"love having a space to shut the world out and to concentrate on my practice."

In this exclusive interview, delve into the creative world of Newcastle-based artist Sam Wood as we explore the inspirations, techniques, and unique perspectives that shape his artwork.

Tell us about your studio.
My studio is my second home, it’s something I don’t think I could do without. I love having a space to shut the world out and to concentrate on my practice. I try to not have many distractions or creature comforts as it is a space for work and craft.

What’s your background?
I studied art at Newcastle college. After this, I went to Falmouth Collage of Art and studied fine art, graduating in 2016. Since then, I have been painting full time.

How do you find motivation?
To be honest, motivation isn’t something I think about. Painting is my job and my passion, something I look forward to doing every day.

What drives your work?
For me, I love knowing there is no such thing as perfect. Every painting, I’m going further down an unknown road, and I like not knowing where I will end up. The painting I have in mind before I start is always so different compared to the final result. It’s a joy to discover every time.

If you could choose one song from one album to reflect your work, what would it be, and why?
I don’t know where to start, my work is always changing and choosing one song is something I could never decide on. One song I quite like at the moment is Karen Dalton by Katy Cruel.

Paint splattered desk with paint brushes and materials

You often draw inspiration from old black and white photographs, how do you select these?
I find old photos anywhere, sometimes people give me old family photos, other times I find them in books. I also love watching old newsreels and pausing them for source material. What I’m looking for is a snapshot of a sincere moment.

Which three colours could you not do without?
Do black and white count as colours? If so, I will have those and raw umber.

How has your style or subject matter changed or developed?
I’d like to think my paintings have gotten quieter and more subtle in their subject matter over the years. But lately, I’m enjoying experimenting with more abstract elements – marks, colour and form that you might not expect.

Sam Wood facing the camera holding a rolled up print

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Probably to eat well and sleep well.

Who inspires you?
I get little bits of inspiration from everyone.

If you could own one piece of artwork what would it be?
Study for the Unknown by John Charles Dollman. Then again, if I owned it, no one else would be able to see it, and that would be a shame.

Alongside yourself, who would be in your ideal group exhibition (from any period of time)… and what’s the title?
It would be an honour to have a show with Hélène Delmaire, Sebas Velsasco and myself and it would be called, “Figure” or something like that. But also, the real answer is I would love to curate a show with Churchill and Hilter’s paintings together, is that too controversial? Not sure of the title for that one yet.

What are you currently working on, and what’s next?
More colourful and more big work!

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