Botanical beauty: An interview with Louise Newton
Yorkshire-based artist, Louise Newton, produces countless amounts of botanical beauty with her embroidery talent. Embroidery is an art form slowly coming back into fashion after being pushed aside for the last few decades, due to the rise of technology in the art world. The pieces are undeniably minimalistic, yet truly captivating with the artist's interpretation of nature's purity.
1. How has living in Yorkshire specifically inspired your artwork?
A lot of my work is inspired by photos that I have taken in the last year or so in Yorkshire. Yorkshire is a beautiful place to live and grow up in, with dales, coast and woodland just a short drive away from major cities like Leeds where I grew up. When I was younger I would go on local walks with my family and there is a field that in summer was transformed into a wildflower meadow. It was so magical in the sunshine with stems and flowers above my waist. Botanical representations and landscapes are central to my work and I have endless inspiration here in Yorkshire.
2. A lot of artists on Instagram these days focus on digital illustrations and nude photography, why did you choose to work in the almost forgotten art of embroidery?
When I was younger I did cross stitch at school so I think working with thread was always in the back of my mind, I also did a lot of painting and sketching throughout my later school years. Fast forward to graduating university and getting immersed in full-time work, I felt the need to create again and to bring that part of me back. I loved painting but found it difficult to do spontaneously, sat on my bedroom floor. It was such a time-consuming mess! I loved creating textured impressionist painting but this was also expensive as I literally needed to use so much paint. The idea of embroidery was born: I realised it was something I could just pick up at any time and most importantly create different textures. I started researching embroidery artists and their works and I realised my style of embroidery would offer something different, a hopefully unique twist on a traditional medium.
3. Your designs are very delicate and beautiful- Do you think art today is too rushed, vulgar and explicit?
Thank you! I don’t think so, no. I adore that people are freely able to express themselves openly. Art can be so intimate, subjective and thought-provoking, there should be no restrictions or rules where self-expression is concerned!
4. What are your future plans for you and your Etsy business? Will you branch out into doing other embroideries, such as clothing designs?
I hope to steadily expand my Etsy business. I am creating PDF pattern guides for download that are accessible to both beginners in embroidery and those with more experience. I am also planning to transfer my designs on to bags and perhaps clothing in the future. I am busy making plans to grow my online presence with a blog and a YouTube channel... so stay tuned!
5. What do you love the most about what you do, and who's your biggest artistic inspiration?
There are several things I love about what I do: Firstly, being asked to do commissions and hearing the personal stories behind requests or how my work has touched someone and then seeing where my work is placed in someone’s home is the most rewarding and fulfilling feeling! The majority of my orders come from overseas and it is incredible that there are people from Australia to America with my work in their homes.
Embroidery also gave me a focus and a purpose when I was in hospital for a period of time last summer and it allowed me to remain financially independent while I was subsequently unable to work for a short while afterwards. I am so thankful for that. This is all combined with the fact that I now have a creative hobby that I love and I know will be with me for a long time in the future; being able to be myself, develop my style, express the colours and images in my mind and have people appreciate that is just amazing. I feel very lucky.