Q&A with 2019 Dina Baker Fund Winner Glenda Green

Dina Baker and Glenda Green

Glenda Green is a Palm Beach County-based abstract artist and the 2019 winner of the Dina Baker Fund for Mature Female Artists.
We were fortunate to ask Glenda a few questions about her life and career as an artist as her solo exhibition started in the Council’s gallery earlier this month. Click below to read the interview, and don’t forget to see her work at the Council now through March 28, 2020.

Can you tell us about your background and your career as an artist? 

Glenda Green (GG): I grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, lived in Hawaii, Canada, Dallas and Germany until moving to Jupiter in 2007. My professional background was based in real estate until I adopted my daughter from China in 2003. I took a break from the work world to be a stay-at-home mom. 

My art career started quite recently. Prior to 2016, I was basically creating “doodles” with markers and collage material. I was studying at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach and took several workshops at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota.  In 2016, I started a painting mentorship with Nicholas Wilton, a San Francisco-based artist and founder of Art2Life. I started entering juried shows and had some success winning first place in my first two shows. I was approached by the Miller Gallery in Cincinnati last year and participated in the “Summer Swim” show which opened in June 2019. I’m currently being represented by them. I have been in several shows in The Palm Beaches including the Cultural Council’s “10×10,” “Modern Love” and biennial exhibitions; exhibits at Cornell Art Museum; participated in Continuum Palm Beach; and have a painting in the permanent collection at the Coral Springs Art Museum. 

Describe your process, from the first idea/inspiration to the final touch

GG: My paintings are inspired by the vibrant colors all around me in South Florida. My process is basically “anything goes” at first. I start building up layers of paint while not thinking too much about the final painting. This is the fun, “anything can happen” stage. I let the painting tell me what it’s going to be. Somehow, the colors and marks start to reveal something that seems to be working. I use a power sander to reveal the layers of paint in a way that is more interesting than I could create without it. In the end, when I can’t find anything else that needs to be “tweaked,” the painting is finished.

Who are some of your artistic influences?

GG: This is an easy question. There are two artists that have really influenced me.

Beatriz Milhaze, a Brazilian painter who creates “collages” with her paint. It’s an amazing process. Her paintings are vibrant, colorful and influenced by the botanical gardens she lives near in Rio de Janeiro.

The other artist is the late Rex Ray. He was a graphic artist who also created collages. His art is more graphic and precision-based. I think my art is a combination of influence from both of them: the more organic, free-flowing work of Milhaze and the more graphic, calculated art of Rex Ray.

What’s next for you and your work?

GG: I’ll continue painting and pursuing venues to show my work. I would also like to take some workshops to further my knowledge and skill level.

How does it feel to be the 2019 winner of the Dina Baker Fund for Mature Female Artists?

GG: Too good to be true! The timing of this amazing honor could not have been more perfect. 

First of all, Dina Baker is a woman who is an inspiration to me that will stay with me for the rest of my time. She took the initiative to create and fund this generous grant which has helped not only myself, but other female artists. Winning the grant has validated that I am truly on the right path as an artist. The whole package, from the grant to the solo show, has given me the encouragement to continue painting, and to make the best art I can.

Anything else you’d like to communicate to the Cultural Council, its members or other artists in the community?

GG: Just that I’m truly grateful to the Cultural Council for helping artists, I have benefited greatly from the relationship!