Our June / July featured artist Brooke Westlund is a master of color and complexity, depth and texture. A native Seattleite, her style is warm and modern with a familiarity that is refreshing and honest.
Her Pike Place Market gallery and studio is home base for her artistic empire which includes paintings, mixed media, workshops and commissioned work for clients such as Kimpton Hotels, the Hyatt Regency, Expedia and so many more.
Meet Brooke and toast to her first showing in West Seattle during the June and July Art Walks on Thursday June 13th and July 11th from 5-8p.
How would you describe what you make?
I create abstract paintings and mixed media artwork. I paint on canvas and wood panels. Usually all of my work has many layers, my Seattle artwork starts with my abstract paintings, then I lay a transparent photo over the top and resin is the final layer. With my abstract work there are also many layers of paint, adding and subtracting, covering over things and adding back until it feels right.
What drew you to this medium and style of work?
I think mostly I love the process of creating, and over time I have developed my style. Although it is always changing and I don’t think I fit into one box of a style. Often in my studio/gallery people ask me how many artists are showing at that time, and it’s all my different styles of work.
Can you tell us about your favorite piece in the current collection?
My favorite piece in this collection is my newest Seattle map, mixed media painting with the red pattern. I just love all of the elements together.
If you could collaborate with anyone (living or not), who would it be and why?
Rothko, I would love to learn about him and what he things and feels when he is in his studio and see how he creates his huge ethereal paintings, and just to be with his paintings in person.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Always keep creating new work, even if you feel stuck and will never show it to anyone, sometimes you need to keep going to get onto the next amazing work that will come after a bad period. And to always do your commissions.
Can you describe your favorite part of the process in your work?
My favorite part of my process is starting the very first layer of BIG abstract paintings, usually every part of the first layer will be completely covered up so it is just fun and ends up setting the tone for the whole painting even though I am the only one who usually sees that layer.
When you're in the studio, what are you listening to?
Usually I have a random mix from pandora, Motown, Fleetwood Mac or Norah Jones
What is your most treasured handmade possession?
I’ve done 2 paintings for my husband over the last 5 years after 2 international trips we went on together. We saved tickets and maps and cards and collected little things along our trip. I created paintings full of all of the things we collected and then painted over/incorporated everything and then layered one of our favorite pictures we took over the top. I love how they look but also because it is such a reminder of special memories.