Scroll down for Nancy’s Biography
Nancy Wood was born in London and loved to produce large floral watercolours whist undertaking a successful career in industry. She took up full time painting in 1996 and ventured into more abstract themes.
After signing a deal with one of the UK’s major art publishers, her original works began selling throughout the UK and the resulting art was featured on TV shows like Grand Designs, magazines like Elle Decoration and she even has seen several of her paintings featured on Cunard’s Queen Victoria.
Nancy’s current bold new approach concentrates on an exciting and unique style of manipulating poured ‘recipes’ of acrylic paints and inks into solutions, then photographed in minute detail. These original macros-photographic artworks are created both in her home of Southampton and St. Lucia in the Caribbean using some ground-breaking techniques which are described in detail below.
Nancy Wood’s work is the accumulation of years of experimental artistic pursuits. Her unique micro-photographic technique is only a small part of her artistic prowess and we will endeavour to explain the depths of her work, showing just how intense and time-consuming her original art truly is.
Working with an acrylic fluid medium and fluid acrylics, Nancy adds dry powder pigments (so she can be sure of the exact pigment interactions she wants to achieve), blending them first into cups of ‘recipes’ ready for use on acetate sheets, which allows the mediums to flow freely.
Never knowing exactly how the mediums will react with one another, Nancy has to move quickly with her palette knife, using it like an orchestral conductor to guide the naturally forming pigment interactions into a cohesive form, pouring mixtures of colours into puddles – sometimes apart, sometimes overlapping or onto each other – she guides these unbridled pigments into harmonic waves of interaction.
Doubly difficult is that the whole time, Nancy is taking macro photographs of the constantly moving and changing patterns with a hand-held camera, capturing the symphony of colours as they reach pockets of movements upon the acetate, from 10 seconds into the pour, to its final crescendo many minutes later.
Nancy will sometimes undertake several of these ‘sessions’ during a sitting as each pigment has a personality of its own; reds, for example, have more energy and will spark in seconds whereas blues may take minutes to reach their climax.
The next process is to take these highly detailed, thousand-fold macro digital photographs (a one metre finished artwork may be of only a 5cm original size) and examine them on the computer. This is the first time Nancy truly sees the results of the live ‘sessions’ and the results are always full of anticipation and delight for her.
She selects the best images, then painstakingly sharpens the images, ready for the much enlarged printing process. This enables her to continue the process of producing an original work, created by using several individual processes.
In this process, Nancy’s beautiful images are printed onto French Arches paper (a heavy watercolour paper that’s been treated for printing) of the highest quality and thickness. The paper is then bonded to a 5cm deep-cradled birch panel and bonded using acrylic medium.
An alternative for paper is when she works with the chosen image printed onto a heavy silk satin. When treated with a UV protective product, this enables her to paint onto the printed silk. The silk is then stretched onto deep canvas ready for the next stage.
In both processes, once again, she painstakingly goes over every minute detail of the image, painting any minuscule detail that she feels needs to be enhanced, truly creating a one-off original work. Sometime this will mean every single bubble, sometimes less; whatever the process demands. This additional process may take up to a week per artwork, so a truly intense process.
The works on paper and panel are finally coated in epoxy resin to seal and enhance depth in the work, making every aspect of the beautiful artwork pop with vibrancy and colour.
Encaustic Wax Artworks
To create these incredible works, melted beeswax and castor wax are poured onto a cradled birch panel (or aluminium) which is then manipulated with a hot torch through several layers to create a smooth surface.
Oil colour and shellac are then applied in specific areas to make the composition and create a lacy and bubbly effect. This rather unusual way of using this ancient artists medium lends itself to Nancy’s love of fluid art and results in artworks that have a soft, tactile feel that is both buttery smooth and intricately textured.
Epoxy Resin Artworks
The third fluid pouring technique that Nancy loves encapsulates multiple layers of Epoxy resin built up over several days. Nancy takes transparent colours, blended with metallic accents, along with her trusty palette knife, blow-torch and heat gun, and encourages intricate patterns within the medium, enticing strong compositions from the ensemble.
The process requires intense concentration and speed because the working time she has for each layer is only 45 minutes. Thereafter the resin begins to cure and becomes unworkable.
Every process of Nancy’s original work is undertaken with minute accuracy and an incredible attention to detail. These unique processes are the inspiration of many artists but the domain of Nancy alone. Or as Nancy sums it up so succinctly: “I can’t turn water into wine nor metal into gold, but I love to try and make chemistry an art form.”