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Wendy Rader-Konofalski

Wendy Rader-Konofalski

she / her / hers
Kirkland, United States


I was born in 1953 and grew up in a small town in California a short distance from San Francisco. After graduating from high school, I embarked on a long higher education track. I have degrees from The University of San Francisco (BA in English Literature), University of Chicago (MA in English and American Literature), and the University of Hanover, Germany (Ph.D. in German Literature and philosophy).

I lived in Germany for 8 and a half years after finishing my Masters Degree in Chicago. There I studied for my doctorate and taught American literature courses at the University of Hanover. I met my Polish husband there. He had escaped Soviet Poland in 1980 and worked as an architect in Switzerland for a year before coming to Hanover. We were married in 1984.

When my mother passed away in late 1984, my husband and I decided to move to the Seattle area to be close to my father, who lived on San Juan Island. We moved to Redmond in 1985 and then to Kirkland in 1996 and have lived here ever since. My husband designed our house and we are very happy here.

I taught English at several community colleges between 1986 and 1990, after which I took a job with the Washington branch of the American Federation of Teachers. I was a lobbyist and an organizer for 15 years. I took a job at the Washington Education Association and worked there as a lobbyist until my retirement in 2018.

In 2019 I had a near death experience and was hospitalized for several months.
My husband thinks that when I was oxygen deprived for several minutes, something in my brain must have changed--that's the only way we can understand how, from one day to the next, I began painting and have continued it unabated since then. Especially since I had never painted before and never felt any desire to do so.

We love living in Kirkland, Washington. My husband and I walk, ride bikes, hike, and share a love of literature and reading. But my greatest passion now is my painting.

Artist Statement

I am a late-blooming painter who is learning "on the job." I started painting really quite out of the blue about two years ago and have painted almost everyday since. I learn something new everyday and spend hours learning from the masters, old and new, that I find online. I watch, I study, I experiment and I try to find the deepest and most beautiful ways of interpreting the world and the mind.

My education reflects a lifelong love of literature and philosophy with a masters degree in American and English literature from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in German literature and philosophy from a German University, My challenge to myself is to draw on this background and find ways of translating those loves into the visual world of art. Most of my life so far has been focused on writing and words. Now I want to translate that into the visual and sensual world of art.

I enjoy painting landscapes and love distilling them into abstractions of form , shape, design, and color. I have experimented with collages and multi-media creations and am drawn to that as well.

I love other people's work and I take pleasure in learning from them . I have learned that no matter how I may try to use techniques and colors of other artists my art always turns out unexpectedly unique. I am confident that no matter how many artists there are in the world, each and and every one imprints their won DNA on their work. There is room for all of us.

As I move forward, I plan to have a series of works that attempt to translate some philosophical dilemmas into my paintings. I envision a series of works inspired by Nietzsche, Kafka, Sartre, Kierkegaard and others.

My goal is to paint my heart out and add my artistic contributions to the larger community of artists and art lovers. There is as much room in the world for art as there are people who wake up everyday wanting to create it. I am one of those people.

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