Many people would argue that animals have a soul-a consciousness. Why should we discount that because it works differently than our own? Anyone with a pet or close experience with animals will assert that they feel emotions, have an ability to communicate, and that individuals are unique with their own quirks and characteristics. Scientists studying animal cognition perform tests to determine the extent of an animal's mental abilities. I find those studies fascinating, but I feel the results only illuminate how human-like the animal is rather than how it's mind truly works. I am interested in our inability to recognize the full capability of the animal mind because we are locked inside our own human perceptions of the world.
My works are portraits of animals viewed through the hazy lens of human perception. By obscuring my animal portraits underneath abstraction, I am exploring not only our vague perceptions of the animal, but our negligent social views of animals and nature. Particularly, our habits of treating them as less than, throw-away, or barely above common objects. I feel we give our fellow creatures far less credit than they deserve-they are more intelligent and more complicated than we may be capable of knowing. I draw and paint them as a celebration of their existence and to express a hope that we can learn to embrace their existence as a necessity to our own.
Tricia Beal is a contemporary wildlife artist working in the field of drawing and painting. She was born in Houston, TX. Even with her suburban roots she has always had a love for animals and nature-a passion she credits to her father who taught her to fish and regularly took her on trips to the Texas coast-one of her favorite places to this day. She has always expressed her love of animals through art. She spent her childhood sitting among piles of National Geographic magazines drawing animals in her sketchbook.
Tricia graduated with a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of North Texas in 2008. Since then she and her husband have moved many times and lived in three different states. The most defining experience was living in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Despite its dense population, Massachusetts is full of a wide variety of wildlife on both land and sea that Tricia found enjoyable to observe at any opportunity. She and her family have since moved to the Midwest. Tricia has noted a stark contrast in wildlife in Kansas compared to the Northeast, particularly a lack of songbirds. This contrast has been a strong influence that has brought the focus of her work to environmental issues-a cause she has been interested in since her childhood.
Tricia has exhibited her work with Light Grey Art Lab out of Minneapolis, MN. She participated in the “Camouflage” show in 2017 as well as the “Tiny Art for A Big Cause” online exhibition in 2018. She was granted a position on Light Grey Art Lab’s Annual Iceland Residency in the summer of 2019-an amazing experience that has left her brimming with new ideas. She has a renewed focus on making animal portraits disrupted in abstraction as a comment on her frustrations with how we treat other species and our disregard for the planet that keeps us alive. She wants to instill awe and curiosity in the viewer by making beautiful and emotive portraits of animals. She hopes that tiny spark of intrigue could lead to a love of nature and a more conscious view of our fellow creatures.
She currently resides in Kansas City with her husband and son.