Explore Brooke Walker-Knoblich's paintings on her website

Monday, March 21, 2011

Still Life on a Rainy Day

The first day of spring and it feels like the depths of winter. Blustery winds wrack the old growth trees making the neighborhood a war zone with downed limbs. My poor wild yellow-bellied finches desperately cling to their sack as it twirls on its nail, spewing seeds into the large mound of shucked shells on the balcony floor. I've been meaning to sweep up the feastings for days now, but with a storm like this what would be the point?

And besides, a day like this implores me to hole up in the studio... and just paint. Sitting down to my easel was particularly liberating this afternoon. Instead of working on pieces for my 2 upcoming shows, I grappled with a relatively new genre: Still Life. Using the burnt-orange raw, silk curtain from my four-poster bed and selecting a few white cosmos from their colorful bouquet, I went to work setting up the first still life in my Midtown Studio.

I have a bag full of new canvases tucked in the corner, but recycling an old one was a conscious decision to eliminate things from my studio. I've stacks and stacks of canvases with just a couple layers of paint. Today, my abandoned paintings feel like old clothes, dulled inspiration left colorless by years of washing. I held onto them because of the memory of how I used to feel at the moment they were relevant. But today I'm exploring new perceptions and I'm cleaning out the closet. It is the first day of spring after all.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Painting "Winter Bloom"

Back in November (2010) I started a portrait painting to demonstrate my technique for a teaching position at Sun City in Roseville. After digging through my inspirations folder, a collection of magazine clippings and photographs, I decided to paint from an image taken in a Japanese Cherry Orchard. Originally, there was very little weight, or contemporary relevance to the image. I simply found it to be beautiful with its subtle wintry colors and the softness of her person juxtaposed with the gnarled branches.

But after the first coat, the painting just sat in my studio, unfinished. I turned to other projects.... exploring some plein air landscapes, still lifes and several portrait commissions.

Then last week the earthquake in Japan devastated the country and suddenly the unfinished painting took on whole new meanings. I began to see the quiet strength in this woman sitting amongst the flowers. The wintry blues, violets and greens became an emotional entity in and of themselves. Her closed eyes  ignore the scenery and turn inward in meditation.  Even the cleaving of her cheekbone and defined jaw became a representation of her character.

The completed painting "Winter Bloom" will be unveiled in my upcoming exhibit at the Interfaith Service Bureau. A % of the proceeds of the sale of the painting will be donated to earthquake relief efforts in Japan. In the meantime you can enjoy the video of the final push towards completion.

Please join me at my reception Thursday, April 7th, 2011 to see the painting in person! For more information please visit Brooke's events.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Painting "The Fountain"

Brooke Walker-Knoblich begins her New Orleans series with "The Fountain." In the first, 40 minutes she covers the canvas in a grisaille layer of oil paint to establish the value relationships and overall color for the painting.
Music by Bill Douglass and Paul McCandless. Recorded in Banquet Studios.

Brooke continues "The Fountain" with a second layer of flesh tones. To be continued...


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Painting in Big Sur

First painting location: pullout on HWY 1, north of Limekiln

Second painting location: Pfeiffer Cove.

Music: Bach's French Suite no. 4 BWV 815 -III: Sarabande.
Performed by Felipe Sarro.

Midtown Reception at Beatnik Gallery

When Beatnik  asked Brooke to have a solo show in their gallery, she furiously went to work to produce ten large paintings in ten weeks. The resulting series "Midtown" was joined by several paintings from Brooke Walker-Knoblich's portraits/figures body of work at the Beatnik Gallery in April, 2010.

Music by Blvd Park and Musical Charis.