Chicago artist achieves detail in paintings

Without warning, Chicago artist Ed Wentz lost his sight in one eye. It altered the way he painted, but details can still be seen in his work.

Ed Wentz has been painting for nine years, and most his watercolor paintings are scenic images of places in Chicago.

"I don't like to use the word 'hobby.' It's enjoyment, you know, and stuff like that. It's just something I like to do," he said.

Wentz spent most of his life working as an art director in an advertising firm.

"Then, I just sort of painted a little bit, and then finally, Ray Wade, who owns that Ray College of Design, saw some of my paintings and wanted me to have a show. That's where it all started, and people wanted to buy them, and I said, 'Oh my goodness,'" Wentz said.

Three years ago, things changed.

"I was just driving along North Avenue, and my eye went out. And it's a partial vision. So, my depth perception's way off,'" the artist said.

Although Wentz's vision loss has not affected his work, it has altered some things in his life, like driving his car.

"That's the only thing that I feel impaired [about] is I'm not comfortable driving. I can drive, but I don't like it. So, I feel I'm not even going to get my driver's license renewed," said Wentz.

The artist's studio is located at Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, where William Ewers is the executive director.

"I love his work. It's very Chicago-oriented. I, personally, love landscape, cityscapes especially are my favorite," Ewers said. "It's got illustrator touch to it 'cause he was an art director for years."

Ed Wentz sells in work to interested buyers.

"I charge about $145 for these paintings. I frame them very inexpensively. The frames run around nine bucks, you know," said Wentz.

"This one is terrific. So, when I have to patch on, everything is in focus. If not, it's like a pair of binoculars out of focus. It's very comfortable. It's not hindrance at all," said the artist.

Ed Wentz's paintings will be part of Palette and Chisel's upcoming art show running July 25 to August 3 at 1012 North Dearborn in Chicago. The telephone number is 312/642-5939.

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