Wendy Ahlm (formerly Creel) grew up in a small town north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From the time she could pick up a crayon, she wanted to be an artist.
Wendy received a BFA in printmaking and painting from Carnegie Mellon University. She moved to New Mexico in 1996 and fell in love with the big sky, never-ending views and spectacular sunsets.
In the early 2000s, Wendy printed monotypes of New Mexico landscapes at New Grounds Print Workshop in Albuquerque, NM. She was represented by New Grounds Print Workshop and Blaire Carnahan Fine Art in Santa Fe. Although she had not yet ever heard of the term ‘plein air,’ Wendy was enchanted with the land and continuously sought painting adventures outside.
Wendy’s art was flourishing, but life had other plans. Her young daughter presented with numerous health issues and Wendy put her art career on hold to raise her family and care for her daughter.
In 2015, driven by a desire to teach, Wendy began designing and assembling art kits for people of all ages to learn to paint. She sells them through her company, gotoartcamp.com, and teaches painting at both private and public events. Not only did her art kits inspire the public, they inspired Wendy to return to her path towards a full-time art career.
In October 2018, Wendy participated in her first-ever plein air painting event, the Red Rocks Arts Festival in Moab, UT. She won second place in watercolor for her piece, “Passage” and an honorable mention for her oil painting, “La Sal Station.” Later that year, she joined the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico and began painting in more plein air events.
In 2020, Wendy participated in the juried Santa Fe Plein Air Fiesta, where she won honorable mention for her pastel, “Passing By.” Later that year she won Honorable Mention in the PAPNM National Juried Members Exhibition for her watercolor, "Looking Up."
Wendy paints southwest landscapes in oil, pastel and watercolor. She is seized by light and color and moves through the world inspired by her surroundings. Her work is often infused with bright, unusual color. And, in case you want to know one of her secrets — she travels with a companion named Allosaurus, a small plastic dinosaur who likes to sneak in progress photos during her painting adventures.