year of birth: 1951
Q1: When did you start making art?
A very long time ago; I’m old — 63 years. I have been seriously committed to making art since 1970.
Q2: What does inspire you?
I’m most inspired by the human condition — from all emotions to spirituality. Long fascinated by rites, rituals and mythologies, these ideals often serve as seeds for an idea. Also, my personal “dreamtime” is rather verdant and quite inspiring; many paintings began there. Images also come from just living life, music, film and the sharing lives with friends, family and strangers. I do use models to explore visual imagery. That said, they are definitely more “Muse” than prop. I am very picky about models — they attract me by being unique and in possession of fascinating hearts and souls. My perception of beauty is not defined by the common ideals of our culture or Hollywood or magazines or TV or even history. I believe for someone or thing to be truly beautiful, it must me rare, unique and uncommon (strange).
Q3: What are your techniques?
My paintings are oil paint on gesso panels (Gessoboard)
Q4: What is the main idea or feeling behind your works? Simply put…. I seek to create imagery that is about, creates and explores emotions. Life is filled with a range of emotional responses to the common/mundane on through life altering experiences; be they subtle, deep, private or obviousy on the lsurface. The goal is to create work that compels participation from the viewer. I hope to elicit emotional response and encourage the viewer to look inside others or themselves. I seek to ask more questions than offer answers. “The job of the artist is to deepen the mystery.” — Francis Bacon
Q5: What is the main color of your art and why?
My palette is generally dark and earthy. I prefer colors found in nature and the way they compliment or contrast with each other. Some say my work looks “Old and Dutch in mood and technique.” I do seem to regularly use two colors for emphasis and power – a deep scarlet red or an intense blue – they contrast and compliment the dark browns and other earth tones within dramatic lighting.
Q6: What would you improve about your work and why?
It would be great to be able to paint much larger. Though my rather “photo-realistic” technique requires a lot of time, making that a rare and unlikely happenstance.
Q7: Do you have any project for the future?
I always have ideas for far more paintings than I have time. Usually while working on a piece, ideas for more come flooding in. Every day is new inspiration. My photo shoots also often lead to many unexpected ideas for future works; they are kind of a “visual jam sessions” between the model/muse and the environment.
Q8: Describe yourself with 3 words capturing the essence of Rodney Wood.
Passionate – Creative – Driven
Q9: Show us (link) your very first work. Describe it from techniques till feelings.
My first work has long faded into the past abyss of portfolios gone by. I spent most of my artist path as a 3D artist; sculpture, jewelry/metalsmithing and installations. About 12 years ago, for various reasons (a long story), I switched to painting. Strangely, after all those years, I found my artist vision was best expressed via painting. The imagery started to flow and I had finally found my most authentic and mellifluous voice. One of my earliest paintings, “Aviary” (see attached), served to validate and encourage a total commitment to painting. One of my favorite artist moments happened when after completing “Aviary”, I set is aside and out of sight…. three weeks later I looked at it and exclaimed “Cool! Where did that come from?” The rest is, as they say, history.
Q10: What did change from your first work till now?
Given that I have never taken a painting class, it’s safe to say that I am “self-taught.” Though drawing has long been an active part of all the art I produced (and taught), painting was a completely new medium. Thus, the technical aspects of my painting technique have improved. More important is that I have the confidence to pursue ever-more challenging imagery.
Q11: What is art for you? Escaping from reality or the essence of life?
Art is more than what I do. It is what gives me purpose. In a very real way, it is my blood. A magazine writer once said ” My sense is that I know more about Rodney by looking at his art than I could learn in any conversation we might have.” That is true. Through painting, I explore and expose not only my mind but heart and on occasion, my very soul.