Louise Courtnell met Robert Lenkiewicz in 1987. He became her mentor and teacher and there followed an intensive two year ‘apprenticeship’ in painting, which concentrated on the understanding of tone.
Her work includes landscape and still-life, however she has always had a passion for portraiture. She has been a regular exhibitor at the National Portrait Gallery, (BP Portrait Award) from 1991 to 2001 and was commended for two self portraits. Commissions have included Dr. Rowan Williams, (2002) and Robert, Earl of Edgcumbe, (2008).
She reveres the work of Rembrandt and Van Dyck. In her opinion, the greatest and most moving paintings ever made were Rembrandt’s late self-portraits, which remind us of our own mortality and humanity. She also feels strongly that there is a place for the observational painter in a world of the instant, digital image.
“Life is a tragedy. That’s why we have the Arts - to make it more bearable.’’ R.O.Lenkiewicz.