We spoke to some of the winning artists from this year’s Winchester Art Club exhibition to find out a little more about their work.
This week, we meet the winner of the club's Watercolour category - Tricia Spink.
Best in Category winner – Watercolour
Tricia, many congratulations on winning Best in Category for your watercolour painting ‘Minutes Fly’. Can you tell us more about the piece and your inspiration behind it?
This gentleman was the father of my next-door neighbour. He was a keen gardener, hence, when I asked him if he might blow a dandelion clock, he was horrified… he then acquiesced, and the portrait was the result.
Have you always enjoyed painting and how long have you been a member of Winchester Art Club?
I have been a member of the WAC since 1986, when I arrived in Winchester, having lived abroad for most of my earlier adult life. Painting was always there, even as a small child. I attended the Southampton School of Art and completed a foundation year, but my parents insisted I get a ‘proper job’, so I did a secretarial training, lived and worked in London, Canada, Australia and South Africa working in the medical field. When I came back home, I studied calligraphy, working for architects in Farnham, until I moved to Winchester. I now have a very special interest in British bumblebees and have a transect at Magdalen Hill Down Reserve. For many years, I ran courses with the Winchester Art Club, taught a few classes, and then, by default rather than choice when the wonderful Derek Butler died, I ended up as Hon. Secretary for the club.
Is watercolour an easy medium to master?
Watercolour is reputed to be the hardest, most unforgiving medium to master. Once laid down, there is no repair. But, for its sheer immediacy and versatility, I go for it every time: for a serious project propped up on an easel, or transported beautifully in my pocket on a train to London, or when I spent two holidays trekking in the Himalayas. It is perfect for delicate illumination with calligraphy, and it can be used in the form of gouache, a similar watercolour medium with a clay base. This provides a denser feel and can be used like acrylics or oils.
How have you found making work during a national lockdown, has this changed anything for you?
I have found the national lockdown periods quite difficult. Indeed, painting left me for the first six months, which caused dismay. It felt terrible. Then it gradually came back, and now I am managing to paint and sketch in my habitual way even though the third lockdown is with us.
Your ‘Potting Shed’ studio looks wonderful! What are the most important things you need to have around you when painting?
Tidiness! And clean water! Peace and quiet with no outside pressures – if the house is a mess, I cannot shut myself in my shed or be in the garden painting happily. Likewise, things requiring my attention elsewhere do not sit well with the desire to paint. I enjoy classical music, or Radio 4, until the news needs silencing! I prefer to paint alone rather than in company, probably because a choice must be made every second.
What’s next for you?
I am preparing to submit work to the Mall Galleries: RI of Watercolour Exhibition. The lockdown is proving a nightmare because of travel, and crossing counties. Sadly, I may have to postpone till next year.
You can see Tricia’s stunning watercolour in our special Winchester Art Club feature here on Culture on Call.
See more of Tricia’s work here .
The exhibition and online shop are now closed.
If you have enjoyed Culture on Call and you are able to make a donation, please click the link below. Any support you can give will help us keep communities connected to culture in these difficult times.