Trena McNabb

"I am passionate about native plants and animals - and my paintings. I want to tell stories with my art, showing the ways all elements of nature connect and depend on each other. Part of the process is researching the subject matter, which enriches my understanding of how magically things appear."

Trena McNabb's unique blending of science, realism, and fantasy creates original art where vibrant color and stark white paint compete, contrast, and ultimately dance together in breathtaking harmony. The multilayered montages of brightly lit, realistic, and thematically painted scenes contribute to her distinctive style. This contrast creates a light and bright impression on the viewer.

In many of Trena McNabb's paintings she leaves the natural canvas and bright white Gesso primer in the negative spaces. She especially likes to combine vibrant colors and stark white sections. The contrast creates a breathtaking harmony. As the images overlap it creates edges and windows which adds many layers to the story and becomes deeper the longer one studies the work.

McNabb lives surrounded by a wildflower meadow and gardens that she has cultivated as part of her study of the images she wants to paint. Her studio is well lit by skylights and the surrounding white on the walls and floor. She allows no finished works in her studio to distract from what is in progress. Trena is self-taught, beginning her career as a commercial artist who painted on the side.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Piedmont International Airport; NC Personalities-Portraits, Greensboro, NC, 2018
Inspiration from Nature; Davis Gallery; Sawtooth School of Visual Art, Winston Salem, NC, 2017
Greenhill Center for NC Art, Winter Show, Grensboro, NC, 2016
The Art of NC Native Plants; Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, Blowing Rock, NC, 2016
NC Museum of Natural Sciences; Transparent-Overlapping Images of Nature, Raleigh, NC, 2015