Lou Jaeger is a Sunshine Coast, Queensland artist, moving to the area in 2002, originally from Dubbo and Orange in NSW. She is known for her vividly colourful paintings that also incorporate intricate detail.
Lou immerses herself in art and creativity, in both her professional and private life. She holds a Bachelor of Design and Communication, and as well as painting, she works at a university gallery as an Exhibitions Officer, relishes a decent craft project, has a fondness for heart shapes, loves art workshops, and takes a keen interest in popular culture. She also loves fashion, interiors and the simplicity of country style living.
In her works, Lou uses a kaleidoscope of colour and layers of intricate details, using a combination of acrylics, inks and paint pens to create her intriguing paintings. When embarking on a new work, Lou intuitively builds the paint in spontaneous layers, using a glorious range of colours and no set agenda. Then she patterns the surface with paint drips and intricately hand-drawn details, often with fine white or black markings and outlines. She says: “For some mad reason, I LOVE tiny details!” Lou is inspired by the intricacies of the Archibald Prize winning artist Del Kathryn Barton and the work of indigenous artists. She connects with their ability to take us on a journey through a painting.
The deliberately unscripted journey that Lou takes herself on with her creative process for each of her works, and then a viewer’s first curious encounter of one of her paintings, allows for mystery and personal interpretation. Lou’s work is much like the unfolding adventure of life – we never really know what’s around the corner!
Often Lou will secret within a painting a wish or a metaphor for a story from her life – an element that she can send out to the world in her art. She prefers to not always divulge what it is we should find in her works, so that we can set forth on our own process of visual discovery through the painting to decide what encounter will be significant to us.
Nature’s beauty is conveyed in most of Lou’s pieces. She says: “I’m interested in intriguing stories in nature, particularly forests, where you decide where to start and which path of discovery and joy you will take. My work will lead you over hill and dale, deep into dark forests, stepping across stones and bridges, and splashing through waterfalls.”
Lou loves forests because of the colour, birdlife, and the link to the natural world. It’s a gorgeous parallel that viewing one of Lou’s paintings for the first time is much like the sensation of wonder that we feel when we take our first step into a forest. We ask ourselves: “Where is this going to take me?”.
Amongst the fine surface strokes and tiny curiosities to discover in Lou’s works, there is also an underlying structure in the paintings that’s not immediately obvious amongst the detail. But if we look more closely, there’s often a passage, with a river or a path running through the work.
It’s delightful that Lou has taken the time to create so many dimensions of enjoyment for us and other pleasures in her art beyond the sheer immediate stimulation of glorious colour. Her devotion to detail provides us the gift to slow down and meander through a mystical landscape – go left or right, then up or down, and back across again – allowing our eyes and heart to be enchanted by the twists and turns and discoveries along the way.
She says of her work: “My art is a kind of story-telling, a little bit of therapy and a definite escape from the everyday stuff. It’s not so serious, no big deep meaningful messages; just happy colours that hopefully make you feel like things are all ok with the world. “
“Painting for me, is simply a way to document all the little pictures going on in my mind – those mostly mental journeys we all have, and the beautiful, sometimes secret things I see and feel and hear along the way. I am influenced by my surroundings, the crisp Queensland light, the colours of the beach, the flora and fauna and the noises in the forest at night”
“Each time you look at my work I hope you see something new, a new way to travel, an escape route, a rest, or a challenge you are willing to take on.”