Taylor Trimble

By Donna Gable Hatch

It is said that to create art with all the passion in one’s soul is to actually live art with all the beauty in one’s heart.

For Taylor Trimble, the need to express herself through art is as paramount to her survival as the blood that flows through her veins to feed her beating heart. It comes deep from within the soul of this Galveston-born artist, and it fuels her, heals her, warms her, and completes her.

“Art has helped me throughout my whole entire life. Creating allows me to heal and express my feelings in ways I didn’t even know possible," said Trimble.

"Art is a form of meditation for me where I can just sit, feel, and create. … I feel I’ve lived many lives with the multitude of heavy life-changing events I’ve experienced, thus far. Painting allows me to express what I am feeling the way words just simply cannot.”

Trimble’s “multitude of life-changing events” began October 23, 1997, when her tiny body came into this world with a birth defect that required surgery.

“…It involved me being born with one of my organs outside of my body and needing a blood transfusion, as well as surgery,” she said. “Growing up, this medical condition took a great toll on my physical and mental health—and still does to this day.”

When she was 9, Trimble was involved in a freak accident that nearly claimed her life and resulted in massive damage to the entire right orbital floor of her face, which required a 10-hour reconstructive surgery.

When she as a junior at Ball High School in Galveston, Trimble underwent another surgery, this time a 12-hour reconstructive surgery related to her birth defect, “and right after I was done with recovery, I began to paint.”

“These life-changing events have definitely opened my eyes and heart to create and heal. Art has taught me what beautiful things can flourish even in the darkest of times,” she said. “Painting has helped me keep on pushing forward.”

Trimble, who earned an associate degree from Galveston College and a BFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design, said she’s known she’s wanted to create beauty for as long as she can remember.

“Since a very young age, I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist; I even said so in my first-grade yearbook when they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up,” she said. “I’ve known in my heart this is what I am meant to do.”

“I remember the exact moment I knew I wanted to express myself through painting. We were on a family trip for the holidays when, one night, we passed a house lit up from the inside. We were driving by, so I only saw a glimpse, but my eyes were drawn to these floor-to-ceiling paintings inside, and I had this overwhelming need to create something like that,” she said.

“I found inspiration in a magazine on the plane, and the moment we got home, I spent the next week painting a 9-feet by 10-feet painting on a drop cloth, and I haven’t stopped painting since.” Her work centers on medium- to large scale botanical collages, influenced by the abundance of rich colors, plants, and flowers of the Galveston Island landscape and seascape that surround her.

“I find inspiration everywhere I go. Whether it’s a tiny flower in the crack of a sidewalk, or a half-dead palm by a pile of trash, I find the beauty and potential to create these life forms in a new and vibrant way.”

Her style is combination of abstract shapes and realism, comprised of different shapes, layers, and mixtures of saturated hues, “yet there are detailed aspects of organic life forms like plants and flowers. …I found my love for composition through landscape painting, and I’ve found my love for the freedom that abstract painting gives me. I feel complete and in love with the work I am creating now, but I know that my style will continue to reform and grow.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, Trimble’s professional artistic journey began as a make-up artist who became so in-demand that she cultivated a viral following. Using an assortment of brushes, a palette of colors and pencils to create contour, blend colors, and add highlights, Trimble created art on the bare canvas that is the human face.

“The moment I decided I wanted to be a painter, I dropped this completely and pivoted to pursuing a career in painting,” she said, adding she still enjoys doing her own make-up. “I’ll even get all done up just to stay inside and paint all day. I would say it’s even a part of my creative process.”

She uses oil paints to create her canvases because it uses a natural drying agent called linseed oil, which dries faster and allows the artist to rework the paint layer and blend colors in a way that other mediums cannot.

Her work is intricate and time-consuming, but it’s all a labor of love. She begins each work by collecting digital reference photos of inspiration she encounters throughout the day, usually consisting of organic plant life and flowers. She then takes the images into a photo editing app where she cuts, layers, and she blends these images together.

“I choose my subjects by feeling what I am drawn to. Whether that’s what I see as beauty or a sense of unity in a composition, there’s always a strong feeling of being drawn to paint a certain subject,” said Trimble, who works part-time as a server at Maceo Spice & Import Co., 2706 Market Street, where she painted her first mural.

“When creating these images, I pay close attention to color, opacity, and composition. I create several compositions and then feel out which ones I am drawn to paint. I use these digital compositions I create as my reference photos,” she said, adding there comes a point in the process where she abandons the reference photo “and allows the painting to become its own entirely.”

“I continue to develop my skills through practice and exploration. I love composition, and I love color theory. Not being afraid to explore color mixing and creating different compositions has allowed my creative process to grow right in front of my eyes.”

She said she can “feel” when the work is complete.

“There’s a sense of wholeness when I know a painting is finished or when I feel I’ve put all of the energy I can into a work, putting the same amount of detail and attention into every inch of the canvas unifying the painting.”

Growing interest in Trimble’s work is generated by an active social media presence—Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, her website—and by boots-on-the-ground networking. Her work will be included in Galveston’s next ArtWalk, which is set for Saturday, August 27, in Galveston’s historic district.

Hosted by Galveston Arts Center, the event is a free, self-guided walking tour of galleries, exhibition spaces—both commercial and nonprofit—and artist studios, along with alternative art venues such as cafes and shops.

Trimble said her ultimate career goals are to create botanical collages, be commissioned to paint them as murals, and to share her work internationally. But for her, it’s more about the intrinsic value of art and what the act of creating does for the human soul.

“I feel the purpose of my work is to be able to share my work with others and bring that same sense of life, light, and wholeness into others’ lives,” Trimble said. “I believe artists play one of the most vital roles in society. I believe artists are healers and messengers. We provoke thought and bring people together in new ways. Artists bring light into to this world and into people’s lives or shine light on aspects of this world which need healing.”

At a glance

More information about the work of Galveston artist Taylor Trimble can be found on the artist’s website, taylortrimble.art, or through the following social media platforms: Instagram: taylor_trimble Twitter: taylorrtrimble Facebook: Taylor Trimble