Kirstin Wood / About

“Once upon a time there was a ginger art student called Kirstin who wasn't sure she had what it took to become a fine artist. Instead she trained as a costume designer, but she soon discovered that she was not keen on being nice to actors. So she decided that painting scenery was more up her street. Kirstin was a lucky ginger scenery painter and painted scenery happily for many, many years. One day, after she had married her handsome prince, Kirstin had a beautiful baby girl and no longer had the time or energy to run up and down ladders carrying big buckets of paint. So for several years she concentrated on being a mummy, doing lots of messy painting with her little girl! Until one day she grew sad. Her very wise mum said she knew how Kirstin could be happy again - all she needed to do was start painting! So Kirstin transformed the garden shed into an art studio and painted one picture a week for 6 months. After the 6 months was up she held an exhibition for everyone to come and see what she had painted! Lots of paintings were bought and Kirstin lived happily ever after! ”

 

But as we all know - quite often the end of the fairytale is just the beginning of the story… In September 2014 I decided to pick up a paintbrush and start painting for myself for the first time in ages. I had been working as a commercial artist for years but hadn't painted for pleasure since I was pregnant in 2005. I hoped that if I put in a bit of effort to develop my own style then I could become a successful artist. I needed to set myself a deadline so I planned an exhibition for 6 months after I started to paint. I had the self imposed challenge to paint one painting a week until the date of my exhibition. It worked really well for me and I painted every spare moment of the day. I developed my style and ended up with a really strong body of work. I have recently started to blog (how is that even a real word?) and I write about my life as a full time artist.

 

I trained as a theatre designer and worked for many years as as a scenic artist for theatre, TV and events. It's this background that has led me to to work in the way that I do. I tend to grid up the canvas in a series of squares or triangles and work around it from block to block bringing everything together at the end. My preferred medium is acrylic on canvas which I then enhance with a water-based glaze. I paint very quickly, either in a pointillist style, or with small dashes of colour, adding layer upon layer to build up depth and intensity. The starting point for many of my paintings is often a photograph that I have taken or that someone has passed on to me. My contemporary   pet portraits have a definite photographic quality to them, but my landscapes are more painterly and rarely resemble the original reference. I am planning a new collection of still life paintings and I hope to bring my unique process to a whole new range of subjects.

I try to demonstrate my painting style at events as often as possible as people find it fascinating to watch an artist at work. I have been told on many occasions that I work in an unusual way; but it's the only way I know. I like to turn the canvas upside-down or sideways, photograph it and digitally manipulate the colour balance, look at it in a mirror – anything that helps me to see it in a different way and decide on the next step. I taught art to primary school children for 2 years and I really enjoy passing on my knowledge about materials and techniques to both children and adults.