Over the last couple of years I have been asking friends and colleagues to contribute to the blog pages, with the constant theme of Africa and the Environment – every now and then one even agrees! With this in mind, I approached my friend, Louise Hill to join us since she is a well-known East African artist.
Louise was born in Kenya in 1964, and spent her childhood in Zimbabwe. She later moved to England with her family where she completed a 4 year BA (Hons) Art degree, and worked in London for 8 years doing book illustrations.
Louise has lived in Tanzania since 1995 and regularly holds exhibitions in East Africa, England and USA; she has clients from around the globe. This is what Louise has to say about her work, life and inspiration:
“It’s very kind of Craig to invite me to butt in on his blogs and write something about my work as a painter. We share a love for African bush and wildlife; like Craig, I was brought up surrounded by wilderness in Africa, which instilled in me a deep respect for the intricate balances in nature.
I knew from the age of 6 or younger that I wanted to “be an artist”, and have always been happy to sit or stand for hours in front of a piece of paper or canvas, getting lost in the subject, not wanting to break for anything. I paint mostly with water colour, but also enjoy oil paints, which I’m doing a lot more of these days. Both mediums befit Tanzania’s vivid light, the sun-bleached colours of its landscapes, and the distinctive fabrics worn by its people.
I paint on location if possible, but wildlife and people are difficult to pin down, so when the safari is over I return to my studio in Arusha and paint using sketches and photographs for reference. Living in Tanzania, one is surrounded by an impressive variety of scenery, mountain forest, lowland acacia bush, tropical coastland, townspeople and bush-people – all of these appear in my paintings.
I treasure this country and feel constantly stimulated by every facet of life here, also taking a keen interest in environmental conservation activities.”