Tanya Wood

Tanya Wood was born in Portsmouth, and gained her BA in Fine Art at Chichester University in 2012, and later went on to gain an MA in Fine Art at the same institution in 2014. Wood is now based in Hampshire, and explores the nature of being through meticulous pencil drawing. Reading Wood’s artist statement on her website, really resonates with me. I returned to art because of the way it made me feel, to paint and create, hours and hours cold be lost and I would be ever present in the moment of creating. Wood works in this way, her aim is to communicate ideas concerning the everyday experience of being consciously present. In her words:

“My drawings are an act of mindfulness; every detail and imperfection is faithfully transcribed; time is slowed in absorption while hours fly by” – Tanya Wood

Linda’s Paper Bag, Pencil on Paper, Tanya Wood

The levels of realism in Wood’s drawings are incredible, and I feel drawn in by every minute detail she’s been able to capture simply using pencil on paper. Both of the examples – ‘Linda’s Paper Bag’, and ‘Unwrapped Foil Close Up’ are from Wood’s collection ‘Traces’.

“These drawings concern the fragility and preciousness of life explored through the close study of surfaces disrupted by human actions. Using graphite and paper I have invested time in the careful and detailed life size renderings of these traces of existence, elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary” – Tanya Wood

Unwrapped Foil Close Up 40 x 41.5 cm pencil on paper, Tanya Wood

I decided to try my hand at some pencil drawings and chose the below subjects: tablet packet and paper receipts, as they resonate with Wood’s collection of ‘Traces’, objects which have been disrupted by human actions, as the tablets are pushed through the packet, and the scrunched receipts that lay in the bottom of my handbag.

I used a range of HB, 2B and 4B pencils. Firstly using the lightest HB to mark out the shapes and then using the heavier 2B and 4B pencils to add in the shading and detail.

I think the pencil drawings are quite successful, they are not as detailed or realistic as Wood’s extraordinary drawings but do convey the subject matter well. I found the scrunched up receipts far more difficult in comparison to the tablets. At least with the tablet packet they tend to follow some kind of predictable symmetry which is easy for the eye to follow and capture. The scrunched receipts on the other hand are very haphazard, and I had to review my work quite regularly as I would lose the trace of line of what corner I was capturing! On the whole though I did feel that endless and stillness of time as I was drawing, with just a dash of irritability at the difficulty of the drawings!

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