Art as meditation, nature as inspiration

Brewing Local Artists (BLA!) is a brand new initiative by those cool cats over at Burleigh Brewing Co. Keen to utilise their unique space for a range of activities which reflect and support the teeming Gold Coast culture, Burleigh Brewing Co. created BLA! to showcase the works of Gold Coast artists while also providing attendees a chance to engage with the artists personally or by viewing them work live.

The inaugural event was a resounding success, with a diverse range of styles and mediums on display. The artists’ brief was Balance, Character & Soul, an opportunity for them to demonstrate their take on the Gold Coast’s unique culture and lifestyle. The beauty of interpretation was evident on the evening, with abstract sculpture, photography and fine art jostling for the coveted “Crowd Favourite” votes. The title went to local artist and interior designer Lou Duggan for her large seascapes. She chatted with us about her inspirations.

“There’s something about the way nature’s light, texture and movement subconsciously enrich our souls. It begs you to stop and engage with its easy rhythm and asks nothing in return,” she says.

“I’m embarrassed to say this as it’s so cliché but impressionism spoke to me from a very young age. I have a giant fig tree in my garden, the way light dances through the leaves at different times of the day and in different seasons is mesmerising to me.”

Characterised by layers, the palest of colours and their large size, Lou’s seascapes evoke a sense of serenity in the observer. I wonder if the process is a peaceful one for her.

“I feel an amazing sense of calm when I paint,” says Lou.

“My brain rests from the puzzle of daily life and becomes absorbed by the emotion nature evokes. It’s reliable beautiful and uncomplicated, it feels like a dance of light and texture. That sense of calm is reflected in the colour palette I work within.

“Primarily, I want the piece to reflect that sense of calm with no conflict in colour or intensity.  Secondly, I want my art to sit quietly within a space complementing its surroundings, to be a calming place to rest your eye and find peace without the need to scream ‘look at me’.”

An average painting for Lou takes approximately seven to ten days to complete, with lots of drying time between layers. She discusses her technique.

“I paint using plaster and acrylic paint in a series of layers.

“My technique isn’t really influenced by any artistic style, it has developed very organically as I searched to find practical ways to place texture and emotion on the canvas.

“For me, painting is a highly emotional experience, so my hands and rags are my tools, they give me the freedom to put my entire body into the painting without the limitations of a paint brush.  It’s also the reason my paintings tend to be so large.”

As well as her interior design business, Lou also runs a business which creates DIY kid’s cake kits for busy parents.  This means that she gets to nurture her creative side each and every day in a myriad of different ways. Lou feels incredibly lucky to have this opportunity.

“Anyone who knows me, knows that I have one of those busy brains that never shuts down, I’m an over thinker and everything I think comes out of my mouth!

“Art is my meditation, it’s my opportunity to place my soul on the canvas, to put words to one side and let emotion take over. I think that’s why so much of my art is a reflection on relationship with nature.”

“I imagine my art sitting quietly in your environment, a place to rest your eye from the chaos of life, providing a sense of calm and a chance to breathe.”

You can follow LouDugganArt on Instagram for examples of her work and Burleigh Brewing Co runs cool cultural events ALL THE TIME.

IMAGE (c) Lamp Photography


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