Tricia Clark is a Maine-based artist who specializes in gouache and ink, and whose artworks you may recognize for their vibrancy and focus on the natural world. Oftentimes on the Doodle Addicts site, Tricia’s work stands out from the rest for its intricacy and level of detail along with the brightness and wonderful color palette that works its way into each piece. While many artists may enjoy and utilize gouache and ink for their work, in our eyes Tricia is a wizard with the medium and has aptly adopted the online moniker “goacheandink,” and we couldn’t think of anything else more suiting!
Taking a quick peek at Tricia’s work is all you need to see just how elaborate and full of life each of their artworks are, but we recommend taking some time to fully enjoy the liveliness and spirit of each piece. Whether it be one of their sketchbook artworks depicting flowers or skies, or an edge-to-edge illustration of a person encompassed by the sea, there's something to be found and appreciated within everything Tricia creates. A great example of this can be seen in their artwork titled, “Crow,” which showcases a person sitting among an abundance of various colored flora and accompanied by several crows. At first glance, you’re sure to appreciate the talent and passion exhibited by the piece, but it may take a longer gaze to take in the subtleties that truly make it such a wonderful artwork. From the whirlwind of color shifting around the person, to the crows somewhat hidden within the vegetation, the level of care and warmth found in not only this piece, but all of the works created by Tricia is something to relish.
Interview with Tricia Clark
Your work always incorporates a beautiful mix of colors and seems to regularly focus on nature. Has the natural world always been a source of inspiration for you?
Yes, I grew up in the state of Maine, (in the U.S.). The woodsy areas as well as the coast have been a big inspiration to me. Growing up, my mom would regularly take my brother and I camping, (even in the harsh winter we'd stay in a log cabin while my uncles went ice-fishing). We didn't have a lot of money but it seemed my mom made it a priority to get us outside. So much of my memories are outside adventuring and making up stories about elves and magic and monsters. Even when I was inside I would make up stories and daydream, (growing up I thought I'd be a fantasy writer).
I'm also very inspired by nature-filled video games such as the Elder Scrolls and Dofus.
After spending a bit of time on the Doodle Addicts website, it’s easy to see how the style of your artwork is so quickly recognizable as yours. How did your love for gouache and ink come to be, and how has it evolved over time?
Well, at age 12 or 13 I began doodling in pencil. I remember an older girl I met while camping could sit down and draw anything quickly. She did a portrait of me. I loved it and was in awe of her skills, though she didn't think they were anything special. When I went home I started to doodle whatever I could, I especially liked drawing manga characters back then. I eventually started to do pen and ink drawings, then tried markers, then found colorful acrylic ink. At 18, I felt unsatisfied with my work and wanted to find a new medium, (this is also the time that I began selling my work). I tried oils, acrylics, watercolors but never heard of gouache. I stumbled upon watercolor gouache in the art store and decided to try it. Things just clicked; the opaque colors were exactly what I'd been looking for. I naturally kept scribbling with pen over and under the gouache layers because that's what I'd done with other mediums. Ten years later, I now use acryla/acrylic gouache along with mostly black pen and white gel pen. I'm still learning! I've noticed that I'm far less serious and less scared that I'm going to mess up a painting, which helps me to paint more often.
Do you dabble in any other mediums?
Yes, currently I'm dabbling in oil pastels and colored pencils. I've also started taking videos of my art process and the video editing has been a lot of fun!
When you are "stuck" in your creative process, what do you do to get you out of the funk?
I have a stack of small 5 in. x 5 in. (12.7 cm. x 12.7 cm.) pieces of watercolor paper that I regularly reach for and on them I'll paint landscapes, still-lifes, or characters. I also have quite a few sketchbooks with different papers that I like to work in. Daily meditation and practicing gratitude also help to relax my mind. Keeping a routine of going straight to my desk in the morning has had a huge impact as well.
What is a basic and advanced tip you'd have for someone who wants to improve their skills?
A basic tip would be just to go down a rabbit hole of researching artists and mediums. Learn as much as you can and don't get hung up on finding your own style. Once you find a technique you like to create, you'll just naturally have a style that others recognize.
I'm not sure I have an advanced tip. What I'd recommend everyone trying is to do a 30 day challenge of creating a new piece daily. This has helped me to improve and paint subjects I never would have painted. You may not finish but start with the intention of finishing and improving your skills. You can make a prompt list or use past Inktober prompts.
It all boils down to creating regularly and *gently* pushing yourself through the excuses that arise; no matter what stage you are as an artist, this is what you must do.
Which artists on Doodle Addicts do you recommend everyone follow?