Artist Tricia excited about showing her True Colours
South African Tricia Walters has spent the last nine years in Bermuda building her reputation as a writer and photographer.
However, as evidenced by her upcoming show at the Bermuda Society of Arts (BSoA), she’s broadened her scope somewhat.
Mrs Walters’ first solo exhibit, ‘True Colours’, is a collection of paintings.
Acrylics, watercolours and mixed media are the focus of the show, which opens on Friday.
It’s the first time her paintings will be shown publically Mrs Walters cheerfully told The Royal Gazette that she is terrified.
“I keep thinking, maybe I should have just done photographs, at least people know me by that,” she said. “Instead, I am putting my soul on the wall for people to dissect. Either they like it or they don’t. I don’t expect everyone to like all the things, but I am hoping that people will find something to like.”
She first became involved with the BSoA four years ago when she started showing her photographs. She made the switch to painting by accident. She had one of her photographs printed on an old canvas, but it didn’t sell, so she reused the canvas by painting on it. After experimenting with paint and canvas, she fell in love and went out and bought more canvases.
She thought she would enter one of her paintings in a BSoA show “for the hell of it”. Lo and behold it sold, and is now hanging in someone’s home in Italy. Since then her abstract works of reefs, jelly fish and ocean surf have proved quite popular.
“I don’t do pretty beach scenes or pink houses,” she said. “And I don’t normally paint Bermuda. I did a painting recently called ‘The Long Road Home’. That was inspired by feeling homesick for my home town of Fish Hoek. Fish Hoek is coastal and has a beautiful little bay with lots of great white sharks swimming in it.”
(One Fish Hoek tourist website claims it is a popular destination for lifeguards).
Mrs Walters is a journalist by profession. She worked in television and newspapers in South Africa for many years. She and her husband Mark moved to Bermuda in 2002, and Mrs Walters wrote for The Royal Gazette for several years before deciding she needed a change. She has since determined there is not much difference between writing and painting.
“They both show what you are feeling when you do it,” she said. “If you are feeling very emotional, it shows in the paint. Everyone has the potential to create something whether it is a good photograph, a piece of writing, or a painting.”
With her photography, she often shoots in black and white, because she feels it adds more depth to the photo; with painting, the attraction is definitely the colour.
“Oh my God, I just want to lie in them and roll in them,” she said. “I really love colour.”
To construct some of her abstracts, she first applied paint to glass using her fingers, and then pressed paper over it to get an interesting effect.
“Paint reacts in different ways when you use your fingers as opposed to a brush, or when you use a palette knife as opposed to a brush,” she said.
“In one instance, I wanted to see what would happen if I painted on glass, and then printed that onto paper. The first time I did it I peeled the paper off and found this process made these amazing lines. It looked like oil painting. I wanted to see what would happen if I used pressure on certain parts of the paper. So I put the paint down again and put pressure. Parts of the painting came out looking like a reef and other pressure points looked like little jelly fish.”
Mrs Walters is largely unschooled in art but has taken a few lessons with local artists Emma Ingham-Dounouk and Karen Phillips Curran. She admires them both greatly. She has also joined a plein air group run by artist Christopher Marson. They paint on Sundays around the Island; the group is open to anyone interested in art.
She is very grateful to the BSoA for giving her the opportunity to show her work.
“I think they are an incredible organisation,” she said. “They give local artists an opportunity to express themselves. You just have to have the guts to put your work up on the wall so other people can look at it and maybe give you some feedback. I think everyone can be creative.”
Mrs Walters is known for her love of animals and has recently taken up doing animal portraits in collage. One of them will be featured in her show. She is looking to do animal portraits in a similar fashion for other people for a fee.
“I love being creative and colours and snipping up things,” she said with a laugh.
‘True Colours’ opens on Friday at 5pm and runs until June 28. Useful website: www.bsoa.bm.
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