Explore Brooke Walker-Knoblich's paintings on her website

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Art Through A Visitor's Eye

Second Saturday Art Walk • May 10 2014
by Rob Bonslett

With the variety of choices and venues for Sacramento's Second Saturday Art Walk, making a decision on where to visit was not an easy task. I chose to get some dinner, and check online for galleries offering opening exhibits. I settled on Capital Artworks at 1215 21st Street, Suite B in midtown. On Sac365.com there was a small blurb about a remarkable young portrait painter who was opening on Saturday. Showing many never before displayed oil paintings going back 10 years. Having painted portraits myself for years, I was excited to see her work. After some great pizza at Zelda’s I struck out to find Capital Artworks. Located on the second floor a few blocks away I was very pleased to be welcomed by smiling faces and offers of food and beverage. This was a real working studio and Gallery where artists can rent easel space with a live model during most weekday evenings.
Brooke Walker-Knoblich painting with Bob Bajorin at Capital Artworks Studio and Gallery
The show featured Brooke Walker-Knoblich, a very talented portrait painter who grew up in Nevada City and has traveled extensively in Europe perfecting her talents. Brooke introduced herself and humbly spoke of her time in Paris and Florence. Surrounding me were her paintings highlighting ten years of oil portraits. I was moved at the sight of her growth over the past decade. Her oil painting career began in Paris where she learned to grind and mix her own pigments. These richly hued pieces spoke of a by-gone era of master painters and a romantic feel. The show was also brought alive by a young man in another room playing melodic songs on his guitar. Brooke’s talent and craft was highlighted all around the room. On the back wall were two recent and very large pieces that mesmerized me each time I gazed at them.

Chianti Country 30x52" oil on canvas by Brooke Walker-Knoblich. For Sale.
Cacti Cortez 36x36" oil on canvas by Brooke Walker-Knoblich. For Sale.

Also, Brooke herself was very eager to talk about her painting styles and history. What a delightful young artist. On a modeling couch a young woman sat for Brooke as she painted from life. Seeing her process was a real treat as she carefully but freely sketched the figure with a short handle filbert brush. Working from a limited pallet of primary colors, she began to bring luminescent life to her canvas. Brooke delightfully smiled as she painted, displaying sheer joy in her work.

Alla Prima portrait of Vanessa painted by Brooke Walker-Knoblich during the reception

During a break she showed me some more of her pieces in a photo album. There was a period of working from photographs that had a look of perfection, which clearly helped her craft her current skills in working from life. Each painting was exquisite, and she explained how, during that period, she would carefully draw on the canvas and then paint from the photo.

Roya 20x20" oil on canvas by Brooke Walker-Knoblich. SOLD.

Her new works are expressive and lively. The richness and luminescence in the oils adds a seductive quality to the work. I found it very hard to part ways, as I felt like my spirit had been fed for a couple hours. Brooke’s showing will continue at Capital Artworks through the first week in July. Brooke also offers instruction in oil portraits at the Gallery as well. This was a great evening and I am very pleased to have chosen this venue to visit. Who knows? Maybe I will take some painting instruction from Brooke in the near future, she really has talent. The smell of oils in the air, the pleasant conversation, and the beauty that surrounded convinced me that art is very much alive in the Sacramento Metropolitan area.