Thomas Wood is an award-winning printmaker and painter who has exhibited nationally and internationally. His paintings and prints have been shown frequently in the Pacific Northwest where he has resided since the early 1970s. He is the son of a wood carver and grew up working in his family business, a ten acre nursery, in Richland, Washington. Wood dreamed of becoming a scientist. After high school, he entered Western Washington State University in Bellingham with the intent of majoring in chemistry.
A trip to Europe in 1973 changed all that. During the six-month sojourn abroad Wood experienced some of the great museums of the world, including the Prado in Madrid. He had always been interested in art, so when he returned home he switched his major to printmaking. “It was like a sea change in my whole psyche,” Wood recalls. “I was so inspired by the art in Europe, and art just seemed a more powerful thing to do with your life. I read Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, and I wanted to follow my bliss.”
Wood’s prints tend to be mostly allegorical, whereas his oil paintings are mostly naturalistic representations of a recognizable Northwest landscape. But he also can mix it up. His prints range from oneiric fantasies to naturalistic views, employing such varied techniques as etching, drypoint, mezzotint, Chine-collé and engraving. He is able to combine the technical virtuosity of old world printmaking with his uniquely subjective viewpoint, nimbly shifting from meditative to symbolist, from naturalist to surrealist, and from the aesthetic to the ironic.
When Tom is not painting or drawing he is usually figuring out how to, or he is in the garden. He lives with his wife Pam on a hillside home in Bellingham within view of his garden, and the islands at the northern end of Puget Sound. When the two of them need to get away from it all, they sail west.