Norman artist B.J. Wood drew from the environment to inspire her for her exhibit entitled Nature's Sketchbook. Her affection for countryside landscape as well as close-up views of nature's inhabitants such as birds, rabbits, and foliage can be attributed to her childhood growing up on a farm in central Indiana. Many years of living in central Pennsylvania further added to her love for the outdoors and capturing its beauty.
Through Wood's artwork, she is able to express her appreciation and concern for the natural environment, while also interacting with nature by using twigs, feathers, and other found objects as art materials. Wood says, "As an artist, my interest in natural history, the environment, and its preservation provides motivation for using nature's discarded items as collectibles in my design process."
B.J. Wood is a mixed media artist which means she incorporates more than one artistic medium to create a single work of art. Wood's primary medium is a process called monotype printing. Monotypes are one-of-a-kind prints where ink or paint is applied to a flat surface such as an acrylic or glass pane and then transferred onto a sheet of absorbent paper by pressing the two together, usually using a printing press. Most of the ink or paint is removed from the surface in the printing process, but sometimes the artist is able to print a "ghost" print with the remaining ink. The final product is a reverse image of what was painted onto the acrylic or glass surface.
Another artistic process used by Wood is called encaustic painting. Encaustic painting uses colored pigments mixed with hot wax which is applied to a surface such as wood or canvas. Metal tools and special brushes can be used to shape or sculpt the wax before it cools. Other materials, such as found objects or photographs, can be encased or collaged onto the surface using the wax to adhere it to the surface.
Many of Wood's artworks use the encaustic process to adhere vintage photographs, Chinese papers, monotype prints, and found objects such as metal pieces, feathers, and leaves to the final surface.
Wood says, "My intent is to focus the viewer's attention on a fleeting glimpse of nature as one travels through the environment. An unimaginable variety of colors, textures, and combinations are provided in nature as creative sources for an artist. Our spirits are fed constantly by the natural beauty surrounding every human being."
Wood received a Bachelor of Art from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Fine Art from the University of Oklahoma. Her work has been exhibited in numerous juried and invitational shows around the country, and her prints are in collections throughout the U. S. and abroad. She has been the recipient of grants, scholarships, and numerous jurors' awards. Wood has been involved with the arts as a festival coordinator, curator, museum's assistant preparator, and artist-in-residence. She has also taught at the University of Oklahoma and will be teaching at Oklahoma City University in the fall of 2009. Wood currently resides in Norman, Oklahoma.