Meet the artist: Trisha Wood
- Credit: Archant
The Maidstone-based Reiki therapist turned artist, shows how highly playful experimentalist creates innovative techniques
For the past four years Maidstone-based artist Trisha Wood has used her son’s bedroom as a studio. “It gives me my son’s energy,” says the former Reiki therapist who spends her days painting in a room with window hangers and crystals that sparkle light.
She likes to starts work at 7am, when the birds are singing. “Summer is my making-hay time. The sunshine and warm weather inspires, makes me want to work outside,” says Trish, who also paints in her garden facing Fant Wildlife Trust, where there is plenty of birdsong to entertain.
Conversely, she also enjoys visiting London and particularly loves Covent Garden and Camden, but also loves to come home to Kent.
Trisha has been in two London shows, the Parallax at Chelsea Town Hall and at Battersea Arts Centre, for which she created her favourite piece ‘Golden Battersea.’
Of this exciting work, she says: “It just flowed and then it was commissioned and bought by Battersea Power Station and will be hanging in their information centre when completed.”
Trisha likes to do architectural-style cityscapes, but will also create quirky animals in pen and ink, citing the cat painter Louis Wain as an inspiration. Her mother was a Louis Wain addict and passed on the love of caricature cats.
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Trisha is almost exclusively self-taught, although when she first took up painting she visited tutors for guidance with shadowing and perspective. Formerly a Reiki therapist, she says that art simply chose her, causing her to take an almost complete U-turn in her life. She now aims to live by her art, working full time, painting and conducting workshops.
Trisha’s chosen medium is watercolour, with which she builds up her cityscapes and then complements with acrylic. She finds the media flexible and easy to use. “It’s easy to change if you make a mistake, you can even wipe off with wet wipes and start again on canvas. On paper it’s not so easy, however when dry you can erase the watercolour.
“Through experimenting I paint the canvas first with watercolour, leave it to dry and then wash it off under the tap. This gives a nice effect of run marks which I use as shadows. It’s all playing and experimenting. Like most things it came through a mistake. The first time there was a sort of tie-dye effect. But the mistake has been useful”.
Trisha’s parents were both ‘hobby artists’ and she uses her father’s paintbrushes; she has also developed a technique using a credit card, which she discovered by accident as she tried to create a straight line.
She started working on artist cards, two inches by three inches, and her first canvas was 12 by 16 inches. Her biggest work is 20 by 30 inches and she feels the bigger size permits more expression.
Often working from photos, she will create images of Kent icons such as oasts and Tonbridge and Leeds Castles. She loves reflections, so often her buildings will be reflected in water.
There are rituals before Trisha begins to paint. She will meditate and admits to being slightly obsessive-compulsive, so all her requisite items are laid out neatly. She will print pictures and make a collage until she spots the image that she likes best.
There will often be gold or some metallic substance in her work, so not surprisingly another of her favourite artists is Gustav Klimt. Trisha’s other artistic heroes include Lowry, whom she finds moving and Salvdor Dali, as she feels he “gave you permission to do what you like.” She enjoys the work of Ralph Steadman, but it seems that Klimt is most revered.
Trisha now says she couldn’t imagine living without painting. Asked her advice for a young artist, she says it applies to all artists.
“Just go for it, don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t paint. Don’t hold back on a desire. If you don’t dream, you don’t get anywhere.” wGet in touch
Contact Trisha on 07861 801063 or visit: www.trishawood.com, where you can also book for her intriguing painting-with-credit-card workshops.
Trisha’s work can be seen at Nucleus Arts Centre, 75 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX, 01634 812108, www.nucleusarts.comTrisha is also at the Wrotham Farmers’ Market on the first and third Friday of each month, held at the Rose and Crown, High Street, Wrotham TN15 7AE, 01732 885839
She runs workshops at the Grain Store, Brenley Farm, Brenley Lane, Boughton, Faversham ME13 9LY, www.grainstorestudio.co.uk/classes.