Posted by Penny Tristram
CK Wood’s glorious poppy paintings are well-loved at Art2Arts. Though she’s a professionally trained artist with bags of talent, CK worked various jobs as she made her way to becoming a full-time painter. Here she reveals all about her process, inspirations, and artistic journey.
What were your experiences like at Leeds and Stockport colleges of art?
My time at college was essential for me – giving me time to experiment with different techniques, subjects and mediums. Studying surface pattern rather than fine art was a good choice for me too, as I loved the idea of texture in art and the experimentation involved in creating new techniques.
How did your interest in painting develop?
From a young age I always enjoyed drawing and painting – and excelling in art at school made me realise I did have a talent and I was encouraged by school to take it further.
How did you become interested in florals?
At college really. Previously I had enjoyed mainly drawing landscape and animals – but at college I had more mediums at hand and would experiment with water colours, acrylics and oils. And flowers were always available for us to paint, and I found I had a flair to paint them and loved the vibrancy of their colours and form.
How do you choose your subjects?
Quite often, it is based on how I am feeling that day, from what I have experienced around me – the colours and flowers I have seen and the feelings stirred in me. I do like to spend time within the peacefulness of nature, in a quite garden full of flowers, rolling hillsides or just a peaceful meadow or lake – watching nature and tuning into the beauty of it all.
Could you describe the process you go through in imagining, planning, and creating a painting?
I have a feeling or mood that I want to put to canvas – If I plan or think too much about what I want to create, then I lose the feeling, so I just go with the flow of the feeling that I have at that time and the painting develops that way. Though I guess I must follow some process, they are subconscious.
What are your favourite types of paints to use?
I mainly use acrylics – but I do have other mediums at hand which I also use to create the effects I want. Acrylics can be quite flat, so mixing them with texture mediums or gloss mediums can add vibrancy and depth. Oils, which I sometimes work with are great at blending colours.
Who and what are your main inspirations?
I love the moods and the romance created by the Pre-Raphaelites and the Impressionists. Though my inspiration is the natural environment around me.
What other jobs have you had?
Before making a living as a full time artist, as a single mum I had to keep working whilst trying to establish myself as an artist. I have had many jobs, mainly administrative work, but also call centre, debt collection, warehouse work and cleaning.
Do you every get creative blocks, and if so, how do you deal with them?
Occasionally I do yes – I get days when I have no inspiration or desire to paint what so ever. I sit down to paint and I am just at a loss to were to start and my heart isn’t in it. I have found the only way to overcome this, is to have a break from it. Otherwise its futile trying. Thankfully the desire and inspiration always does come back. If it didn’t then I would have to stop.
What advice do you have to young artists just starting out?
I think the best advice would be to keep trying and to keep establishing your style, keep true to yourself and your work and don’t let any knock backs effect you too much. If you work hard enough and keep at it you will eventually succeed.
See more of CK Wood’s popular poppies at her Art2Arts profile page.