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Belinda Brophy is an artist who loves creating bold intuitive art that tells a story. She is Irish living in London, who finds a sense of joy and calm in creating art.


Belinda Brophy artist

My early career was in nursing in the NHS for over 40 years although I have been creative all my life. I developed my art through online and classroom workshops and finding inspiration from other artists.

I’ve always been drawn to painting intuitively, with no plan in mind, and see where “the story” takes me! I love painting with bold colours, texture, and dimension in my art that can evoke a feeling or emotion in the viewer.  I find my inspiration from nature, shapes, patterns, and the colours within nature.
I’m a lover of spontaneous creative expression, a mark maker, colour splasher, storyteller, and a curious creative soul.

My art is a form of visual storytelling. Working primarily in mixed media with oils, acrylics, inks, pencil, pen, stencils and non-traditional materials like tile adhesive, glue, wood filler, my paintings are a way to depict the emotions I feel and translate them into the colours, expressions, and gestures you see in my artwork.
Painting and storytelling is my passion and I am so very honored to be able to share my art with you!

Hello Belinda, you say you have been creative all your life. How did it all start for you in the world of art?

Belinda: I’ve been creative I suppose all my life from a child. I was always creating things for my family, my friends. Initially, I started in embroidery, and then I led on to making cards and doing scrapbooking creating bespoke memory books for friends and family, and then I branched out into painting a bit more, sketching, and drawing. Faces really were the first thing I started, which was inspired by Tamara Laporte and her Lifebook online courses. I did that for a few years and then started to experiment more by watching other artists on YouTube going to different art fairs and shows and got more interested in different types of art. Through this, I started to find my style. My art I would say has evolved over time and has inspired a lot of creativity and freedom in my art. I enjoy seeing the joy in people’s faces when you make something very special for them and the fact that it was
handmade and created by you particularly for them.

And the Moonbeans kissed the sea

Your art is very unique. Are you using some tools to make your art stand out, or is it something else?

Belinda: I use all the normal tools of art like palette knives brushes etc. etc. but I’ve always been one to love
experimenting with unusual tools that you wouldn’t class as being part of the art world. Lately, I have been experimenting with tools that plasterers use for plastering walls. I’ve used some of them to create great texture and dimension in some of my work. I also will look to tools that might be in the kitchen and look at them and see if, or could they create a texture or pattern. I love the unknown of it as it doesn’t always work but sometimes I can have great results and effects that I love. I’ve used bubble wrap, glue pieces that I’ve created with a hot glue gun, to create different shapes and incorporate that into my art. I use stencils with some of the textural mediums and use lots of layering. So no I don’t typically just use art tools that are related to art, as I very much like experimenting so no “tool” is excluded as I will try anything once and I’m always on the lookout for new ideas so I could be in an all antique shop and see something that I think might create a texture or dimension. I sometimes will also use some of them to create molds or shapes, so anything is open to experimentation for me when it comes to tools. I also like to use bright and bold colours and inclusions like clay pieces, sand, etc which I hope makes my art stand out and create a unique piece of art.

A Mother’s Love

What is a day of working like in your studio? Do you have any rituals that help you get motivated or “in the zone”?

Belinda: I like getting up early in the mornings and my day in the studio starts with lighting a candle or incense and drawing an oracle card from my favorite pack Angels and Ancestors. I meditate to ground myself, quietening my mind to open it to creativity and ideas. I have a dedicated space in my studio where I’ve created an altar I made to do this. I then usually will make a note in my journal of any ideas or thoughts that came through in my meditation. Once that is done I will put on some music and the style will be dependant on how I’m feeling that day and start creating. I very rarely have a plan or fixed idea but intuitively will just go with the flow and reach instinctively for paint, mediums, etc as I go.

Gratitude

You say you find your inspiration from nature, shapes, patterns, and the colours within nature. Tell us more about that, and is there a message you are trying to send with each piece, or is it something else?

Belinda: I guess my inspiration comes from shapes in nature and patterns and colours within nature. Autumn is my favorite season because I love the shades of different colours that can come from the leaves and patterns in nature like a tree trunk. I love the oranges, russet, golds and so many changes of colour as the season is changing from the summer into the winter. It opens up so much inspiration. The other day I went out for a walk in nature and there were berries on a bush that had overlapped with another bush that had real bright red leaves and just the patterns created by the two together inspired me. It gives me a sense of freedom and that’s what I hope I put into my artwork, that sense of freedom, that sense of colour, of textures, and the beauty- just the sheer beauty of nature. The other morning I woke up and it was really foggy and my whole garden the trees and my bird feeders and outside my studio there was a plethora of spiderwebs and just the sheer work that went into those and their creation inspired me just by the beautiful patterns of them. I hope that inspiration transpires into my art and gives the viewer a sense of that beauty and that inspiration. The web represents our lives as we struggle through our current situations in life. I find the greatest messages from nature and the world around us in that everything is evolving and changing, with challenges along the way but with the hope that things will get better and that we
can get through difficult times and that life is beautiful and we have so much to be grateful for. I find it difficult to put it into words but it just makes my soul sing. It makes my heart sing and it’s just a sense of happiness and the urge to create when you see such beauty. and the message it represents for me at that particular time.

Hope to shape your future

Could you walk us through your process? How much planning do you do before you jump into creating an artwork? If you do, what are you trying to solve at each stage of it?

Belinda: I suppose the only planning I do is to make sure I have some substrate to work on and I like working on wood panels because I use a lot of mediums to create texture and build up layers, so I like something that’s going to withstand that. I have worked on stretched canvas and panels before but I find that the wood panels work out better and I like that I can actually layer up lots of medium and texture. Other than that planning, I tend to work intuitively and go with the flow. I might just start with prepping my panel take out some colours, mediums, tools and go with the flow, so not a lot of planning. I will put on some music. I like to create and have music on at the same time and the music can be so different. It could be classical one day, hip-hop, rock, pop or it could be a New
Age. It just depends on my mood and how I’m feeling and what may give me inspiration. So once the music is going I just grab for the paint or medium or texture and I just go with the flow and how I’m feeling I put into that piece of artwork on the day. So not a lot of planning, just pure instinct, and creativity. But working that way not everything turns out the way I want it and I have to be prepared for that. What I generally do is sit on a piece of work for a while. Because I work in layers obviously some of them I have to let dry in between the next stage so I have time to kind of look at it and tweak it if I’m not happy with it. Gesso is my friend so if it’s not what I want I just go over it and start again! But generally, I sit on a piece for a few days or maybe longer I might leave it for a
couple weeks and come back to it and then just sort of see what I’m not happy with it and maybe add something to it or take away something it just really depends on how I feel. If it’s not quite right with the texture in some areas I will sand it down a little or add another layer of texture. I generally work on more than one piece at a time. I find if I stick to one piece I kind of get bogged down and that’s where the issues crop up where I’m maybe not happy with how some things turned out because I’ve been at the same thing and not gone away and come back with fresh eyes. Also because I have so many ideas at times, they won’t all fit in one piece of art, so working on 2 or more pieces allows me to express those ideas when fresh and use them so that they work in my artwork. So I find the best way of working for me is to have generally at least two if not three pieces on the go and I will work from one to another. That way I find it keeps things fresh, it keeps me motivated, keeps the juices flowing so I find that I don’t get stuck as often as I would if I just worked on one piece from start to finish.

Open the window and let go of resistance to change

What is the most recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on, and why?

Belinda: That’s a tough one I like so many of my pieces that’s why I find it hard to put them up on my website because I find it hard to let go of them. I suppose that’s the same for any artist but one in particular that has resonated with me lately is one I’ve called Magick Garden. The last few years have been tough with the pandemic, lockdown and also in that time I lost my mom and it has been a tough time. Through that, I meditated a lot and I am a great believer in a higher being whatever the higher being may be, for all of us it’s different but I used that to help me. Through my emotions, thoughts, struggles, anger, and grief I felt that there was a guardian, probably my mom guiding me in the right direction giving me the strength to get through. When she passed I kept seeing butterflies everywhere. I created this piece with the butterflies representing her and all I have gone through in the last two years so I suppose for me that piece is very special at the moment. I created it with bright vibrant colour to remind me that with my “Magic Guardian” things will get better. I love it! I love the way the colours have come out. It’s giving me a sense of new things to come and that things will get better and there is light at the end of the tunnel, so for me, that’s the piece I’m really excited about because a lot of emotions went into it and it represents a lot for me and I hope it also conveys that message to those that view it.

Ravages of Time

What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?

Belinda: I suppose the most challenging part of the artistic process is a sense of self-belief. I think all artists have that sort of inner demon that says I’m not good enough. It’s actually also having the confidence to put yourself out there and show your art and be proud of it and not have those demons inside telling you to doubt yourself. So that inner critic is probably the most challenging. Creating art is easy because once I’m creating art and I’m in the flow I love it and the sense of freedom and joy it gives me.

Transformation

What is the work you’ve done that you’re the most excited about?

Belinda: Initially my art was a lot of mixed media doing transfer images, different collages, using bright colours and just going free with a lot of very flatwork with acrylic paints and inks and other mediums. I’d say the work that I’m most excited about is where I have developed my style with my textual abstracts and exploring more with tools and items in a more unique way. I’m really excited about where I can take this and develop it further. There is so much scope to experiment with “tools”, mediums, paints, and ink so who knows how it will develop but I’m excited to see how it will develop into helping me express my inspiration and message into my artwork.

Who are a few artists/people that really inspire you right now, and why?

Belinda: Gosh there’s so many to choose from I suppose I should give a mention to Andy Skinner. He’s English and he did a lot of grunge and distressed kind of work and I was inspired by how differently he used to paint. I attended a course of art classes with him which totally inspired me. Other artists that have inspired me are Jodi Ohl, Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, Laly Millie, Louise Fletcher, Gerhard Richter, Kandinsky, to name a few. I’ve found aspects in their art such as texture, colour, imagery that inspired me. The people that have inspired me the most are my parents who always encouraged me to be whatever I wanted to be, saying that I could do anything I set my mind to, and for those same reasons I also find inspiration in Maya Angelou and Martin Luther King.

Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?

Belinda: I’d like to think that my art because of where my inspiration comes from and the fact that a lot of my emotions go into my artwork, would evoke those kinds of emotions or responses in the person who buys my art. That it has a message for them, it might not be the message I put into it but what they interpret from it. Art is subjective, we all see a piece of art differently and I would hope that my art gives the viewer the message they need at that time. That it is an expression, emotion or feeling that is beyond the art for the individual looking at it or who owns it.

What are you currently working on, and what’s next for you?

Belinda: I’ve currently been working on a few mini triptych artworks to create a series. I’m exploring doing a series of textured works on bigger pieces. I have a few ideas developing on “tools” and other items to experiment with different textures. Now that the world is slowly getting back to normal, I would like to get out into directly showing my work to the public through fairs and events. It has been difficult as lockdown has affected all of us, as I’ve not had that face-to-face with clients to be able to talk about my art and show it off in a different way. It’s been very different doing it virtually or online. So getting out there, developing new ideas, and exploring my style more will be key for me going forward.

To find out more about Belinda and her art, please check:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Thank you!

One Reply to “Meet Belinda Brophy”

  1. Amazing and creative work. You are a true inspiration. Love your bold colours and your freedom of expression. Long may it continue.

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