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Brooke Lanier

"In the series This is a real place! I was fascinated by how the underside of the pier at Saint Simons Island, GA was like a readymade collage. The way the pilings and rails divide and frame the spaces between them looks artificially imposed on the scene until you notice the way the waves bounce off the pilings and the railings cast shadows on the water.  In some iterations, I chose to simplify the structures of the pier and lighten the values so that it would emphasize the detail in the water. Likewise, I omitted a family of starlings and their droppings in favor of highlighting the geometry of the architecture and the colors and patterns of the water. 

Making paintings in a series allows me to investigate the results of making different decisions about an image. How I crop or stylize it, the manner in which I apply the paint, what gets included or excluded all add shades of meaning to each piece. Additionally, depictions of the same subject in different weather, seasons, times of day, and tides allows me a deeper understanding. I notice more relationships, colors, and details every time I paint the subject.

Every painting is a pile of decisions. Playing with removing more and more details to see what is truly important sometimes improves the painting. The fewer elements you include in an image, the more each one means, and the more important it is to get each thing perfect.

At times I like to paint every single detail I can find in a scene, and other times I feel like the unadorned components are sufficient to hold each other in a satisfying composition. I often add simplified shapes to my paintings to highlight the presence of absence or to heighten the importance of each area by creating stark visual contrasts. ⁠The physicality of the paint also plays a role. I used highly textured, thickly applied paint to construct the solid structural elements, and luminous layers of thinly glazed paint for the delicate linework and subtle blending of the water." - Brooke Lanier

Brooke Lanier is a Philadelphia-based artist most known for her paintings of water and those incorporating brick dust as pigment. She received her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Painting from Tyler School of Art, where she spent her first year of graduate school studying in Rome, Italy. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has shown her work in Rome, Prague, and across the United States, most notably in The Smithsonian Institute and the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of Aramark Global Headquarters (Philadelphia, PA); Emory Decatur Hospital Women’s Center (Decatur, GA): Honeywell Corporate Offices (New York, NY): Volver Restaurant, Garces Corporation (Philadelphia, PA); Panorama Wine Bar (Philadelphia, PA); Lehigh Valley Hospital (Bethlehem, PA); and Kellogg Middle School (Rochester, MN).

Lanier teaches watercolor painting at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She also teaches private lessons specializing in drawing and painting, focusing on developing a set of technical skills that will enable her students to visually express themselves.

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