Louise began her life as an artist as a child. She studied faces wondering who she looked like. She painted and drew people, then after leaving Art School she embarked on a creative life. For years other opportunities and work took her away from portraits. After leaving her role as a Lecturer in Art she began to paint people again, finding her life experiences gave her a sense of ease as she gently observes the sitter's character and works to create paintings that represent their whole self.
There is a unconscious nod to folk art in Louise's work that is unintentional and was a curiosity to Louise. She recently learnt whilst painting her birth mother that her maternal grandmother was the first generation of Romany Gypsies to live in a house. Creating paintings and art was traditionally part of her gypsy family way of life.
After the publication of Thrown Away Child Louise created several new images to coincide. These are painted onto cardboard. A material, that like Louise and William felt as children, is throw away but recyclable. Louise believes traumatised childhoods can be repaired and can come good. These three paintings are the start of a series of work taken from the book.
Painting a portrait is a definite experience there is no uncertainty, the sitter is there with you. But with illustration work ideas come from your imagination, it's a different set of internal conversations, whimsical and freeing. When Louise was a younger artist she struggled to find her place, many contemporaries were producing edgy, sometimes shocking art, that Louise admired but could not do. After living through trauma and anxiety, sometimes wondering if she was going to die, the notion of creating a 'darkness' was not within Louise. She says 'I was like a person from World War 2 who just wanted to sit in a cinema and watch Busby Berkeley movies'.
L C Allen © 2018
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