In Conversation With: Nina Brooke

Last week we caught up with friend and seascape artist Nina Brooke. Nina grew up by the sea and shares our love for surfing and being outdoors. From both sides of the Atlantic, the rolling storm swells and crystal-clear coves have played a fundamental role in her creative development. Working from her studio in Rock, Cornwall, she can practically hear the waves breaking and the scent of the sea filters into each colourful canvas.

What’s inspiring you at the moment?

The Cornish winter light as it floods in from the open Atlantic on the cliff tops of Land’s End. I have been here for the last three weeks, staying in a home that looks right out to the Isles of Scilly on a clear day. At this height you can see the rugged rocks, white sand beach and the surf below. Today it's gusting 55 mph winds so it's pretty rough seas out there. It's not always summer in Cornwall and one has to soak up the seasons. The fire is lit at 9am, and figuring out how you're going to get outdoors and not get blown away is a mystery. Blustery walks in the afternoons freshen up the bloodstream and the paints are out again. My temporary studio setup is in a glass room looking across the roaring ocean. Content to be out of the storm, this space gives me a sense of freedom. I don't think about what the outcome will be on the canvas, I just go with the day and where it takes me.

What’s your go to healthy ritual?

Swimming in the ocean with company, either my partner or a friend - but red flags haven't promoted that recently so I have retreated to a hot soak in the bath and a scented candle, without partner or friend. I'm working on developing a studio scent for 2023 so we have a lot of wicks to burn. When I lived in the city I remember not having this access, so now I'm here, it encourages me to go in, even in winter. I write a load of crap in a notebook each morning, and that helps. It's nothing special but it clears my mind of a lot of circular thoughts.


What’s the most exciting thing in the pipeline for you right now?

There are a few things in the pipeline, like painting masterclass workshops in the Indian Ocean and Indonesia, which I look forward to telling you more about soon. I’m also excited to be going back out to Hawaii in April to paint some aerial surf scenes on the North Shore of Oahu.