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Wendy in her studio, getting some inspiration from her sweet dog, Ella.

Featured Article


Local Artist, Wendy MacCordy, Juggles all Three Beautifully

Article by Dana Epstein Altman

Photography by Abby Cole Photography

Originally published in Fairfield Lifestyle

Born with an innate talent to create, Fairfield resident, Wendy MacCordy, can’t imagine being a painter without continuing her education as a student AND also sharing her expertise as a teacher. Wendy’s specialty is watercolor which she loves for its spontaneous beauty, yet she has recently expanded her repertoire to oil painting, particularly with signature pet portraits that ooze with personality. “When I paint a pet, the most important nuance is in the eyes. They truly capture the soul and essence of the animal,” says Wendy. 

Wendy spends her time teaching, attending workshops, and painting commissioned artwork. She loves capturing those special moments by putting her passion for painting into creating heartwarming portraits of pets, homes, and landscapes. Her paintings fill the walls of both private homes and corporate collections throughout the country. We were lucky enough to catch up with Wendy in her Fairfield studio to learn more.

Did you always want to be an artist? 

Yes! I was creating art as far back as I can remember. I graduated from Dickinson College with a B.A. in Fine Arts and Art History then moved to NYC, specifically because I wanted to be in the art industry. I landed a job during the day at Chanel, Inc., and went to Parsons School of Design at night. With my increased job responsibilities, my art started to take a back seat, but I knew I always wanted to get back to a career as an artist. I feel so fortunate that now I can devote my time to both painting and teaching art.  

What’s your favorite subject to paint? 

I have always loved animals, particularly dogs. I was constantly drawing my dog and cat when I was a little girl and still have those original drawings in my studio from when I was 5 years old! Also, I really love painting landscapes too—usually with a water scene and boats.  

Who or what are your biggest artistic influences?

My mentor, Arlene Skutch. She was always encouraging and passionate with an infectious enthusiasm. Arlene was a very positive, giving teacher—I would like to think that I carry her values with me in my teaching. She was painting until she passed away in her late 80’s, always with a smile on her face.

What do you hope people feel when they see your work?

I want them to feel an emotional connection and not just think that it’s a pretty painting. 

Where do you find inspiration?

I am a very curious person, so inspiration is everywhere. I see everything around me as a potential painting.

How do you continue to develop your art skills?

I take art workshops with other professional artists. It’s hard to paint by yourself and it really is great to have camaraderie with fellow artists where we can give each other encouragement as well as suggestions.

How did you get involved in teaching? 

I started teaching locally 12 years ago. For me, it’s a natural extension of being an artist. I took Charles Reid’s watercolor workshops at Silvermine Art Center. He recommended me for a teaching position there which I’ve been doing exclusively for over 9 years. I teach adult classes, middle school and high school students, as well as special needs adults. My main goal in teaching is to have all my students find their individual style. I always tell them that their best work will come from painting something that they love, which is different for everyone. I don’t want my students to leave class painting like me, but rather to take my inspiration and passion and to become a confident painter on their own. This is what makes teaching so rewarding for me. 

Who are you favorite artists? 

John Singer Sargent and Charles Reid for watercolor and Richard Schmid for oil.

Does living in Fairfield influence your work?

Yes, I love living in Fairfield! I run or walk my dog to the beach almost every morning and it’s when my best artistic ideas come. The beach and boats during the summer inspire many of my paintings, especially Southport Harbor.  I’ve also been commissioned to paint several homes in Fairfield over the years—it’s great to drive past those homes and reflect on my work.

  • Wendy in her studio, getting some inspiration from her sweet dog, Ella.
  • One of Wendy's beautiful landscape paintings.
  • Wendy at work in her studio.
  • Wendy and Ella proudly showcasing one of her many beautiful paintings.
  • Just some of Wendy's pet portraits.