Let me admit at the onset that I love paintings of many sorts. My favorites though are abstracts or very impressionistic landscapes with intense colors. I've seen abstracts in pastel colors that do nothing for me, but give me one with intensity, and I'm sucked right into it. I want to study it and see-- how'd they do that! how did they decide what was needed? What should not be shown? I am in awe of the gift and skill.
Mountain of the Angels Bright Clouds by Louisa Balaam
Unfortunately, I have no talent at all for painting abstractly. If I did, I'd be doing more painting. I love the feeling of working with a brush, using color, but nothing ever turns out as I want when I try to reduce it an exciting image. It's easier for me to find artists I love (but usually cannot afford) than to paint something myself-- even though I have huge stretched canvases just waiting for the moment when I can do it... It hasn't yet come.
Dark Blue Gray and Slanting Light by Louisa Balaam
When online and I come across work by a new artist, I am like a kid in a candy store. I love those that have the dynamics of a landscape but feel abstract-- like those by English painter, Louise Balaam. I liked how her paintings (the ones I saw) are on square canvases, while most painters use rectangles. I think it works to give it that abstract feel while it's also an expressive landscape. I like how the paintings have the kind of energy that is universal-- specific to one place and yet could be many places.
Sadly for me (good for her), I learned that while I can admire, I cannot afford one of her paintings. If she ever does prints, I might be able to afford one of those. I don't buy art as an investment. I buy it because I adore it and want its energy on my walls.
At the Top of the World Birdsong Overhead by Louisa Balaam
I appreciated Balaam's statement about her art philosophy. It is what her art says to me and also how I see my writing. Powerful creative energies filter through all true arts-- in my opinion.
My work is inspired by an emotional response to the natural world, in particular to the quality of light, which is a vital part of the mood of the paintings. I draw in the landscape and then paint intuitively in the studio, so that the work both has a sense of place, and yet can also evoke memories and personal interpretations in the viewer. There is a sense of intimacy and intensity, and the idea of a glimpse into a remembered reality. My paintings relate to the English landscape tradition – Constable’s oil sketches are an important influence.She considers her work to be expressive landscape paintings. I like that idea and that she begins with bringing a drawing back to the studio and letting remembered energy be the painting.
I like the sensuality and depth of colour of oil paint, used in direct and gestural brushstrokes, which assert the materiality of the oil paint and of the painting’s surface. I often work in oil on panel, which allows me to scratch into the wet surface. The meaning of the work emerges from the language of paint, which is allowed to be itself before it is a description of something. I am fascinated by the capacity of paint to express things which cannot be put into words: a mysterious process takes place whereby the marks of the brush work on a subtle level, setting up an emotional and poetic resonance.
I paint intuitively, so the painting becomes an entity in its own right which starts to make its own demands – in a sense, it begins to answer back.
© Louise Balaam
To give an idea of her work, I took a couple of images from her site. It wasn't easy because I liked all of them (but isn't that second one fantastic, probably my favorite). I love huge paintings. Wouldn't that one look fantastic at four foot and on a wall!
Head on over to her site to see more work, sizes, and galleries. To me, it was inspiring. There wasn't one piece there I couldn't imagine in my Tucson house, which has mostly western feeling paintings but these would fit right in.