EEthereal, eclectic, dreamy, soft, hard, sharp, tight, loose and melty, whispy, precise, abstract, and whimsical, nature: all words that describe the art of Abby Smith-Wildman and yet there are more. Abby began her life in art at a very young age. As an age when most were defining their world, Abby was defining the world around her.
She knew at the age of around 2 that art was one of her talents. She could draw and not just stick figures but recognizable objects, scenes and designs that made sense. She continued her sketch skills far into school and eventually landed in Ms Lee Ann Foster’s art class. Abby found her mentor and muse. Ms Foster found an art student who could bloom profusely and bloom Abby did!!! Ms Foster opened art mediums up to Abby that she embraced with a talent and fervor of amazing levels. Abby discovered a whole new life as an artist.
Abby is a 4th generation Kendall County resident and is proud of that fact and rightly so. She is happily married and she and her husband have 2 beautiful girls. Abby has found such peace and life in art. Her style is uniquely hers and attracts many of her friends who clamor for her art. Each specific piece speaks to someone who then must have it and purchases it from Abby, many times even before she has completed the piece. This is an interesting fact as when asked for pictures for this article, Abby had to scour her friends and request pictures of work she had sold or given as gifts. Abby is a woman who has experienced so much in life and has passions for it all.
Abby sees art as an extension of herself and the world around her. Abby made cards for her Oma and they were so treasured that she kept them forever. Abby has done some sculpting, canvases, paper, ink, paints of all types such as watercolors, acrylics, oils, and uses three dimensional items in some pieces. An interesting piece she has recently worked on for an exhibition is a mannequin decorated with various items Abby found as good examples of what she wanted the mannequin to say or represent. Abby was recently commissioned to create a sketch for a friend of a young woman as a gift who had gone through a horrible journey with cancer that resulted in a double mastectomy. The woman was a true survivor and her beauty and grace was poignantly captured in a photo and the friend who arranged the photo knew that Abby could capture the true heroine in the young woman in a painting. Abby successfully sketched the woman with such raw emotion and power capturing the “power, beauty of the fighter, and the vulnerability of having something so essential to what is the stereotypical prototype of a perfect woman basically being ripped from her.” The young woman is such a survivor and Abby captured it beautifully. Abby’s talent along with her understanding of serious health issues created a perfect sketch and one can only stare in awe of its surface beauty while marveling at the depth of its meaning.
Abby has Guillan-Barre Syndrome which affects her nervous system seriously debilitating ability to walk and function. After her diagnosis, Abby soon found herself paralyzed. Abby had to relearn everything…how to walk, and function again and she had just progressed to a successful point of function when she soon discovered she had a complication. A serious event began when Abby’s liver decided to quit working. She began feeling bad and spent an extended amount of time in the hospital. But they could not determine the exact problem until a friend of Abby’s strongly suggested a move to another facility. This facility quickly found the danger was an overworked, diseased, damaged liver. It was decided that Abby’s only chance for survival was a transplant and after a detailed process, Abby was listed. Abby was on the list and she was in line for 3 different livers. The first two were not meant for her and circumstances did not create a successful process until the third liver became available and the third one was the charm. Success!!!! Abby had a new liver and a new life. Abby recently celebrated her “new” 1 year birthday this past Christmas with family and friends in a candle ceremony with passion. Her friend who was conducive to getting her to the right medical facility encouraged Abby to resume painting while in the hospital recuperating. While Abby is first and foremost a talented artist, she strongly embraces organ donation and requests that if you know anyone or have contact with someone who is a transplant recipient please consider the gift of organ donation yourself. It only takes a few minutes of your time and can save so many lives. Please go to registerme.org and take the minute to fill out your donation organ gift. Your gift of organ donation can save or help up to 85 people with organ needs.
Abby was commissioned by a transplant company to do a painting to encourage and provide peace, tranquility and motivation for other transplant recipients. It was auctioned off and is now proudly displayed in the Kidney Transplant Program at Doctor’s Hospital in McAllen, Tx where Abby is pleased it inspires patients everyday!!!
Abby is quite content with her art process, she begins based on her feeling to express a feeling, place, object or a passion. Abby has been commissioned by many to provide art for a specific space, room or other. This involves the one requesting to provide a color scheme, environment for the art, and anything else relevant to the desired piece. Abby is proud of her piece that hangs in a law office in the Lincoln Center in San Antonio. Abby always uses new brushes for each piece a type of “new beginning” to start fresh each time. Abby finds inspiration from almost everything. She admires Salvadore Dali’s work. Dali was most famous for his use of placing objects in his art that did not necessarily meet in real life; such as melting clocks in a landscape painting. His unusual perception of life intrigued Abby and she felt a kinship through their similar works.
Joann Calk commissioned Abby for a pamphlet for her business and Abby designed and produced the entire pamphlet. Abby also finds inspiration from architecture. Shapes, designs, and colors all make for intrigue in Abby’s art. Abby is not just a painter. Her works find lines, spacing and texture coming together to create fabulous art designs that are unique and peaceful but sometimes bold and escaping the canvas or medium chosen. One must take a close look at the current mannequin Abby is working on for exhibition. It details something different for everyone who studies it. The mannequin is a representation of nature. Moss, sparkles, glue, iridescent materials, stormy skies and flowers are textures Abby used to create this beautiful piece. After Abby’s serious medical issues, she explained that she has noticed that colors are more vibrant and bolder. For a while prior to her liver transplant she felt that her work was a bit darker.
Abby begins with a sketch and chooses some colors. She starts painting and the masterpiece emerges sometimes as she has envisioned and sometimes as more. She enjoys realism and the abstract. She enjoys using lava stones, sand and paint spats textures in her creations. Abby never sketches with a pencil she just makes a mark with paint on her choice of canvas and what follows is absolutely remarkable and breathtaking. Abby finds whimsy in most everything and she prefers the unique. Pablo Picasso is another favorite of hers as is his quote “an artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, a passing shape or from a spider’s web.” Abby feels that this quote sums her up precisely.
Painting for Abby can come anywhere at any time and totally immerses her completely. Abby is a free painter, she does not work within any rules or boundaries. Painting is stress relief for her. Abby does not currently offer any set classes, one would need to contact her on her facebook page if there was a desire to learn from Abby at Abby Wildman Art Lessons. The painting process varies for each person and Abby insists that the process is quite relaxing and peaceful. One just needs an inspiration or a mark on the canvas to start. Abby assures anyone interested in learning to paint or bringing out their inner painter to not be intimidated by any fears just start. Abby can also be reached by leaving a message at 210-884-8096. Art always speaks to the soul and Abby Smith Wildman’s art speaks loudly, confidently, and boldly!!