Saturday, July 20, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 20

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on August 15th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 24 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 24

Artist Trish Campbell featured at Flying Goat Cellars through September

By Rebecca Rose

Trish Campbell misses the flower fields that used to cover the lands surrounding Lompoc.

Artist Trish Campbell, who has a show at Flying Goat Cellars in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, looks for an emotional connection with her subjects when she paints.

The artist, whose work is on display at Flying Goat Cellars' tasting room in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto through Sept. 30, remembers them fondly. The lavish colors and perfectly color-blocked compositions of the fields sometimes even show up in her work, if only in the subtlest of ways. Whether she's painting a wide-eyed cat or a lush ocean landscape, Campbell's love of her hometown community always lingers in the edges. 

"Art in all its mystery and beauty has always been a big part of my life," Campbell wrote in her artist's statement. "I hope that my art enhances the lives of many viewers and brings smiles to many. ... This is what I think art does; it enhances life, makes us human."

An accomplished painter whose work hangs in numerous galleries throughout California, Campbell is a former president of the Lompoc Valley Art Association and a current member of the Lompoc Ten Artist group. Her father was in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, and as a result, she spent much of her youth in the area. She later moved to the Bay Area after her father retired but found herself back on the Central Coast about eight years ago, describing the region as her home.

Campbell said she was drawn to art largely because of her parents, who were creative people themselves and encouraged artistic pursuits in their children. After school she would sit with her brothers and sisters and spend time drawing or writing, an exercise she found most rewarding for the joy her parents got from seeing her work.

"It's always been in my life," she told the Sun. "I started painting seriously about 11 years ago. I had always wanted to paint full time, and I decided to finally pursue it." 

Trish Campbell’s artwork focuses largely on animals and landscapes. The artist, whose father was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, spent many years living in Lompoc as a child.

She immediately found out she had a knack for painting, despite having no formal training outside of a few classes she takes every couple of years. As a self-taught artist, Campbell said she gets the most education through critiques, even though they can be a bit intimidating. Critiques offer a chance to focus, she explained, and without them an artist like her can tend to meander through her work. All it takes is a bit of courage to ask for input.

Campbell describes her work as a convergence of impressionistic and expressionistic styles. She is drawn to light and likes to play around with utilizing light sources on her subjects. Campbell paints "emotionally," according to what is happening in her daily life. A few years ago, she produced a series of paintings about storms that reflected her angst during the economic downturn of 2009, a period of time that was especially challenging for many local artists. But sales aren't what determine success for Campbell.

"Art has really suffered quite a bit since then, unless you're in New York or Los Angeles," she said. "I sell work on happy occasions, but I paint because it makes me happy. It's just my life."

Landscapes and animals are the subjects of much of her work, with many of her paintings playing on people's perceptions. Campbell said she likes to paint seagulls because a lot of times they get a negative reputation.

Seagulls are a favorite subject of Lompoc artist Trish Campbell, whose show at Flying Goat Cellars runs through Sept. 30.

"People call them beach rats," she said. "But when you put them on canvas, it becomes a gorgeous work of art."

Campbell rarely ventures outside her familiar Lompoc stomping grounds for inspiration, pointing to the diverse landscape and intriguing scenery the local community has to offer. She always has a camera ready to capture something visually exciting and uses the photographs later in her studio.

Her process starts specifically with an emotional connection; Campbell said she looks for things that excite her enough to approach the canvas and begin a new piece. She often starts with a background and works forward.

"I love to paint from what I thought was beautiful enough to stop and take a picture of," Campbell said. "There is so much beauty all around us, it's not hard to find inspiration at all." 

A fun show
Flying Goat Cellars features the work of artist Trish Campbell through Sept. 30. The venue will also host a reception for her on Aug. 25 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Flying Goat’s tasting room in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, located at 1520 E. Chestnut Court, Lompoc. The reception is free to attend; snacks are provided, and wine is available for purchase by the flight or by the glass. More info: (805) 736-9032.

But her pursuits are not just limited to painting. Campbell also loves to make homemade soap out of a slow cooker and once had a thriving bee hive going in her backyard. She is also a concerned conservationist when it comes to bees, growing an abundance of nectar-producing flowers to help keep the populations thriving, and she encourages others to do the same. 

The years as an Air Force brat made her keen to the loneliness others can feel when they are new to a community. She now volunteers her time helping foreign students learn English.

"Something I love to do is teach English for free," she said. "I was always the new kid, the stranger, so I know how that feels and enjoy helping folks out  that way." 

Arts and Lifestyle Writer Rebecca Rose is a stranger in a very strange land. Contact her at

Weekly Poll
What do you think of the changes Santa Barbara County made to its cannabis ordinances?

It was too early to make any changes. The industry is still new.
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