Inspiring women are go-getters. They make things happen. They live life with no regrets. They are learning about themselves and reaching their full potential. They are not afraid to take risks and just go for it. Our interiors editor, Anouska Lancaster, talked to Louise Dear about finding confidence and her love for art.
It was a cold Christmassy night in December when my partner and I stumbled upon an art gallery in the heart of Covent Garden. In the window was the most beautiful painting I’d ever seen. Vivid red tones glowed onto the dark cobbled street where we stood. I was mesmerised. Telling me that the painting looked like me, my partner took my hand and led me into the gallery. Three weeks later, that exact painting was wrapped up and placed under my Christmas tree; as the most wonderful surprise on Christmas morning.
He had secretly gone back to the gallery and bought it for me. That was the start of my love affair with the art of Louise Dear. Six years on and seven paintings later; the walls in my home are adorned with Louise’s stunning muses. Paintings saturated with vibrant jewel tones; striking goddesses’ expressing over flowing love and passion.
This summer I had the pleasure of meeting my favourite artist. Now, not only am I in awe of Louise Dear’s work, but I am awe of Louise herself. Louise is simply fabulous in every way. Her eccentric and luminous personality explodes into each and every one of her paintings, so much so that her paintings literally come to life. Louise’s charisma is portrayed with each and every brushstroke. Each flick of the brush and sprinkle of crystals creates a painting so intense that it lifts you, whatever your mood.
In my opinion, choosing the right art work is the most important component when designing a tailor-made interior scheme. I believe that your interior should reflect your personality and tell your unique story. Unquestionably, art is the perfect valve to do this. The art work you choose is a clear and unapologetic reflection of your personality and personal style. Quite often, my clients won’t know what colours they want, or what sort of art they like until they see it. And when they do, it’s an instinctive flutter of the soul. I met with Louise Dear at her studio, tucked away in the bustling lanes of Brighton, for a chat about her journey so far, and the exciting road ahead.
1. When did you realise you have a passion for art?
I’ve always been very creative since I was a small child. I grew up with a very flamboyant mother who was always adorning the walls and furniture of our Hampshire country home with flowers and magical creatures. As a teenager I had an eccentric and eclectic style. I made my own clothes as I could never find or afford what I was after. I also made clothes for friends and later went on to study fashion at Medway College. I also had a passion for travel and bought a vintage ambulance.
I painted it honey pink and set off to see the world, continuing to make sketchbook journals and build temporary structures. It wasn’t until my daughter was born in my late twenties that I settled down and returned to full time education. This was the time I discovered my own art ‘per se’.
2. How would you describe your style in life and your work?
I’m fairly eccentric and quite a rebel. If an arrow in a car park points one way I’ll go the other! I like to think outside the box and I love change, therefore I’m always pushing forward and thinking of new ways to do or achieve something. I love the raw materials in my work and am always experimenting with new ways to use them. I’m brave and not afraid to try something new …in fact I thrive on it.
3. How important is colour in your art work?
Colour is everything. It has the power to invade our senses and completely change and lift our moods. I travelled extensively in Rajasthan in India and this highly influenced my vibrant palette. I have been known to get teary as a sunbeam streaks across the room, or luscious pink flowers captivate and seduce me. I strive to share these passionate emotions.
4. What is the best way to start being creative and how can we express ourselves through painting?
I carry a tiny sketchbook and a pencil case full of exquisite coloured pencils and pens with me everywhere I go. My advice would be to just start doing it for yourself. Keep anything you do hidden if you are shy. Think of it as a visual diary. Don’t try and copy exactly, just allow your hand and the materials to lead the way. Art is an expression of the heart and soul rather than the head. Be free and play… Don’t be restricted by what you believe to be the rules … There are no rules. My grandfather was an amazing craftsman and my grandmother always said she didn’t have an artistic bone in her body. Yet she was an amazing cook and baked incredible pies which she decorated beautifully. Everyone has an artist tucked inside it’s just a question of releasing your passions. Be brave and be bold.
5. Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere, from the back garden to the National Gallery. I am filled with inspiration everywhere I look, and with everything I see. I am particularly inspired by my surroundings, my family and most of all my daughter. I love a jaw line and the curve of a shoulder or neck. I find it intriguing that a simple movement or pose can convey so much. I have a need to seduce you.
I also have many artists whose works I adore. I love Lisa Yuskavage’ s sexy trussed bottoms and soft focus seductresses. I also adore Murakami’s world of super flat, and his incredible contemporary twists on the ancients. Another favourite is La Chappelle ‘s sexy plastic hype-reality and airbrushed beauties with a comic twist.
This article first appeared in Issue 12. Check out the full issue for more inspiration and not-to-be missed stories.
Credits: Photography courtesy of Louise Dear