I consider painting like a dance that is pure gestural expression. I marry my heart to my hand and together they speak visual music. Sometimes the beauty, colours and light play are overwhelming and I am forced to blurt the information onto the surface in quick strokes saying just enough about how I am feeling towards my subject rather than telling what my subject looks like. At other times I linger and drink in all that I perceive and gently caress the painting surface with delicate information out of pure respect and amazement. The dance on the surface is always unique, rhythmic yes, but not contrived. It has to be genuine, it has to express my inner most responses, and it has to be mine and mine alone. Though I dance alone I dance for others to enjoy so they too can palpate the emotions of the visual music.
My journey with pastels began in 1993. Since that time I have loved every minute of every pastel experience…I think they were made for me. I am New Zealand born to Australian parents. The visual experiences of both countries initially caused me confusion due to the vast colour differences between the two landscapes, but today the two augment and enhance my paintings. The creativity gene runs throughout my family where you will find composers, piano builders, soloists, pianists, violinists, visual artists, photographers, film makers, dancers and writers.
For many years I worked in other areas of creativity that did not include painting – music, craft, clay, etc. Today my total focus is painting. I initially studied painting for 7 years with the one teacher before supplementing my studies with high profile tutors both within Australia and internationally in Paris, New York, and other parts of the USA. Encouragement along the way has included being awarded Master Pastellist Status with the Pastel Society of Australia, Scholarship to study pastel painting in New York, Pastellist of the Year Award 2007 and multiple awards in both pastels and portraiture in Australia and Internationally. I have been honoured to have been published in multiple publications, encompassing books and magazines.
As an avid learner I will continue to study and share the results of my findings in future paintings.
I work predominately in soft pastels, the most permanent of all painting mediums and the one requiring the least amount of restoration work over time.
Testimonies Jan 2013
Some of my students have been kind enough to write out a few thoughts regarding my teaching. Just a few are represented here.
I have had the privilege of Louise tutor me in pastels over several years and in my experience she has a special gift of being able to get inside my head to understand my thinking and what she needs to in still in me, thus every lesson is individualized . Louise never stops learning and expanding her knowledge to pass onto her students. She gives of herself tirelessly and makes the learning process a totally enjoyable experience. Anonymous
Louise has the wonderful ability to impart her knowledge and enthusiasm to inspire her students to produce work of which they never dreamed they were capable. Jeanne Jensen
“ I am very fortunate to have Louise as a teacher as she is passionate about what she teaches and her enthusiasm and patience has certainly made me a better artist” Ron Bryant
"Of all the art teachers I've encountered, none comes close to Louise Corke, not only in terms of technical know-how but the patient and personalised guidance given to every single student." Current student
The best thing I did for myself, as a pastel painter, was to attend Louise Corke’s (Master Pastellist) classes and workshops. As Louise is an accomplished teacher, her instruction is well directed and rewarding and her classes are beneficial and fun. Since attending her classes, I have gained immensely in both skills and techniques and have seen great growth in my work as a consequence. Liz Mason (Mount Tamborine).
I have been learning art from Louise since 2007. I started with very little confidence and expertise. It was the first time since leaving school that I had sat down with pen and paper to listen to someone teaching something. I didn’t know what to do, all sorts of thoughts went through my mind…..what if I don’t remember or get something wrong etc. Well, Louise told me it didn’t matter and bit by bit my confidence grew and I learned the difference between going to lessons and having someone tell you what to do and how to do it verses someone willing to teach you the ins and outs of why and how to do or not do things. I now have the ability to think my way through my work from making sure composition is correct to looking at the end result and knowing myself that it’s everything I wanted in a painting. (This also includes putting the work away for a while or for me doing it 15 times in 30 different ways). Andrea Willis
"Louise is a prime example of a good, caring teacher. She not only knows her subject thoroughly. More importantly, she makes her students relaxed and able to absorb what's being taught, without their feeling intimidated or patronised. I'm grateful for her interest, care and mentoring through the years." Margaret