascination for her as well, especially the time-worn textures of the buildings, many long abandoned and covered in graffiti and weeds. Over the years she has worked in many media extensively, including pencil, charcoal, oil, fiber, fine beadwork jewelry and clay, her current work is primarily focused on painting with acrylics and mixed media.
Willena has studied with many nationally known artists and teachers. She attended “Stretching Boundaries for Creative People” in 1995,’97 and ’99, a series of seminars sponsored by the Ohio Watercolor Society that brought together such well know artists as Maxine Masterfield, Marilyn Phyllis, Edward Betts, Louise Cadillac, Katherine Chang Liu and many others. They led workshops, gave lectures and individual critiques to those attending. In 2011 she traveled to Taos, New Mexico for a workshop developed by Fran Larson, Skip Lawrence, Katherine Chang Liu, Alex Powers and Christopher Schink, “Intensive Studies Seminar”, where she met 80 or so artists from the U.S., Canada and other countries around the world. This weeklong workshop helped artists think about and further develop content and design. These shared experiences with so many like-minded creative people brought her to new realizations about painting and how to paint the way she had always wanted to, for herself first with honesty and freedom of self-expression.
” I will always make art as a way of expressing my journey in this life and hope I can inspire others to be brave and trust their own hearts. When an artist shows you their work they are presenting parts of their soul good and bad, that takes courage.”
– Willena J Belden