I'm delighted to announce that I'm this month's Artist of the month in Salisbury Journal. I'm in the 2nd July issue, on page 93 in the entertainment section.
Here's a transcript of the original interview if you can't get hold of a copy!
Louise Luton- Artist of the month. Salisbury Journal- July 2015.
Tell me about your work, how would you describe it?
I am inspired by the changing colour and light in nature. I enjoy painting the Dorset coast line, and landscapes in and around Salisbury. My studio overlooks the valley across to Old Sarum, which means I’m very aware of how light changes through the day, and through the seasons. One of the best things about living in England is how much the light changes through the year; golden dawns, pink sunsets, inky storms. The sky influences everything I paint.
Who are your influences?
Turner has probably had the biggest influence on my working practice. I’m really inspired by his work, when you see his work up close you realise it’s not just about painting a pretty picture or a dramatic storm, you can feel the the atmosphere of the places he paints. The current exhibition at Salisbury Museum of Turner's Wessex is absolutely superb. I'm delighted that I am one of the artists delivering a workshop at the museum. Mine is called “Looking through” we’ll be looking at how to approach drawing complex scenes. Often when I’m drawing, people stop and ask me “How on earth do you know where to start?” - my workshop will show them where to start and how to keep going; it’s on September 1st. I will be doing more workshops in the Autumn too. I love sharing knowledge and work.
Do you have any materials that you swear by?
I adore using Michael Harding’s glaze medium - it brings out a real depth and richness in colour. I also use “Zest-it” to dilute my oil paints and clean my brushes, it’s much kinder to the lungs than turps and thinners! When you’re working in the studio everyday you have to take the toxicity of the materials you use seriously.
You paint in oils rather than acrylics is there any reason for that?
I use a variety of water based media when I sketch outside, but back in the studio I use oils. My skies tend to be blended and feathered and acrylics simply dry far too quickly for me to get the effects I want. I work on several pieces at once, so while one layer is drying, I’m working on a different canvas. It keeps my work fresh! Some artists prefer the immediacy of acrylics. You have to find a medium that works for your style, the real trick is don't fight with your medium, work with it, and you’ll get the results you want.
You are involved in the Baron’s Trail, how did that come about?
I found out about the Baron’s Trail [ a public art piece to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carter] through Plain Arts Salisbury. I was delighted when I found out I was was one of 25 artists to be selected by the Trussle trust and the sponsors.
My Baron is the “Stained glass flower baron” and it is in the grounds of Salisbury Arts Centre. I wanted a design that combined contemporary design with the medieval. I’ve always loved glass work and my continuing love of nature meant I could blend the two. My Baron has many types of flowers which will be fun for people to recognise. I’m thrilled to be a part of this project.
Where else can people see your work in Salisbury this Summer?
In the library there’s the “Small pictures exhibition’ showcasing the work of Plain Arts Salisbury. In addition I have an exhibition of work called ‘Summertime Blues’ in Waterstones, rear stairwell throughout July. I will also be part of Salisbury’s wonderful Art trail in October.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about being an artist?
Share! Give of yourself. It’s wonderful to share stories and expertise. I find that people like to engage with artists and their lives not just their paintings. My favourite quote of the moment is from Jim Rohn “Happiness isn’t an accident, nor is it something you wish for, happiness is something you design”.
Information about Louise’s exhibitions and workshops are available at www.louiselutonart.com