Brooke Walker-Knoblich

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About the Artist

Brooke Walker-Knoblich’s unique painting style fuses her Renaissance training with a contemporary expressionistic approach. In 2003, while pursuing a BA in Studio Art from UC San Diego, Brooke spent a year in Paris, France. She participated in the Louvre Museum’s Master Copy Program to learn traditional pigment preparation and glazing techniques and also studied with renowned contemporary figurative painter Kathy Burke. Just recently, in 2010, Brooke furthered her classical realism training by painting at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.

Since receiving her BA in 2005, Brooke has vigorously pursued her art by developing 5 large bodies of work and has received national recognition through juried exhibits and Awards of Excellence. She was born in 1982 and is a fifth generation Californian, raised in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She currently lives and paints in Midtown Sacramento

“Streets of Midtown” Series: Artist StatementBeyond the landscape of tended gardens and Victorian architecture, wide avenues lined with perfectly spaced old-growth trees, and businesses just a few blocks from the neighborhoods, there’s something about the people who choose to live in Midtown Sacramento that creates a unique and magnetic cultural phenomenon.

Finding inspiration in Midtown was not difficult. Deciding which images to actually paint was. For months Brooke roamed the streets with her camera, simply observing and reacting, balancing intention with opportunity. Of course there were specific themes that needed to be painted, but for the most part she just let it happen the way it does in real life, uncontrolled and beautiful in its own right.

Painting Portraits: Artist Statement

It is no coincidence that my artistic path focused when I first lived abroad in 2003. Being completely alone in a foreign country forced me to perceive things differently, to look at people differently. With my extremely limited understanding of any spoken language other than English, I had to rely on the faces and bodies of the people I encountered to tell a story.

Since then, I have chosen to paint portraits that tell stories and are rooted in place. Often living vicariously through my friends and family who travel when I am unable, I strive to celebrate the rich diversity of the world in my work. The seemingly simple moments, candid and spontaneous, are my most influential inspirations. For they have the power to satisfy some of our deepest desires… to examine a life, to truly look at another human being, and learn something about ourselves. I believe portraiture acts as both a lens and mirror in this sense. For we see what makes an individual unique and simultaneously experience our own humanity.

My hope is that no matter how foreign the culture/person may be, my paintings will inspire a connection and remind us of what we are missing—real people of unusual beauty, depth, and complexity. In fact, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the necessity of perceiving other people, other cultures, and our shared humanity has ever been more important.