Naydene has been transitioning her theme, as reflected in her current exhibition. Having started this series three years ago with an in depth focus on people who've succumbed to their weakness, depressions and addictions, she flipped the melancholy aspect on its head and added some comic relief. Punchy headlines and carefully incorporated text draw in and intrigue the viewer. Hidden symbols crop up unexpectedly. Yet, may go unnoticed by those who are naive to their meaning. Many of her subjects are iconic celebrities. Some living. Others having met tragic deaths. Some of her artwork portrays local characters who have inspired the artist; faces created by merging several anonymous personalities, some recognizable, some not.

The artist's intention arouses emotion. Whether it be happiness, sadness, humor or a mixture of all. The late Heath Ledger as the "Joker" is a particularly ominous portrait with sinister floating skulls embellishing the background. Yet its tag line. "Why so serious"... brings a sense of relief to the viewer and pretty much sums up the show in general.

Naydene's unusual combination of mixed media teamed with her signature encaustic technique (blending oil paint and beeswax) creates an uncommon texture and brilliant pop of colour to her work.


Born in Canada, Naydene studied at the OCAD University in Toronto and Florence, Italy where she graduated with honors in the figurative discipline.

Her work reflects a search for reconciliation between apparent contradictions such as creation and destruction, sexuality and spirituality, light and dark and accidental and intentional. Naydene’s technical process reflects the dichotomies that she explores, such as creation and destruction.

“I create my pieces in a process that involves layering, collaging, glazing and painting elements together. I then “destroy” certain parts of the image by stripping away some of the layers to reveal the contradicting techniques. I work with a blend of beeswax and oil paint, known as encaustic, which gives a beautiful texture and depth of color to my work.”

Naydene’s current paintings draw the viewer in with an unnerving attraction. She captures her subjects with an agitated sensitivity that exposes her command of the medium, unique color sense and expressive quality. Naydene has had many solo and group exhibitions and her work has won numerous awards. She lives on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean.



· 1993 - 94 OCAD University, Florence, Italy
· 1991 - 93 OCAD University, Toronto, Ontario Honors Graduate

Solo Exhibitions
• September 2018 - The Library, Covent Garden, London
• 2017 La Perception - 22 Rue Vernier, Paris
• 2017 Pop-Phiz to Pelicans Dreams International Art Gallery, Philipsburg, St. Maarten
• 2016 Pop-Phiz, Copper and Lumber Hotel, Antigua
· 2012 Art at the Ridge
· 2012 First Impressions, Jumby Bay, Antigua
· 2011 Abracadabra, English Harbour, Antigua
· 2010 December - Al Porto Restaurant, Jolly Harbour, Antigua
· 2010 Al Porto Restaurant, "Love Red", Jolly Harbour, Antigua
· 2009 Copper and Lumber Hotel, "Recent Paintings", English Harbour, Antigua
· 2007 Copper and Lumber Hotel, "Escape Artists", English Harbour, Antigua
· 2006 Recent Paintings Silver Bridge, Canada
· 2005 Recent Paintings, Harmony Hall, Antigua
· 2004 The Red Door, Silver Bridge Gallery, Canada
· 2002 Veni Vidi Gallery, Port Perry, Ontario
· 2001 Ontario Power Generation, Pickering, Ontario
· 1998 Central Bank of Aruba, Oranjestad, Aruba
· 1996 Artishock Art Gallery, "Doorways and Passages", Oranjestad, Aruba
· 1995 Aritshock Art Gallery, "Recent paintings", Oranjestad, Aruba

Group Exhibitions
• 2013 Broadway Gallery, New York
· 2011 Art at the Ridge, Juried Exhibition – Award “Best Piece in Show”
· 2011 Art Exhibition, Jumby Bay, Antigua
· 2010 Harmony Hall, Antigua
· 2010 Fig Tree Drive, Antigua
· 2009 Harmony Hall, Antigua
· 2009 Fig Tree Drive Gallery, Antigua
· 2002 Art and Soul Gallery, Pickering, Ontario
· 2002 Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts Juried Show, Uxbridge, Ontario
· 2002 Muskoka Arts Spring Members Show, Bracebridge, Ontario
· 2002 The Lindsay Gallery, Annual Juried Show
· 2001 PineRidge Art Council, Ajax Juried Show, Ajax, Ontario
· 2001 Veni Vidi Art Gallery, "Horse Power", Port Perry, Ontario
· 2001 Muskoka Arts Annual Summer Show, Bracebridge, Ontario
· 2001 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto, Ontario
· 2001 Oshawa Art Association, Annual Juried Art Show, Robert MaLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
· 2001 Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts Juried Show, Uxbridge, Ontario
· 2001 Muskoka Arts and Crafts Spring Members Show, Bracebridge, Ontario
· 2001 Veni Vidi Art Gallery, "Doors and Windows", Port Perry, Ontario
· 2001 Scarborough Arts Council, Annual Juried Show, Scarborough, Ontario
· 2000 Veni Vidi Art Gallery, "The Red Show", Port Perry, Ontario
· 2000 PineRidge Art Council, Ajax Juried Show, Ajax, Ontario
· 1998 Eterno Gallery, Group Show, Oranjestad, Aruba
· 1997 Artishock Art Gallery, Collective Works, Oranjestad, Aruba
· 1996 Harmonia Art Gallery, Juried Show, San Nicholas, Aruba
· 1996 Eterno Gallery, Group Show, Oranjestad, Aruba
· 1992-1995 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto, Ontario
· 1994 Sheridan Hotel, "Tribute to Impressionism", Toronto, Ontario
· 1994 Ontario College of Art, "Arte Firenze", Toronto, Ontario
· 1994 Ontario Collage of Art, "Arte Firenze", Florence, Italy

· 2011 “Best Piece in Show” Award – Art at the Ridge, Juried Exhibition
· 2002 "Members choice Award for Best in Show", Muskoka Arts Spring Members Show, Bracebridge
· 2002 Juror's Choice Award, The Lindsay Gallery, Annual Juried Show
· 2001 "Best in Show" Oshawa Art Association, Annual Juried Show
· 2001 "Best Mixed Media" Oshawa Art Association, Annual Juried Show
· 2001 "Award of Merit for Oil and Wax Painting" Muskoka Arts Members Show, Bracebridge
· 2000 "Honorable Mention" PineRidge Art Council, Annual Juried Show, Ajax
· 1994 "Proficiency in painting, Mrs. W.O. Forsyth Award", OCA, Toronto
· 1994 "Proficiency in figure draftsmanship, Eric Freifeld Award", OCA, Toronto
· 1993 "Excellence in Fine Art, Grafix Scholarship Award", Toronto, Ontario
· 1992 "Proficiency in Fine Art, Carol and Morton Rapp Foundation Award", OCA, Toronto

Palm Trees Painting

Naydene Gonnella, Artist


Where to purchase Naydene's artwork

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