Last year, struggling to pay her son’s school tuition, single mother Louise de Weger decided to take a leap of faith. Quitting her job in hospitality and purchasing some paint with the little money she had left, she embarked on a journey that would be stressful and exhausting, but extremely rewarding.
“Nothing comes without hard work and this year has been tiring to say the least, but now I am about to take a well-earned holiday. I have featured on Reno Rumble, my business is thriving with ever-increasing collections around the world, I’ve been invited to display at the 2016 Architectural Digest Home Design Show in NYC, all in eight months. I’m so proud of myself, and I’m not ashamed to say that.”
Having always had a love of art, Louise studied visual arts and contemporary craft at Southbank Institute of Technology, in which time she was both the winner and runner-up of The St George Bank Contemporary Art Competition. “I was the winner and runner-up with the judges not realising that both works were by the same artist as they were vastly different. I love experimenting with different styles, so it was quite a pivotal moment of realising that one day this could actually be more than just something to occupy my time.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”DrLBsZ4Rh8yNTfluQIOnCuv6RMPWxRiX”]Now creating modern abstract artworks — with a touch of retro and art deco — Louise’s works are very structured, with geometric forms and lush pops of colour. Made using acrylics and inks, her art making process is completely intuitive and as she confesses, quite frantic. “There are never any sketches or design processes involved. It’s a great reflection on how I tend to live my life also. I just go into it headstrong, without over analysing and without fear. I have a background colour in mind to set the overall tone and mood of the work but apart from that it’s a very organic, natural process.”
Now a full-time artist, with commissions booked up until the end of the year, Louise is constantly creating. However, out of the many artworks she’s made there’s still one that stands out: her commission for Reno Rumble. Which standing at 1.8×1.2 metres was remarkably painted in just two days! “That experience physically shattered me. I did not sleep for two whole days and I was shaking with hot flushes and sweats, but nonetheless it was completed in time with an hour to spare before it was flown direct to Melbourne from my home in Brisbane.”
Concerned the tight timeframe would see her painting not be up to her usual standard, it turned out Louise had nothing to worry about, with the experience becoming her proudest career moment. “When the episode came time to air, myself and my family were all anxiously waiting to see how it was received. There wasn’t much feedback and it was all a bit of an anti-climax, but then they cut to the judges’ comments where they labeled my artwork ‘the hero’ of the room. We all screamed, it was just a huge relief! It was a proud, proud moment. It’s also the gift that keeps on giving, everyday a new amazing opportunity arises from it and I never stop getting excited over it. ”