In the fall of 2014, I started submitting ads to Facebook about PATCH to see if there was any interest in our little band across the Atlantic over in Europe. To my happy surprise, a lot of people responded kindly to us.
None so much as one Louise Morgan of Ireland.
This lovely woman responded to everything I was putting out to her, whilst spreading the word about us to all of her mates in the King's Country. She wrote me an email saying that she was painting a picture based off of our first EP, "Schematics".
I asked her if she could show me the piece. It was amazing. Seeing someone's subjective take on your own artwork is a humbling experience.
I then asked if I could have access to some more of her paintings. Turns out she's a painter and sketch artist with a flair for tattoo-styled works. Her work is a myriad of 60's psychedelia infused with celtic, fantastical charm. A blend of dark and light, which combine to make a whole, fully realized body of work that really sheds a spotlight on Louise's soul. Her work is very unique and, above all, personal.
Louise shed some light on her style, vision and background with me recently:
PK: WHY PAINTING? WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS ARTISTIC MEDIUM?
LM: I will be honest with you, I have never really thought about the whys or what I’m trying to achieve through my artwork. I only know that, for me, it’s a release of self, a release of ideas that pop into my head and I hope that I achieve something pleasing to the eye. Plus, I like to get a little messy sometimes and that in itself is its own reward, to just go with the flow. However, I have not done this in a while due to the controlled nature of the commission that I am currently working on. I am really missing it at the moment.
PK: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PAINTING/DRAWING?
LM: I think I started to get interested in art back in High school in art class. My art teacher was not great, only concentrating on the pupils he favoured. And some of them had some real talent. I think I just wanted to prove that I was in the same league, however I could never catch his attention. I think that was the start of it for me, it gave me the drive to strive forward and I knew I wanted to create. Whether it be painting, drawing or just to create something. I will do it in my own way.
After school I attended Blacon Art College in Chester where I did my Art Foundation course. The Foundation course enabled me to further my interest in textile design, so I went on to attend Huddersfield University in Yorkshire, to do a BA Honours in Surface Pattern and design. It was not long before that I found out that the course I was attending had not been running long. I was disappointed with the way the course was going for me and had to be honest with myself that this was not what I wanted to do with my art and felt a little stifled of the thought of having to do designs on a time frame. I felt that this would hamper my creative ability, putting a time scale on my designs was a bit of a problem for me; I wanted to do it in my own time. It was a time I thought I really should have gone into illustration instead of textile design however I was unable to transfer to a different course so I left after a year and decided to go it alone.
So I moved back home feeling that I had failed in my attempt to further my ambition to qualify for a job where I could still be creative and get paid for it. With this all in mind though, I did not want to give up on what I enjoyed doing. But it all had to go on the back burner for a time, only drawing and painting as a hobby as I still had to make a living and go out into the real world and get a job. I am still on my journey and it has taken a long time to get to where I am currently which has only been made possible by my husband and a move to Ireland.
PK: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
LM: This is hard question for me. I can say that I do not do landscapes, watercolours or realistic portraits, although I will never say never. If I ever try them out, it will be with a twist of some sort.
I have asked this question to myself at times and can only say that it’s Louise’s style; I don’t feel that I conform to a type of style. I am still in process of finding a niche that I fit into, although I try not to analyse it too much, which to me would only hinder my creative process.
My problem is that I like a lot of forms of art. For example, I have tried Fantasy Art and think that I did a decent attempt at it, but I have not gone back to it. I also like a lot of tattoo art (I have designed my own). Street Art. However, I also like a lot of abstract work, which I find, at times, that I am pulled more into that direction.
It all depends on the idea of a piece and how I feel at the time and what I want the piece to reflect to the viewer. If it's for texture, I would move to an abstract form of shapes. Or a neater controlled style which my mother would say was modern, fantasy abstract. I mostly leave it up to the observer on what they feel the style is as I find it hard to put it into any kind of category. To me, if it looks good then I'll go with it and if anybody else likes it then it’s a bonus.
PK: HAVE YOU STAYED WITHIN THE REALM OF PAINTING THROUGHOUT YOUR ARTISTIC ENDEAVORS? ANY DESIRE TO BREAK INTO OTHER ARTISTIC MEDIUMS?
LM: I have dabbled in other aspects of art at college. I would love to have another go at pottery. I enjoy the feel of the clay in my hands. I have attempted to get artsy with photography but it didn’t really do anything for me. I also like the thought of making my own silver jewellery. My husband thinks I am a bit of a magpie and can’t walk past a jewellery shop without stopping to have a look.
I have tried the medium of music through my creative travels but I am a little hindered without being able to remember how to read music properly. I was taught the basics at an early age by my granddad. I wouldn’t even try to attempt it now. So instead, I sing. I joined a band but like some bands there were some creative differences going on and we split up after 18 months.
I did sing for a producer once, but he was only interested in bands that he was currently working with. So I made cups of tea and showed them my art work, which led to my first commission piece for a trumpet Jazz player, a portrait sketch of Josephine Baker.
Currently karaoke is my only outlet in this endeavour now, which is few and far between. To be completely honest with you, I am a bit shy when it comes to my singing this is probably why I concentrate more on painting and drawing. However saying this, I met a lovely singer/producer on holiday this year in Spain who has encouraged me to continue to sing, I just need to find an outlet in Ireland. But for the time being, I will stick to singing in my little art room while I am painting.
PK: WHAT DO YOU USE FOR INSPIRATION WHILE PAINTING? DOES LISTENING TO MUSIC DRIVE THE PROCESS?
LM: Music helps drive the creative process. I find it helps to set a mood. I listen to different genres of music. The piece I am working on at the time can also influence the style of music I listen to. Whenever I want to start a new piece of art work, when I have no clue or idea formed at the time, I find that different styles of music inspire different styles of artwork.
For example, when listening to heavy metal I find my style can be more aggressive and I use big and bold colours. When listening to deep house electro music I tend to do more street style pieces using vibrant colours with swirls and patterns. R&B, Motown, Progressive rock, chillout, PATCH (of course) and instrumental music I find helps me with the flow of paint I need when I am already in the process of a piece.
I also find that other artists inspire me since I signed up to Facebook. I have found a lot of awesome artists out there who are amazing and inspire me to move forward with my own work. And on the odd occasion when I have a certain idea floating in my mind I have been known to be inspired by nature.
PK: DO YOU USUALLY HAVE A SPECIFIC GOAL IN MIND WITH YOUR WORK'S FINISHED PRODUCT OR DO YOU JUST LET GO AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS? DO YOU LET THE ARTISTIC JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL?
LM: If I have already got an idea set in my mind then yes. I set it out in a brief sketch first and work on the idea like I would a design brief and then turn it into a painting, I tend to do this for commissions if the piece requires it depending on what the client wants. I have got a large painting currently in this process at the moment which I have been working on for a while now and its one of those pieces that could take a couple of years to get to the finished product. The reason for this is that I get distracted easily with different ideas that pop up that need to be set down on paper so I can just empty my mind and move forward.
I find I have a lot of on-going work projects in a different state of completion. But I also, as you say, let the artistic Jesus take the wheel. It’s a good process to just let go and let the abstract freak flow out on the canvas. It can be very invigorating and can produce surprising results. Sometimes bad ones, too, but those ones I just paint over. It's all a process of creativity and what I want to achieve at the time.
PK: DOES "LOUISE'S CREATIVE ARTWORKS" HAVE ANY PLANS TO BE FEATURED IN A GALLERY SETTING OR COLLECTION OF SOME SORT? WOULD YOU OPEN UP A STORE FOR YOUR WORK?
LM: I'm not sure a store for my work would be appropriate. Maybe in time. I think that depends on the general public and how my work is received. If enough people enjoy my work I will certainly think about it.
I am actually in the process of finding the right idea and style for a collection to be featured in a gallery setting. Since my move to Ireland I haven't had to work to keep a roof over our heads. This has given me a chance to work on my art on a daily basis and not in the haphazard way I experienced previously, when I was only able to create at the weekends. Fingers crossed. The goal currently is to work toward a showing of my work.
PK: WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT YEAR OR TWO WITH YOUR ARTWORK?
LM: I don’t want to get ahead of myself too much, but I feel that it’s not good to rush things. For me anyway. The main plan is to work toward a good body of work that I can be proud of and hopefully there is someone out there that will open their doors to me and give me the opportunity to show the general public my art work and I will go on from there.