Tricia Bethel has been painting since age 11.
Her painting focuses more on Afro-Caribbean culture and identity.
The self-taught artist is from the tri- island state of Petite Martinique, Grenada
where most people are encouraged to paint their towns, cultural events, scenery and so on. That is why it was not difficult for her to find her artistic voice growing up there. This also accounts for her love for painting landscapes and seascapes of Grenada using the style of impressionism, as it allows her to express a level of freedom artistic work.
After graduating with a Master’s degree in Public Diplomacy, Tricia spent 10 years living in China where she also worked as an English, art and drama teacher.
“My career focus has been in education, tourism, international relations and public diplomacy. My experience of working in the tourism sector in Grenada has nurtured my historical and cultural understanding of nation branding and promotion”, she says.
Having resided in both Grenada and China has provided Tricia an avenue to reconsider her art style and what message she wishes to give to her audience. “I moved from a place that depended on tourist art and aesthetics, to a concrete jungle where I was forced to look intuitively for the beauty in various cultures and what makes us different. I began to explore race, culture and even my own emotions more. I wanted to show that more in my work. I paint pride, strength, beauty and uniqueness especially in women. I can be considered a portrait artist but it goes way beyond that into the political and historical at times”, she added.
Tricia’s work portrays a bit of everything, as she puts it: “my art shows a constant evolution from realism to impressionism, expressionism, and abstraction. I am always searching for methods and techniques. I believe that one day I will find my style and stick to it.”
Tricia now paints full time. Her art journey has not been consistent but she places priority on it.
To aid her journey, she purchases art books, leverages the internet, and takes inspiration from other artists, even though she recreates that to fit her own identity.
She chooses to enjoy the process than the destination. She says “that process involves thinking deeper and looking beyond the aesthetics.”
For Tricia, painting with a difference is the innate struggle of every artist. “My art is usually based around the theme of race, culture, identity and personal experiences. I tend to paint black female portraits and link them to a Caribbean environment with vibrant colors and a touch of culture or history. I seek to empower women through art and remind them that we are powerful and beautiful beyond measure”, she adds.
Tricia curated her first solo art exhibition at the Grenada National Museum.
She has also participated in solo and group exhibitions in other Caribbean nations, USA and China.
In 2020 she was awarded a certificate by the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) who holds her painting, “My heritage” as part of their permanent collection. She was also the winner of the first round of the “Hutong ArtBattle” Ju’er Art Space, 8 Ju’er Hutong, Jiaodaokou South Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China in 2016.
Tricia has sold many works by way of group shows, arts & craft fairs, and gift shops.
“Art is my passion. There are no limitations to my creation”, she expresses.
She is also multi-talented and switches between writing poetry, singing, modelling and playing the guitar – but for now, art takes over everything else.
By: Theresa R. Fianko
Additional Information: Tricia Bethel
****Images used with full permission of Tricia Bethel
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