Nancy Wood is Art Today Magazine’s most *liked* and *retweeted* social media subject ever! Her vibrant works naturally draw the eye due to their crisp form and stunning palettes. We caught up with her ahead of her printmaking launch at Lumas Gallery, London, on 27th September.
Nancy Wood’s artistic career has taken various paths to the present time. Beginning with a career in industry – producing large-scale watercolours in her spare time – she then moved on to painting abstract art full-time. With successes highlighted by Grand Designs (Channel 4) and Elle magazine, at length 5 of her works were chosen to adorn Cunard’s ‘Queen Victoria’ cruise liner.
More recently, Nancy has spent time designing and making her own bespoke furniture range, but it is in her latest incarnation that she feels most in her element. The manipulation of poured paint and ink – and the ensuing pattern and effects – are what fuel her creative juices. She states:-
‘Having long known that pigments have different characteristics, I use the viscosity of fluid acrylics to harness their power to attract or repel each other as they vie for position in a flowing journey of evolving patterns…’.
Indeed, industry is now so captivated by the cutting-edge modernity of Nancy’s works that, in 2015, Adobe selected one as an interface background for the new ‘Android Wear’ watch.
Please could you tell us more about your upcoming launch at Lumas Gallery, London?
I am excited about the launch because Lumas is such a well-known international company with 43 galleries worldwide. They contacted me last year having selected 3 artworks for limited edition prints. They will be launching simultaneously in 14 locations and I will be doing an interview at the London gallery on the evening of 27th September 2017.
What is your favourite art medium?
Making pigments interact in various mediums has been my obsession for many years and these characteristics seem most apparent in fluid water media and acrylics.
What stages do your paintings go through before they become a finished piece?
My work is a process involving pouring fluid acrylics mixed with ink that, when manipulated with a palette knife, create micro compositions of bubbly and lacy patterns. I photograph these compositions, enlarge and then print them onto canvas or stretched heavy silk before hand-finishing, to bring them to life.
What do you hope your paintings convey?
My work seems to convey something different to every viewer, but most see perceptions of organic evolution, be it in images from space, sea or nature but always something living and moving.
What is your favourite colour combination/palette?
Complementary colours are my favourite. Although challenging to paint they produce an interplay of tones when they interact yet retain visual excitement and tension. Orange and purple are a great example of near opposite colours that enhance each other perfectly.
What made you take up painting full-time?
Painting full time has been my lifelong intention and when the opportunity presented itself there was no looking back. That was 20 years ago and I am still hooked!
Have you ever studied art formally or did you come to the profession via another route?
No, I have only studied art informally. My experimental style of art really involves a lifelong study and I will never stop learning. I am also lucky enough to have a retired Royal College Professor, Dante Leonelli as my mentor.
What exhibitions have your previously taken part in?
A great many group exhibitions and a solo exhibition at Store Street Gallery, London, last October.
What is your most common inspiration?
Inspiration comes from deep space photography, microscopic images of the natural world and from the paint itself who’s naturally forming patterns can be quite literally awe inspiring.
If one of your paintings could be hung anywhere in the world, where would you like that to be?
In the collections of those who really appreciate my work. What could be better? [Absolutely, Nancy!]
Where would you like your art career to go in the long-term?
I want my artistic career to be successful enough to give me the justification to continue spending most of my waking hours experimenting with paint and hopefully keep breaking new ground.
What are your creative goals for the long-term future?
My quest has just begun. I want to try and understand why pigments react as they do. I would like to find out why red pigment effects are explosive and transitory when poured while blues and whites form patterns gradually. Yellows need persuading not to disappear under other colours and black seems to play a supporting role to all other colours. With this enhanced understanding, I will be able to build new compositions strategically.
Who would you most like to collaborate with on a painting?
It would be wonderful to collaborate with a really inspired film maker as my work has endless possibilities while still moving. It would build a complete picture of the process from which I can only capture a moment in time.
Who is your favourite artist?Amongst my favourite artists are Paul Jenkins because his work stimulated me to use poured paint techniques to develop my particular brand of pigment alchemy that I first developed using water colours. Helen Frankenthaler inspired me to take risks and I will forever be grateful to her for that.
If you could ask an ancient artist to dinner, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Salvador Dali who by all accounts was highly intelligent and a great character. I would be well entertained!
We are confident Nancy’s striking, seminal works will grace influential settings for years to come! Art Today wishes her every success with her upcoming printmaking launch at Lumas Gallery – we will be there!
[Credits: nancywoodartanddesign.com; Twitter – @nancywoodart1]