Louisa Crispin experienced a breakthrough in her career as an artist in 2013. Having run her own jewellery business for 20 years she has spent the last 4 years developing her love of drawing in any time she could find away from her main source of income. The hard work started to bear fruit this year as she formed a resolution in January to really take her work seriously. ‘I have had a roller coaster of a year from rejection by the Society of Graphic Fine Art to winning a drawing prize with Pure Arts Group and exhibiting at the Saatchi Gallery in London!’ Not only do we admire Louisa’s beautiful work but we admire her strength of character to keep going with the things she loves to create.
Louisa’s work is heavily influenced by her early life in Sissinghurst, Kent; natural flora and fauna feature strongly in her work. She is often seen bringing back sticks from woodland walks and watching birds and insects from her kitchen window for inspiration.
Louisa is a member of Chalk Gallery, which is an artist led syndicate in Lewes, East Sussex.
Lisa: What has been your favourite exhibition of 2013?
Louisa: Thinking back over the year it seems so long ago but the Ice Age exhibition at the British Museum was very important. For me it reinforced the human need for art both as a creator and admirer: that time was allowed to be spent on art when there was a daily struggle to survive is reinforcing. I had a similar feeling when I visited Sutton Hoo a few years back and saw the fantastic craftmanship which had been commissioned at great expense on what was essentially a warship. But The Young Durer exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery was my favourite, not so much for his early drawings but from seeing how his later drawings had developed.
Lisa: What highlights have you experienced in your own art studio in 2013?
Louisa: This one is really easy to answer: my key highlight was winning the Drawing Prize at Pure Art Group’s Autumn Show which directly led to exhibiting in the new Strarta Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery in October! The whole exhibition was mind blowing, especially the Gala Preview and the photographs by Christian Voigt.
Lisa: What art related new year’s resolutions will you make?
Louisa: 4 years ago I discovered drawing and have been working this alongside my jewellery business (a second career nearly 20 years ago). Now entering my 50th New Year I have decided to follow the drawing and see where it leads. The jewellery is taking a back seat, I am aiming to get back on track with my Open College of the Arts course and I hope to exhibit in the Mall Galleries in London. To set this in motion I have resolved to have some playtime. It is really important to make time to relax and enjoy what you are doing, to try new things and find your way into a new body of work which often only comes by experimenting with new techniques and giving them time to develop. I have some new materials on my Christmas list and will be settling down to play as soon as the main festivities are over.
Lisa: What valuable lesson did you learn about making art in 2013?
Louisa: Make the most of the opportunities that are presented to you and don’t dwell on the rejections. 2013 was the year I was rejected by the Society of Graphic Fine Art and then won a Drawing Prize that led to the Saatchi Exhibition (in October). If I had been accepted to the SGFA I might have saved the prize winning drawing for their Autumn Show rather than submitting it to Pure Arts!
Lisa: What art materials are on your Christmas wishlist?
Louisa: I really want to try some graphite dust, apparently it is very messy but lots of fun. I’m also selecting some different papers to try as these have a big impact on the end result. Otherwise I’m open to suggestions?
See more of Louisa Crispin’s work at www.louisacrispinart.co.uk