By Michelle Ventress
Brooke Walker-Knoblich is a contemporary, realist painter who lives and paints in Midtown Sacramento. Her current exhibition of new work at Gallery 2110 (on view through February 29 so catch it soon!) features multimedia projects based on the local music scene.
Brooke recently talked to CBSSacramento.com about her art and her exhibit.
CBSSacramento.com: How and when did you become interested in art and painting?
BWK: Art has been my passionate obsession for as long as I can remember. When I was a child I would draw until I had blisters on my fingers! Luckily, I was blessed with parents who recognized my love for art, giving me an early Waldorf education and encouraging me to study abroad in Paris while I was in college. The year I spent in Paris (2003-2004) was the most instrumental year in forging my dream of becoming a professional, dedicated artist. In Paris I received both a classical education in realism painting and a contemporary, expressionistic understanding of the human figure. Both influences are quite prevalent in my work today.
CBSSacramento.com: Since the exhibit is influenced by the local music scene, is this something you’re involved in?
BWK: I have been intrigued with the Sacramento music scene since I moved to Midtown 3 years ago. Though I’m not a musician, I’ve always been drawn to the magnetism of these artists. Perhaps it’s the mystery of how music moves us– how a harmony can invoke an intense emotional response just as easily as a space between the notes–that truly inspires this series. I’m also fascinated by the collaborative nature of music. How these artists inspire and feed off each other and create a communal, social performance space that is entirely unique, spontaneous and perfectly present tense.
CBSSacramento.com: Do you have a preferred medium?
BWK: I prefer to paint in oil because of its versatility and lusciousness. There are so many different techniques an artist can use with oils. It can be layered on thickly, swirled around on the surface of the canvas for hours or it can be thinly painted in luminous glazes. Because it takes so long to dry oil paint is also one of the most forgiving mediums, easy to correct a mistake with a simple smudge of the brush. So for an artist like me, who works very organically to coax the forms and colors from the canvas, oil paint is truly delightful. It also helps that the very smell of lindseed oil wafting through the studio absolutely thrills me! That doesn’t mean I don’t often use and experiment with different mediums. Each one has a unique way of expressing a subject. This series in particular has reinvigorated my love for ink drawings. Every mark I make with ink is seen on the paper, almost like a record of the notes that are played. This process is perfectly suited for this musical project because I’m trying to capture the movement and gesture of music as it manifests and evolves.
CBSSacramento.com: Has this project been easier or more difficult than you expected?
BWK: This new series has been fraught with challenges, mostly because I am questioning my own artistic techniques and philosophies. I am giving up control of my subject. Instead of relying on a static image to paint from in the privacy of my studio, I’ve asked myself to embrace the bustle of the city to fuel my processes. I’m demanding that I reach beyond my tightly polished realistic paintings and try to express how music behaves as it pulses through a musician. I’m asking what the sound of a plucked string looks like, what color is that note, what kind of brush stroke and texture does it have? How does one convey the emotion of a cracked voice or how a room radiates with the energy and excitement of baring one’s soul on a stage? One of the most exciting aspects of this series is the synergism that is created in visually explaining sound.
CBSSacramento.com: Is there anything in particular you would like the community to know before
attending your exhibition?
BWK: While I have tried my best to portray the incredible diversity that makes the Sacramento music scene so unique, it is inevitable that many musicians will not be included. For the Gallery show at 2110 I decided to limit the pieces to include only musicians that live in Sacramento. The collection could easily have doubled if I included the myriad international talent Sacramento draws to its stages. But the decision also was rooted in a desire to honor the artists that are living in our midst, right here in our local community, that so desperately deserve our support.
Brooke Walker-Knoblich’s art is available for purchase on Etsy.com (http://www.etsy.com/shop/PortraitsbyBrooke). You may find more information about her private or group art classes on her website (http://www.portraitsbybrooke.com/). She may also be contacted through her public Facebook
Sacramento Art Complex
2110 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
Hours: Tuesday through Friday: 11a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.