About Rena

Rena Doud started her painting career in Orange County, California when her sons entered high school. She enrolled at Orange Coast College where she studied art and was profoundly impressed with the works of abstract expressionist artists who painted “from the inside” like Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell. Rena finished her college career at the University of Washington and spent many years living and painting in Washington State before settling in Morro Bay, California.

How Rena Works:


“I work in an exploratory manner which can be both frustrating and very rewarding. After laying down a stroke on paper or canvas, I view it from all four sides to see where I want to go next. Sometimes my second stroke makes me think I’ve ruined a good possibility, and I also know that there are other thoughts ahead so I press forward.

I explore many possibilities by frequently rotating the surface in all four perspectives to see if it is in balance and to further discover the forms, design and feelings which are beginning to develop as strokes are added.

I make a conscientious effort to not go with the first or even second set of possibilities because I know it is an evolutionary process and that the painting will tell me when it is finished. This process is very time consuming, but “the doing” is as important as the final result. The method allows me to discover what I feel rather than what I see.

Lately, female figures are appearing in some form in my work. For example; “Barriers” and “Two Figures Back to Back” are different expressions of this form which also convey a personal and social statement.”



“Painting assists me in understanding myself and the world around me.”

Rena Doud - Artist

Artist's Statement:

“My paintings are an embodiment of my life. Without anything in mind, I start to paint. The exciting part is not knowing where I am going with it. The painting reveals to me parts of my life and background that have long been submerged; my heritage, religion, lifestyle, and observations long forgotten. These images and thoughts come to the forefront through the medium of paint. The process can be a wonderful cleansing. I paint in a symbolic and abstract manner so that the viewer’s first impression is a non-personal one. Then they bring their own thoughts and feelings to the viewing.”