Artist Interviews 2022
By Rebecca Adele
Brooke Lambrix is a painter from Michigan and ever since she was a little girl she has been making art. Raised in a family where hunting and fishing was regular, she’s drawn to the beauty of nature and reflects that back into her pieces. Passionate about wildlife, one of her biggest goals is to be able to substantially aid conversation efforts.
You create beautiful paintings that are so realistic, that they catch a viewer's eye. Can you tell me about your process and how you have found a rhythm with painting over the years?
Thank you! To be honest I feel like I still haven’t found a rhythm. I’m always learning and changing and growing as an artist. I’m changing my technique constantly. I’m inspired so much by others. When I look back at my work as a whole, I see that there is always a certain style of mine that bleeds through, but I can’t really explain how that happens. I love painting with a bit of realism, but I also love hyper-bright colors. I always find myself reaching for the brightest brights and darkest darks to create a rich contrast.
Your pieces are inspired by nature and you stated on your website that it has a lot to do with being raised around hunting and fishing. Do you choose what animals to paint based on images you take?
Yes and no. I do take my own images and paint from them often. But I also outsource for inspiration too. I never copy an image that isn’t mine, but I may use it for reference on color placement or proportions. Like how the sunlight shines on leaves, or how muted I should paint fur before adding highlights. Sometimes I will watch videos of how a buck moves to get my posture down. In the end though, I decide what to paint based on how I’m feeling at the time and if I’ve thought of an idea inspiring enough for me to create it. For instance, I have a concept that I really want to make of otters, so I have been spending my time researching and studying photos/videos of them.
You've been making art since you were little, was there anyone growing up that mentored you to pursue art more seriously or did you find it on your own?
This was something I found completely on my own. No one in my family paints or does anything remotely art-related. I’m honestly not sure where it came from. I just don’t remember a time when I didn’t love to draw, paint, and create. Over time, I developed a skill for it simply through repetition and desire, but I never had a role model or anything of the like until the internet came along and I suddenly had an arsenal of extremely talented artists to learn from.
Looking through your collection, your "Retro Monroe" painting stands out from all the others as it is an image of a rainy street night in the city. Was the process different from your usual nature works? Will you be making more like this in the future?
Process was different only in the sense that my subject was different. Instead of soft fur, I had hard buildings; and instead of lit forests, there were cold roadways. That painting was made only to qualify for the theme of the show I entered it in, and also to challenge myself to create something different. I’m sure I will have more art like it in the future, it just isn’t what I’m passionate about so I don’t do it as often as something like wildlife.
Are there any artists that have inspired your style or in general?
I always hope that my work has its own unique style. I think this is something most artists strive for. I love realism, and I certainly look to other artists for guidance on the technical skill to accomplish it. But I can’t say there are specific ones that influence my ideas and painting personality. Perhaps I should, though. Art is a never ending learning process and my work has so much room for improvement.
You've done many commissioned pieces, do you have a favorite one based on the process or the story in which it came about?
I love painting pet commissions. People love their pets, and it makes me so happy to turn them into a painting. Pets have such personalities too, it’s hard to capture it in a single pose. This is something I really hope to improve in, because pet portraits aren’t my strong suit but they bring me such joy to make.
How have you evolved as an artist over the years? Have there been any struggles as an artist you've found?
I’ve grown so much. I don’t really notice it until I look back at earlier works and see the difference. These geese, for example, you can really see the change. This was over the span of 4 years.
The main struggle is just having a vision in your head, and not being able to manifest it on canvas. A lot of it is simply not knowing how to represent it in paint, but I like watching how others paint to achieve similar effects, because then I can adapt it and make it my own.
What's coming up next for you? What would be the dream goal?
Coming up next? I’d really love to do street art shows. I’ve never felt good enough to have my own booth, I’ve also never had a large body of work. Right now I’m just trying to paint what I love and share it, I think that’s a good place to start. My ultimate dream goal? Enter the Federal Duck Stamp Contest and win. 😉
Thank you Brooke! Anything else you'd like to share?
No problem! Thanks so much for the interview. I feel very honored that you took interest enough to want to know more. That is one of the biggest compliments an artist could receive.