About Rena

Rena grew up in view of the water on Wrightsville Sound, a place of

salty ocean air, marshlands and serene natural beauty. This aesthetic 

informs all of her work and the colors of sunlit marsh grasses and

warm water run through all of her art.

As a child, she loved painting and drawing. After graduating from

UNCW, she ran a marine canvas business for many years while never

forgetting her desire to create art. When time allowed she would paint

on the left over boat canvas from the business to satisfy the urge to paint.

Finally,  she began her art career in earnest when she took a

plein air (which means out in the fresh air) workshop with John Poon. She began

taking a french easel around Wrightsville Beach, Southport and Bald Head Island to

paint outside. Taking a risk, she closed her marine canvas business and continued to

 study art and soon began winning awards in shows. She now lives in Southport, NC

with her daughter.


2009 – 1st Place Quick Draw - PAP–SE Paint Out - Franklin, NC

2008 - 3rd Place Landfall Art Show - Wilmington, NC

2009 - 1st Place - ArtExposure – Art of the Car – Hampstead, NC 

2019 - The People’s Choice Plein Air Award - Up Your Arts Paint Out - Southport, NC

2019 - The Tony Alderman Plein Air Award - Southport, NC

2020 - The Sunny Young Memorial Award - Oak Island, NC

2021 - 1st place - Arts by the Shore, Oak Island, NC

2021 - Water + Color Gallery Plein Air Paint Out - Wilmington, NC

2022 - 4th Place - Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival - Blowing Rock, NC 

2024 - selected for No Boundaries International Artist Residency NBIAR

Current Galleries

     Wilma Daniels Gallery - Wilmington, NC (exhibit for No Boundaries)

     Room Service - Bald Head Island, NC

     Lantana’s - Southport, NC   


2013 - Wrightsville Magazine - “Rena's World” - by Meghane Barnes Vol. 14, Issue 11, Page 42

2018 - Wrightsville Beach Magazine - “Light, Color, and Quick Movements”

 - by Kathryn Manis, June 2019, Page 59