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Meet the Artist: Louise Holman

06 April 2020

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As part of our month-long pop-up art exhibition at our development in Babbacombe throughout March, we’re profiling some of the artists showcasing their work.

For the first in our series, we’ve been speaking to artist and landscape photographer Louise Holman.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?
Having spent many years working in media in London, a move to south Devon in 2009 to run a retreat centre set within some 80 acres of rolling countryside inspired me to pick up a paint brush for the first time in 35 years.

I am motivated by both land and seascapes, but rather than producing a literal version of what I see, I try to interpret the mood and spirit of a place in a more abstract form.  

Do you have a favourite medium and why?
I generally work in either oils or acrylic inks on board, canvas or paper. I love oils because of the ease with which I can create interesting textures and then come back and re-work aspects of a piece again and again.  

Acrylic inks are vivid and vibrant, giving a lustrous fluidity that works with my style of abstract landscape work. 

How would you describe your style?
I would describe myself a contemporary, abstract landscape painter.

The open vistas of Dartmoor and Devon’s Southwest Coast Path supply me with an endless wealth of material to work with, whether it be a small cluster of wildflowers or a magnificent windswept tor. ​

I try to work with this visual stimulus, interpreting it onto canvas or page, trying to express the ebb and flow of nature that this part of Devon displays in its most basic form.  

How do you begin a piece? Is there a particular method/creative process you follow?
Daily walks with my dog on the coast path or out on the moor provide constant stimulation that can’t help but find its way onto the canvas in some way or other.

I work in an intuitive way, making marks at speed, sometimes in ink, often ‘en plein air’; then I refine, reshape and finesse my work in the studio. I try not to dwell on pieces for too long. I like them to feel fresh,energetic and not over-worked.

 What have you been working on lately?
I am working on a series of seascapes influenced by the recent stormy weather. They are, unsurprisingly, moody and dramatic. I am also keen to try out painting on different mediums & textures; some of my current work is on aluminium panels, which has an interesting and beautifully smooth finish.

What is your favourite/most inspirational place in Devon?
The South West Coast Path near my home in Noss Mayo, South Devon. 

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
I was told by an art teacher at school that I couldn’t draw, so I didn’t attempt anything remotely ‘arty’ for the next 30 or so years. Then I saw this wonderful quote from Pablo Picasso "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up" and I thought that teacher was so wrong. I’m going to have a go!