When her breathtaking artwork caught our eyes, we simply had to ask Louise Brooks if she would allow us to interview her for our We Meet feature. We expected the interview to be compelling, yet were unprepared for just how inspirational Louise would be.
Louise is a full-time professional artist living in Saltdean, East Sussex, UK. After achieving her degree in Visual Arts and Communication she worked in the creative industry for many years from the mid 1990s. Her work has been well-published in a wide range of magazines, as an artist and illustrator and as a picture editor and professional photographer for leading holiday brands, writing her own monthly art feature as Art Editor for Brighton & Hove Life for several years and having also published an illustrated children’s book.
Louise takes up her story:
“I moved to Saltdean after meeting my soulmate and was married at St. Margaret’s Church, Rottingdean in East Sussex. My newfound happiness radiates from my paintings, inspired by the ever-changing seascape vista I see daily from my home. The undercliff walkway that runs from her home in Saltdean to the Brighton Marina is a constant source of fascination, it is here I watch how the sea glitters with a silvery sheen at low lights. I have been on a quest to recreate this miracle of nature and capture it on canvas, intent on catching this mirror-like sheen in my paintings.
I can often be found beachcombing along the shore when the tide is out, searching for interesting materials to include in my work. The multiple layers in my paintings reflect a passage of time as each layer overlaps much like the ebb and flow of the ocean as it leaves trace elements on the beach. My work is also a visual response to the climatic elements and the energy of the sea, both weather patterns and cloud formations are constantly depicted in my artwork.
As the shimmering layers of each painting unfold, hidden depths and light burst out in an explosive spectrum of colour. Throughout the day, as the light changes there is a feeling of animation in each piece, as if it transcends the canvas it is created on, as the light refraction emerges in evocative ways. Each seascape painting literally dances with light, shimmering and sparkling with the added radiance of Swarovski crystals and semi precious gemstones. After studying the meaning of crystals I learnt that Swarovski crystals are uplifting to the spirit. This also led to the discovery of semi precious gemstones and their meanings with potential for healing and rebalancing. I felt that by adding these to my work I might possibly bring this positive energy to the homes of the people that own my work.”
How long have you been creating your wonderful artwork for? How did you begin and when did you realise that you had such talent for creating designs that people wanted for themselves?
From an early age my family convinced me that you could not make a career out of art despite it being my first love. This is why I originally went into photography and photo illustration. I then started creating photo art on canvas, I had a solo exhibition and decided to included some of my original paintings too. The paintings sold faster than the photo art, so I decided to approach a gallery with my paintings. I was accepted and never looked back, I have now been painting professionally for over ten years and I am with four galleries.
What have you recently worked on and do you have any current projects you’d like to mention?
I most recently worked on the Christmas exhibition for Art 5 gallery Brighton. At the Private View I was interviewed for a television program. Lynn Ruth Miller of Britain’s Got Talent fame interviewed me about my work. All very exciting! The transmission date for the interview is 19:00 on LatestTV (freeview channel 8 Virgin Channel 159) on the Brighton lights slot.
In the new year, I will be experimenting with creating a brand new style of silver abstracts that work with the light.
How much of a part does art and creativity play in your life?
Art and creativity play a huge part in my life. I always have a final vision of anything I create, this extends into my home décor too. If I cannot find what I want in the way of furnishings, I make create or adapt items to best fit my vision.
Please can you tell us a little about your career? Did you always want to run your own business and work for yourself?
My enthusiasm and love of art emerged from an early age. I gained distinction in my HND’s in both Photography and Design and Fine Art, as well as a BA (Hons) degree in Visual Arts and Communication. I received my BA from Southampton University in the UK, with a year’s study at RIT in New York State in the US.
I have worked in a wide range of fields in the creative industry with well-published work in a wide range of magazines. As the art editor for ‘Brighton & Hove Life’ (2006-08) I wrote my own monthly art feature and I have also published my own illustrated children’s book.
My home is now in Saltdean in East Sussex, a truly inspirational place to live as an artist. I feel extremely lucky to live so close to the sea where daily I get to see a constantly changing seascape vista. I try to capture this untamed force of nature through my painting and the essential quality of light and translate them onto canvas. It is my constant fascination with the ocean that has led to an ever-evolving portfolio on this subject.
As an artist, my award-winning artwork has become a part of both private and corporate collections throughout Britain, Europe, the USA and Asia.
My latest body of work includes Seascapes that work with the light with added radiance from Swarovski crystals, and a variety of gemstones carefully chosen for their colour and light diffusing qualities, as well as powers to elicit change and re-balancing.
I find the beauty of nature a constant source of inspiration for my work. It inspired me to create a new style of painting, exploring the beauty found in a single rose, with all its emotive power.
Painting is not only my passion but it is a way of life. I have found running my own business that it is important to separate work from home life. I have an outdoor workshop where my husband keeps an eye on me to ensure I do stop working at the end of the day, otherwise I would never sleep as I get so absorbed in my work!
What advice would you give to other artists who are just starting out?
I am asked this question regularly by new artists and students, so I created a list of advice for new artists on my website to give them the best pointers I have learnt from my experience.
What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far?
I find every day a highlight, being able to do something I love and the thought that it makes people happy. It is a joy to create something with my own two hands, I find it such a thrill to stand in front of a blank canvas and feel the build up of excitement and anticipation as the energy builds up between the canvas and I.
Finally, what are your hopes for the future of your work?
I want to just keep evolving my work and to build up an even more extensive portfolio for people to enjoy. Each one of my paintings is a part of me and I hope that my paintings will still be enjoyed for generations to come. I would also love to be able to build up a legacy and create a foundation for struggling artists. It would be so wonderful to still be able to offer artists help and inspiration long after I am gone.
If you have an inspiring story of your own to share and would like to be interviewed in our ‘We Meet…’ feature, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.