The main focus of my paintings has been people in a natural setting, using photography as well as live models for my reference. In my paintings, I strive to capture simple, emotional moments of human interaction within a natural environment in order to evoke a warm and pleasant memory for the viewer. I love the outdoors and the beauty and charm of small children, so combining the two brings me great joy along with the challenge of trying to capture those wonderful childhood expressions. I feel so blessed when I receive an emotional outpouring of happiness and gratitude from my collectors when I present them their portrait commission. For my inspiration I look to Sargent, Sorolla, and Zorn as the masters, but I continually develop my own style and color palette.
An artist’s work should always be evolving – mine included. During the last few years I have had the desire for a more direct approach to capturing my subject matter, so I decided to take to the open landscape to paint the setting in its natural light. Painting “en plein air” has been one of the most frustrating, challenging and extremely rewarding things I have done in a long time. Finishing a plein air painting in about two hours before the sunlight changes produces dramatic and exciting results. My heroes of this genre are the early California impressionists: Payne, Redmond, Rose, etc.
The experiences of “chasing the light” has opened a new door in my creative process. I now, truly believe that I have to work from life, outdoors, in order to capture the true quality of the moment. The process of painting in the field is not merely visual. It is one which utilizes all of my senses. I feel the plein air experience enhances the creative process of my studio paintings by keeping them fresh and vibrant. I am also committed to working from life in my studio. When the weather in inclement, I may be posing models or setting-up still lifes scenes to paint, whether it is oils or watercolors.
As a professional artist, I continually look for challenges for myself in order to grow artistically and spiritually. That’s the beauty of it: I will never be finished growing as an artist. To capture and share the beauty I see with the viewer, is indeed a great reward.
- Victoria Brooks