10 Most Artistically Inspiring People of 2011 - No 6 Dion Dior
10 Most Artistically Inspiring People of 2011 - No 8 Anna Dabrowska (aka Finnabair)

10 Most Artistically Inspiring People of 2011 - No 7 Louise Nelson

The seventh person on my list is....

10 Most Artistically Inspiring People of 2011

No 7
Louise Nelson
 for Artful Absences


Phew - Louise is such a busy lady she almost didn't see my email in time for me to post this lol, so glad she did as it wouldn't be my top 10 list without her.  Why is Louise so busy - check the list of places she is creating art for and you will understand:

Scrap 365

Tattered Angels

Aussie Scrap Source

Imaginarium Designs

Louise's style is completely unique (and she loves sparkles!), so she HAD to be here on my list.  OK so I've never finished a scrapbook page for myself, and Louise creates scrapbook layouts - so what, one look and I was in love, and not just that, but I had inspired visions of how I could manipulate her fabulous style and create things myself - OK so not scrapbook pages, but journal pages, artwork, cards - anything - everything.  Louise creates such astonishingly simple looking pages, which are designed (I'm certain) to really emphasise the main image, to capture your attention and draw your eye to exactly what she wants you the see - a smile, a face, a moment in time.  She is is one of a very few artists I've seen, who are brave and bold enough to leave white space, even blank space on their layouts.  Her artful absences are part of what I feel make her style so special, those absences really focus the viewer on what IS on the page.  She is brilliant and I find that looking at her work reminds me less of a scrapbook page and more of a carefully designed photograph - and I'm not talking about the actual photo here - the elements on the page, the colours - all feel like a designer piece for a magazine, a carefully coordinated setting to show off that one main element - oh I hope I'm explaining that ok :O)  Louise calls herself a minimalist and I agree that she uses far fewer elements and embellishments than the average scrapbooker, but Louise is no average scrapbooker, I see her more as a Paper-based Set Designer - seriously take a look at some of her work below and tell me you can't see this.

Lous details
So I've mentioned before that I went to Brisbane Papercrafts last year, I was first aware of seeing Louise's art while checking out the craft fair web page, they had some of their guest artists listed along with some of their works - interesting but since I'm not into scrapbooks I didn't give it more than a cursory glance (and I couldn't get there in time for the class).  Well thanks to a little mix up, I ended up with waaayyyy more time on my hands to look around than I was expecting, so I cruised over to the 'Gallery' a series of free standing boards displaying some of the art from the guest artists.  I oggled, I took photos and then I turned a corner and I swear I stood there with my mouth hanging open - this was my first 'in person' experience with Louise's work and my first real viewing of 'minimalist' scrapbooking art - and seeing her sparkles up close.  Seeing Louise's art in person really was another 'OMG' moment this year, a revelation - this is what I saw.

Brisbane Craft weekend 002
Brisbane Craft weekend 003
For some reason seeing Louise's art in person flipped a switch for me.  Suddenly it was OK to leave OMG 'blank' areas, things untouched and uncoloured, I could see myself creating journal pages with the focus on just one small portion of the page - it was OK to leave artful absences!  This was a shocker as I'm someone who really has trouble leaving it white - even my white has something on it - texture, clear spray etc.  Never before had I even considered that it was OK - or arty - to NOT colour something - seriously a thunderbolt moment.  And come on - isn't the fairy page adorable, and see the sparkle.. sorry but the sparkle is so hard to capture in a photo and the magazine pages I've seen really don't show it at all well.  To top it off while I was drooling, who turns up but Louise!  She was chatting with a friend and looking at the display, I have a thing about interrupting, so I stood quietly in awe of Louise's work while she was just 2 m away - next time I'll go and say hello - I promise :O)

Ycj_blinkieNow before I sign off for the evening, I just have to comment on how much I adore the quirky little elements that Louise incorporates into her designs, free form wire work, feathers, chipboard surrounds - it adds such a funky element to her art - I'm now always looking for the little hidden jewels in her pieces - it's kinda like a grown up 'Where's Wally?' lol.

If you are lucky enough to live in or near Brisbane, put on your comfy shoes and go and have a look at the  Paper Crafts Festival – RNA Showgrounds, Fortitude Valley, QLD February 17-19, 2012. Louise is teaching a class there and while it is making a scrapbook layout, I'd encourage you to go and learn some of her amazing techniques and then apply them to whatever craft/art you prefer - I'm going to be trying some of her ideas out in my journal and on some cards - don't you think this kind or art would make a truly fabulous page or card?  I sure do :O)

So Louise thank you so much for opening my eyes to more possibilities than I was aware of this time last year and for introducing me to the art of absence - it truly is beautiful!

Images shared with Louise's permission.