He’s already got the frustrated artist’s fingers-through-the-straight-blondish-hair move. And he takes his teacher’s “focused” description all the way to “obsessed.”
Nash Wrenn says anything that’s not art is a distraction. But not his family, not his girlfriend, he’s quick to say.
He does know that the maths and sciences matter too, and he’ll get a business degree from Coastal. But that’s only to learn how to brand and market his art.
Wrenn’s work, “Sun and Moon” got second place 3D in the Myrtle Beach Art Museum’s Horry-Georgetown County High Schools 20th Annual Juried Art Exhibition.
Wrenn’s a senior at Carolina Forest High School who lives in The Farm with his mother, Teresa, and his siblings. He’s about two minutes older than his sister Samantha and about four minutes older than the third triplet, Brandon.
His first name is really Thomas, but Nash, his middle name, is his grandmother’s maiden name and he likes it better. Family means a lot to him, especially since his father, Brad, passed away in 2014.
He remembers his Dad telling him that if he does what he loves, he’ll never work a day in his life, and that’s why he sees art, specifically tattoo art, as his career choice.
Wrenn’s father was in the military, which exposed Wrenn to “Navy guys with tattoos” and he says he loves that look, and admits that he’s “obsessed” with creating it.
“Sharp lines and strong angles and as much detail as possible” appeals to the 18-year-old, as does the idea that “once a tattoo is on someone’s arm, they’ll always carry my work and can’t take it off.
“My Dad drew these really cool pictures of Batman and Superman and he got me books showing me how to do that nerdy stuff and I learned,” he says.
Wrenn’s father took him to the library to check out art books and his mother made sure he had all the art materials he needed.
Today he admires the art of Francis Bacon, who Wrenn says “threw paint everywhere in his studio, a crazy creative environment with vivid reds and dark browns.
“He captured whatever his demons were, and you can feel his emotions coming through, and I want to do that.”
Wrenn’s also a fan of Christopher Lovell, whose work the high school senior describes as “demonic, horror art.”
Never quite content with his own work, he’ll rarely say a piece is finished.
“Instead of spending time with his friends at lunch, he comes to my room, pulls out his latest piece and gets to work,” his art teacher, Kristen Dutka, says.
“He’ll work and work and come back a month later and work some more on one piece. He wants it to be unique and perfect, and he won’t stop until it is.”
Wrenn’s winning piece, “Sun and Moon,” is a two-sided portrait of himself in black and white charcoal and his girlfriend, Lorai Alemar, done with oils.
“The red and warm colors in her face mimic the sun, and the moon is black and gray and white, and the symbolism is cool,” he explains.
The work started as a self-portrait. “I wanted to move my face and make it look weird, but then I wanted to do the same thing for her face.”
His art teacher, who says, “He’s the student you dream about having in your art class,” helped him create the wooden frame for the piece.
“I want to prove to my Dad and to everyone, that I can create for a living because I’ll be doing what I love and art is what I love,” Wrenn says.
“I want to die when I’m 80 with a paintbrush in my hand.”