Featured Artist: Amber Brookman September 09 2018, 0 Comments
Amber Brookman worked as a full time artist in San Francisco, California for over ten years before her partner, now husband, was recruited to work for the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, AL. The two married and relocated in 2008. Since her move Ms Brookman has continued to show her work in various galleries in Palo Alto, CA., Boston, MA., and Seattle, WA., to name a few. In San Francisco, Brookman had established a reputation for large-scale abstract art that lends itself well to modern public and private spaces. She has exhibited and sold work internationally, and is represented in many private, corporate and hospitality collections and spaces around the world.
In recent years Geometric Abstraction has dominated her artistic style with her underlying interests in the sciences providing content and inspiration. Her mediums often include oils and alkyd resins, encaustic, as well as collage and printmaking.
Visit www.amberbrookman.com to view more works.
HSVAF: Was there a defining moment that you decided to be a full-time artist? If so, when was it and what prompted it?
AB: Instead of one defining moment it was more like a series of fortunate events. I was working at a frame shop in San Francisco where our clients were the majority of galleries and art consultants in the area. After years of establishing great working relationships, the company moved to a larger space and opened a gallery on site. I was one of the first artists to show work there, from that point on I started selling work through art consultants and a few galleries. After a few more years of consistent sales one of my interior design clients offered me a job helping her to place art in high end homes and hotels around the world. The catch to working for her was that I was to be an independent contractor and only work when there was a project. This allowed me to ease my way into being a full-time artist, as well as gave me the business experience of working for myself. That was in 1999, and I have not had a full-time job since. Work for the interior designer dried up after a few years and I was then a full-time artist. At times I have taken on small projects or have taught Pilates part time.
HSVAF: Where can people view your art?
AB: Currently people can see a few pieces from my “synapse series” at Museum Store at the Huntsville Museum of Art, or all my work on line at http://amberbrookman.com I also still have work at galleries in Palo Alto, CA http://www.bryantstreet.com, and ARTERRA, in Bellevue, WA.
HSVAF: How/where do you typically draw inspiration?
AB: I typically draw inspiration from what I read. I have always been interested in big questions, the human condition, the nature of consciousness and the scientific quest for a unified theory. Much of what I read fuels my work as I try to grasp the big picture often sacrificing the details. I have no idea, nor do I really care, if the work conveys what I have been reading about. I see my work as a reaction to the world around me and hope that my visual reaction resonates with others. The perceived message may be different for every single person. But isn’t that the nature of reality? We view everything through the lens of our own experiences thus reality is personal, as is the way we view a piece of art.
HSVAF: Do you have any advice for up and coming artists?
AB: I think many artists, who want to make a living selling their work, don’t think about networking with art consultants and/or interior designers. Sure, we would all love to be given solo shows in a pristine well-known gallery or better yet, museum, and there is huge value in making that your goal. It is often preferred to having your work scrutinized by how it will look with a sofa, but the reality is that very few people can or do buy art for the purpose of art and not for decoration. I paint what I want to paint and have fallen into a niche that is not where I initially wanted to be, but it has sold a lot of work for me, and work that I love to make. So my advice, I suppose, is to have an open mind about where and how you get your work out there. Many people are selling on line now, through Instagram even. There are many more resources to find out there other than that elusive gallery show. And, be as prolific as you can.
HSVAF: What mediums do you work with?
AB: I mainly work in thin layers of oils and use a lot of galkyd and marble dust, but have also done Encaustic work, Watercolors, Acrylics and am about to start working on some large scale sculptural projects with metal gabion cages and stone.
HSVAF: How would you describe your subject matter?
AB: I would describe my genreas Geometric Abstraction. I use geometric forms to convey feelings and try to evoke thought. Geometry is about as pure and universal a language as we have. Our brains are wired for recognition and response to pattern. My goal, along with artists such as, af Klint, Malevich, Rothko, Riley, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Klee (just to name a few artists I love) is to evoke emotion and thought through use of pattern, geometry and color. Abstract thoughts through abstract imagery.
HSVAF: Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?
AB: I am excited about two different projects/series’ right now. Many years ago, I designed some large scale architectural sculptures. I tried many times for grants and projects to be able to build them but never was able to. My husband and I now have some land where I can build to my heart’s content, so I am sourcing materials and working on final designs to start building some of those projects within the next year. I would love to eventually do some large scale public works. While I am working on that, I have several series of paintings in the works as well. One which I am excited about utilizes images that produce the McCollough effect covered by images of pathways or openings. (The McCollugh effect is an optical illusion where a semi-permanent change to one’s vision is induced by focusing on a specific image for a specific amount of time.) I see it as a metaphor for today’s experience with media, what we look at/watch has a lasting effect on our perception of reality and truth. The superimposed paths and or openings symbolize this current socio-political path and where we will go from here. “the narrowing path” 60” x 60” oil and alkyd on canvas ©2017 is the first in that series.
HSVAF: Are you involved in any upcoming shows or events? Where and when?
AB: I took a break recently from my art to work on some other things and have been in planning stages. So, I have nothing on the books coming up as far as physical shows. When I do, the best way to find out is to follow me on social media at