Louise Holgate British


Following a successful career in architecture, Louise took up painting full time in 2010.   She holds an MA in Environmental Design & Architecture from the RCA where, in addition to her architectural studies, she enjoyed working on projects and additional courses in the Schools of Painting and Photography. Her architectural training with its attention to the composition of form, space and light plays an important part in her work. 

Each day begins with her visual ‘press ups’: a drawn diary in which she allows the pen to move almost at will across the page; an abstract acrylic, and then a self-portrait. Only when these are complete does she allow herself to pick up her oils. The first step is to mix a palette – she is particularly fond of mixing complex greys for the myriad tones they can encompass, and the way in which they enliven other colours. Then, she starts making marks, working intuitively until they coalesce into something that resonates – the distilled essence of a view glimpsed, an experience remembered or a sudden shaft of light, perhaps. ‘I seldom know what’s going to come up,’ she says. Nor does she know, when she sets out, how the painting will develop. Her pieces are semi-abstract and she works instinctively, exploring and experimenting to arrive at a point of completion. ‘When recording memories or objects,’ she says, ‘To lift them from the figurative to capture the feeling of what it was that moved me and to surprise myself’. 

Current and past influences include The St Ives Group and American abstract expressionists. Michael Andrews, particularly for his portraits of the Thames, and Anton Tapies for his thrilling textures are also important.