Brooke Woody. Making Spirits Bright

Brooke Woody. Making Spirits Bright

Happy Thanksgiving collector friends!  We are so grateful to each and every one  of you and what better way to kick off the holiday season than to host Greenville artist, Brooke Brownell Woody.  

Brooke #4
I’ve had my eye on Brooke for at least 5 years now and am thrilled to be showing her expressive and figurative work during this holiday season.  Brooke is an oil painter and this exhibit features more realistic representation of the human figure to a more fauvist impression.
Image 1
I also had the pleasure to interview Brooke for a peek inside the lifestyle of being a wife, mother of 9 (number 10 is on it’s way) and artist.  Read on…

When did you first come to see yourself as an artist?

I have seen myself as an artist as long as I have lived. I have never known a moment when art was not my love and passion, even as a very young child.

When did you sell your first painting and what was the painting?

 I sold my first painting while I was in undergrad at Clemson University, which was featured at the Pickens County Museum. I was a lovely and quick black ink painting on paper of a nude figure.

Tell me a little bit about your process and rituals in the studio.  What is your work like?

 Having a very busy and bustling life of schooling and caring for my nine children at home, my studio is like a little getaway. I pop out there with my afternoon coffee during naptime and get to work. I work in the quiet, with an occasional little visitor to play on the floor.

My work is very expressive and mostly figurative. Since I was a small child I have been drawn to the human face and figure, which is what I continue to gravitate towards. I work in oils and range from the more realistic representation of the human to a more fauvist impression.

Brooke & Son

Who were your earliest mentors?

My family is filled with artists who chose varying paths for their careers, from architects to a bishop, who encouraged me in my work from a young age. In my undergraduate studies, books and books filled with historical and contemporary artists mentored me along the way (proved by the massive amounts of late library fees I paid!) My favorites were Alice Neel, Frida Kahlo, Kathe Kollwitz, and Lucian Freud, among others.

How do you find time to paint with responsibilities of family?

I am fortunate to have a studio attached to my home, which affords me the ability to step out and work for small amounts of time. I am content and thankful, at this very full stage of caring for nine young children, to have any capability to produce paintings. I usually work for a couple of hours, four days a week, during the quiet time of day when the little ones are napping and the older kids are working on independent studies.

If  you could talk to any living or non-living artist who what that be and what advice would you ask for?

I would beg John Singer Sargent to show me everything he knows. I would sit and watch him paint, pepper him with questions, hoping to glean from his astounding methods of painting the figure and portrait.

What advice to you have to todays young and emerging artists?

I advise young and emerging artists to never be content with their own knowledge and understanding of art and its processes. To continue to grow, learn and long to acquire the techniques and skills that those going before them have. Never stop learning!

Please join us Saturday morning, November 29th (10-noon) to meet Brooke Woody and experience her passion first hand.  Brooke is so thankful to have the capability to produce paintings and I’m so thankful to bring her and her bright spirit to A&L for the holidays!