Artist Q&A: Jennifer Wildermuth Reyes

Currently showing at the McKinley Arts & Culture Center is painter Jennifer Wildermuth Reyes, a California inhabitant whose series of realistic wildlife paintings invoke a connection between the natural world and the growth of mankind and how the two intertwine.  This show will be on display at the McKinley Arts & Culture Center from May 1st to June 16th 2017.


  • BFA  from University of Madison, Wisconsin
  • MFA from Academy of Art University,  San Francisco,  CA

What is your process?

I do many sketches on paper with color pencil during which I work out the details of the animal and the colors of the background and patterns before starting the formal painting or pen and ink drawing.

Goals for the show?

I hope to make people stop and think about their relationship to wildlife and the importance that animals, birds and insects hold in this world. I would like the audience to go away from viewing my work with a deeper appreciation and respect for our fellow earthlings.

McKinley Art Gallery with two bird pictures hanging on wall


Since I live in the woods I am surrounded by animals and birds all the time.   I also always pay special attention to the wildlife around me when I am traveling.    When I take notice of a creature I just watch it, noting how it moves and the patterns on its fur, feathers or scales.   Once I’ve gotten to really see an animal I know that I must add to my list of future artwork.  There are so many different species of Animalia that I won’t ever run out of subject matter.  As for the geometric pattern parts of my pieces I get the ideas for these from all over, it can be a pattern on a sweater someone is wearing or looking at how a basket is woven.


Natural Science Illustrations.   I love to study field guide books and posters.

What are you trying to communicate?

I think that these paintings and drawings are my way of creating sacred temples to these fleeting forms of insect, bird and mammal.  I’m attempting to pause the flow of time, study the form and function of each beast and then create a lasting and celebrated homage.

What can you tell us about your style?

I believe that my artwork is considered composite. This style of creative art combines a variety, or composite, of different styles.     I have the realism of the animals combined with the abstract geometry of the patterns.



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