Today we're talking with Wendy Laird, author of Rambling Squirrel
FQ: Wendy, the thoughts that you add to your book about taking the time to stop and look around are extremely true. Are you a nature lover? Do you spend a great deal of time outside being a part of the peace?
Yes! I love the wild outdoors and all the changing seasons. Growing up, my parents always taught us to smell, touch and admire all the awesome beauty of nature. I find serenity while hiking in the redwoods or paddle boarding the ocean.
FQ: Your art is listed on the AL (Art League) in Santa Cruz for purchase. Are you a member of this organization that encourages visual arts? And, if so, can you tell us a little bit about their goals and the services they offer to artists?
Yes! I am a member of the Santa Cruz Art League. They are an awesome organization committed to bringing visual art to the community. They offer affordable art classes, host fun gallery receptions, have a theatre and award prizes for some art events. The gallery exhibit rotates monthly and run the range from textiles and ceramics to fine oils on canvas.
FQ: Your works, including "Forbidden Fruit" and "Orchard Beauty” are extremely beautiful. Do you find all your inspiration in nature?
Yes! I love to re-create nature through art and give it a little artistic twist! I enjoy painting fruit, flowers or fish close up and pump up the colors and shadows and add gels and glass beads and other elements to give the canvas some texture and flair. A visual piece of nature with a kick!
FQ: When you look towards the future, are you continuing on the art path with any events or showings that our readers could learn about? And, is writing going to also be a continued pursuit for you with more children’s books to come?
It has been a thrill to write a children's book and do local readings and book signings. I am considering writing a future book that has an ocean theme. We live by the harbor and there are so many activities and a lot of marine wildlife and shore birds in the area. It would be a fun adventure to create a children's story about the sea. Perhaps I could paint the illustrations in bold acrylics or a printmaking technique like lithography.
FQ: The art world in Santa Cruz seems to be a rather large part of the community. What can you tell us of the support that is offered there? Such as, would you recommend Santa Cruz to other artists, performers, etc.?
Santa Cruz is a mecca for artists, musicians, and authors. The town supports a top college, UCSC, which has been a breeding ground for young, creative minds and hosts an incredible art department which includes theatre and film making. There are many adult ed and childrens art classes offered in town and some great local theatre classes and preformances too. There is an annual Shakespeare festival that's widely popular and October brings our local Open Studios event. Santa Cruz also hosts a monthly first Friday art walk through town where galleries, cafes and retail stores open their doors at night for art admirers to view or purchase. It's a stellar and supportive art community and I especially like the free summer concerts on the beaches, outdoor movie nights and plentiful art and wine events during the warmer months.
FQ: The world of juvenile fiction - not to mention young adult - has become a HUGE part of the marketplace. Have you every considered writing a YA novel, perhaps incorporating your amazing skill and creativity in that area?
Sure, I have considered writing for young adults with something along the lines of enviormental education done in a beautiful, entertaining, and creative way. Although I prefer creating books with a storyline that embraces a beautiful piece of art. I have many new ideas and have really enjoyed creating my first children's book.
FQ: Thank you so much for your time. I truly loved the imagination and immense beauty of Rambling Squirrel, and I wish you all the best with your future pursuits.
Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. It has been an honor to receive your "Feathered Quill Be Kind to Animals Award" and I appreciate all your glowing kudos towards my Rambling Squirrel book. Take care!