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The Work of Abstract Painter, Bethany Brooke, is a Story of Motherhood, Progress & Philanthropy

Bethany Brook

Bethany with her Art Console

Bethany Brooke is a Connecticut-based, abstract painter whose role as a mother and philanthropist have shaped her perseverance, mission and career as an emerging artist. After working in finance for nearly 10 years, Bethany rediscovered her passion for creativity, and made it priority after her three children were born. She began to look at art as not only a way to express her zeal for life and parenthood, but as the next step of her professional career. The evolution of her abstract pieces and the exhilaration that seeps through the canvas takes form as bold, commanding colors in a delicate, organic composition, reflecting the bountiful layers of her life’s journey.

As an impassioned emerging artist, Bethany has an intense and evolving creative process. In just a short time, she has grown her portfolio tenfold and creates daily, producing works that catch the eye of interior designers and a connoisseur’s interest. Symbolic, engaging and beautiful, her paintings stand on their own as captivating chronicles of life.

 Bethany Brook
Grace

Bethany’s artistic career doesn’t just revolve around self-expression. Her involvement with Al’s Angels-- a Connecticut based charitable foundation whose mission is to provide comfort, joy and vital necessities to the families of children who face pediatric cancer and rare blood diseases has inspired her to connect her art with a greater cause. Bethany contributes a portion of her art sales to raise donations and awareness of this incredible organization.

When you’re finished reading about Bethany and her wonderful work, make sure to visit her website to see more at www.bethanybrookeart.com, as well as follow her Instagram, @bethanybrookeart.

Here, Bethany tells JustLuxe about her majestic art and story.

 Bethany Brook
Insatiable

How would you describe your art work?

My work has an organic component to it. There is fluidity and movement in all of it. However, there is also a dichotomy in my work reflecting two different sides of my personality. Because my art is an extension of me and my life’s journey, it exhibits two defining roles I have played in my life: my role as a mother and my career in finance. My body of work is graceful, fluid and all-encompassing which represents my approach to motherhood, but there are also very strong, aggressive and vibrant dimensions to my work signifying the characteristics in me that thrived throughout my corporate life.You can see the marriage between the two personas in my painting “Insatiable,” where the abstractness to the piece is soft and nurturing, presenting depth; however, there is a vibrant punch of neon that exemplifies a tenacity in my life’s endeavors. As I painted that piece, I was listening to a friend reflect upon a very challenging time in her career and how she harnessed the stamina to rise above it with dignity. Listening to her story inspired me as I painted and the outcome was this gorgeous piece that is graceful yet sassy. Although someone else’s story at the time inspired the piece, it rings true to how I have evolved as a person and the balance between my softness and strength. Even now, there are days when looking at “Green Light” lifts me up, it energizes me, but there are other times when it reminds me the importance of being refined. For me, the fact that my paintings can evoke different emotions or perspective depending on my day or my mood is what makes this process fascinating.

 Bethany Brook
Undercurrent

What artists influenced you the most?

A few artist that inspire my work are Yves Klein, Agnes Martin, Honza Kalab, Jane Puylagarde and Jeremy Holmes. I relate strongly to artists who create strong yet minimal works. For instance, Yves Klein and Agnes Martin are iconic, each creating works that to me are minimal yet bold. There is something so moving in simplicity. All of the artists I mentioned have a clean sophistication to their art and that really resonates with who I am and how I approach not just my art, but my life.

 Bethany Brook
Guardian and Keep Installed

You worked in finance for a while, how did you make the shift from working in finance to working as an artist?

Motherhood bridged the gap between my career in finance and my career as an artist. My tenure in finance ended upon the arrival of my first child. As an at-home mother, I threw myself into all of my creative outlets, especially painting. It was during this time in my life that I took a step back to reflect upon my passions and aside from my family and friends, painting held quite a heavy weight. For me, it has been a force greater than me. I paint daily and have been for a little over one year. I am literally moved to the canvas. Since I have three very small children, I paint at home which gives me the luxury to paint throughout my entire day and I love that method. This approach to painting feels natural to me and not contrived. For example, when I painted “Guardian” I had just returned home from dropping my two older children off at school and was moved by how beautiful the view was of the Mill Pond right by our home. Often times when I pass that pond, I think of my father who loved the water. I literally could not wait to return home to paint, but my six-month old son was fussy, so I popped him in a baby bjorn and painted away. The result was this awe-inspiring piece that truly is majestic. My favorite part of “Guardian” is that I created it with my little guy along for the ride. If you look very closely at the painting in the right light there is a face deep in the center of the piece. It was unintentional, but so perfect. For me, it all came full circle, thinking about my father who has now passed, but painting with my son, a very new addition to our family.

 

 

 Bethany Brook
Dancer

Do you feel that anyway influenced your art?

Absolutely. Firstly, both professions require a thick skin and a sense of humor. I remember a mentor of mine at J.P. Morgan giving me advice when I started working upon college graduation and the advice was you can make any mistake, but only make it once. That really resonated with me. My younger, corporate-self approached my professional and personal life trying to make as few mistakes as possible and never repeating the same mistake. Painting lends a new perspective to that advice. In painting, there are mistakes that turn into new techniques or beautiful masterpieces. How liberating is that?! It can sometimes be the unintentional stroke or drip in a painting that gives it character and emotion. For me, it is that freedom to explore new things through painting that provides a balance between how I approach my life and how I approach my art. Creating beauty from mistakes is something I did not have the freedom to explore in my prior career path and can generally be a challenge in everyday life, but on a canvas it is magic. My painting “Dancer” exhibits this freedom as it is a work I painted solely with my left hand. I did not expect to love the result as much as I do. “Dancer” was the first work I started without a color palette in mind. With the brush in my non-dominant hand, I did not have the courage to use color. I began with white and let myself go without direction. The painting evolved into a light hearted sweet abstract with a beautiful lilt to it. You can see a ballerina twirling in her tutu and the color palette evolved organically toward soft neutrals and pinks. When I began the piece, I thought it would be a painting wrought with error, but as I look at it today it reminds me how the artistic process has helped me grow.

 Bethany Brook
Curious

How would you describe your process?

Often, I select a color palette which generally dictates the mood of the piece. For me, it is important each of my works has depth. Depending on the mood of the work, I either build color with acrylic paint and thinning agents creating a striking richness and utilize the fluidity of water movement as it's own medium creating depth, or I softly feather and edge acrylic paints on canvases to create a more effervescence and layer those shapes or colors to create an ethereal depth.

 Bethany Brook
Born1 Installed

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a series titled “Born” that is intuitive for me. This series is a strong representation of myself - it represents a juxtaposition between minimalism and intricacies.The aesthetic of the series is crisp, but fluid forcing the eye to wander through the work. Each piece in this series starts with an organic shape and builds from there. As the work evolves, the color palette lightens and darkens and the shapes meld occasionally providing an optical illusion. To me, this series represents self-exploration and growth. Although we are all born with certain distinctions, we evolve from our life experiences and environment. This series, “Born,” is a perfect summation to the current chapter of my life as an artist. 

 

 Bethany Brook
Bethany Working on Born Series

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a series titled “Born” that is intuitive for me. This series is a strong representation of myself - it represents a juxtaposition between minimalism and intricacies.The aesthetic of the series is crisp, but fluid forcing the eye to wander through the work. Each piece in this series starts with an organic shape and builds from there. As the work evolves, the color palette lightens and darkens and the shapes meld occasionally providing an optical illusion. To me, this series represents self-exploration and growth. Although we are all born with certain distinctions, we evolve from our life experiences and environment. This series, “Born,” is a perfect summation to the current chapter of my life as an artist. 

All photos courtesy of Bethany Brook

 

Carly Zinderman

Carly Zinderman is a Senior Staff Writer for JustLuxe, based just outside of Los Angeles, CA. Since graduating from Occidental College with a degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies, she has written on a variety of topics for books, magazines and online publications, but loves fashion and style best. In her spare time, when she?s not writing, Carly enjoys watching old movies, reading an...(Read More)

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