I have a sneaking suspicion that screenprinter Kate Brooks is on the verge of returning to her roots in surface design as she just can’t seem to resist creating patterns.
It is her facebook page posts that give her away, as they frequently feature beautiful, brightly coloured floral designs – honeysuckle, snowdrops, evening primrose, buddleia and even elderberry – which her friends declare would be perfect for fabrics in their homes.
Their enthusiasm for her patterns must be encouraging her to consider extending her artistic life to embrace the subject she studied at university and it is clear she has every chance of being successful.
“I am totally inspired by nature and the landscape around me especially the flora and fauna and I just love experimenting with berries and flowers. I often start out working on a greetings card and then end up with a pattern.
“I don’t think I actually know how my work will develop at the moment. All I know is that I am really enjoying rekindling my love for creating patterns.”
Kate, who lives at Nether Heage and has a view of the windmill, graduated in 1996 with a surface decoration degree, but then opted for a career working in the communications department for the NHS.
It was only four years ago that she decided to change direction and embark on a career as an artist.
Having given up her job she took herself off to a screen printing workshop at the Sheffield Print Club.
“As you can imagine that encouraged me to carry on and my work has developed from there. I use only a small number of colours and layers and hand draw my designs in ink. I use my iMac to create most of the print layers before I head to Little Canyon in Wirksworth which is the studio where I print.”
From the start Kate worked hard promoting her prints at as many fairs and festivals as possible, including Belper, Wirksworth, Melbourne and New Mills art trails.
This year she was rightly proud to have secured a free place at the Country Living Fair in London’s Alexandra Palace.
She has a solo exhibition at No. 28 in the Market Place, Belper, from November 9-December 10 which will include a special festive fair with other artists over the weekend of November 30 to December 1 (see gallery listings).
She will also be at the Haddon Hall festive market from November 15-18. Her work can also be seen at Time And Again in King Street, Belper.
Obviously there are plenty of opportunities to see her work but if you can’t make any of them then you can see the prints online at folksy.com – just search Kate Brooks Prints – and she makes regular posts on facebook.
“There is a lot of work to be done leading up to the fairs but I do enjoy meeting people and talking to them about my work. It is really great to get feedback on social media and I am thrilled when people love what I do.”