Muddy Meets: Artist, Nina Brooke
The vibrant birds-eye-view painter tells Muddy about her inspirations, aerial perspectives and her favourite Cornish views.
Continuing our Artists & Makers series we catch up with Nina Brooke. Nina grew up in Cornwall and the Caribbean and the impact of both environments can clearly be seen in her work. She attended Falmouth Art School, where she started refining her style and appreciation for capturing the sea in paint as well as the respected Newlyn Art School where she trained with some of Cornwall’s finest professional artists in the art of gesture, colour and textural abstraction.
How did you become an artist?
I am from a family of artists who nurtured my creativity from a young age. I had drawing lessons from my grandfather as a child and he taught me all the essentials. I then took these skills and began my own creative journey.
Can you sum up your work in a sentence?
Inspired by travel, my work focuses on appreciating the world’s beautiful coastlines from an aerial perspective.
What’s your ideal working environment?
A daylight filled room, uncluttered, and minimally decorated with natural materials. Plants and good music or podcast are a must! In an ideal world, I would be right next to the sea.
Tell us a little bit about your inspiration and process.
I’m inspired by the landscapes that surround me and human interaction. These two elements draw me in. It fascinates me to watch how humans interact in such beautiful locations. I love observing the culture, how people move, the colours, and the light. Each situation is totally different which inspires my creative eye.
A photograph can jerk a reaction to paint, but I’m mostly inspired by the situation itself. Capturing this energy is when I’m ready to make my first marks on the canvas. The paint and brushstrokes take over from here.
Did you have to learn any new skills unrelated to painting to create your works?
I did have to learn to take photographs whilst hanging out the door of a helicopter and I also had to learn how to fly a drone. That was fun!
Your work obviously draws on the seascape. What are your favourite Cornish views?
One of my favourite Cornish views is looking out from the beach in Sennen. Sometimes you can see the Isles of Scilly on a really clear day. I also like the views from my home town – Rock Beach and The Camel Estuary. Porthcurno and St. Ives are up there too.
What are you working on now? I
I am now working on large commissions for clients here in Cornwall and America.
Where can we see your work this year?
You can find my work at my studio in Rock via appointment and at Open Surf in St Agnes this spring. This summer I will host a solo show in Portobello Road, London. I also have plans with North Coast Asylum Gallery in Newquay.
Do you have a favourite painting of yours or one that holds strong memories?
The very first aerial abstract seascape painting I did back in 2016 holds lots of memories for me. It represents freedom and the unknown. The balance and combination of colours worked really well for this piece. I haven’t been able to reproduce this again which is why it’s special to me.
If you could magically transport one piece of artwork in the world to a wall in your home, what would it be?
If I had a wall big enough, it would be “Reflections of Clouds on the Water–Lily Pond” by Claude Monet which is currently sitting in MoMA, NYC. It’s awesome.
For smaller walls, I would hang any Henry Matise cut out. They are timeless and jolly.
See more of Nina’s work and get full details of her upcoming exhibitions at ninabrooke.co.uk.