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Timothy Brooke

Timothy Brooke

Timothy Brooke

Raised in Kenya, even as a schoolboy Timothy Brooke knew that he was destined to be a painter. At 18, he won a scholarship to art school in the United Kingdom. It would be 21 years before Brooke would find his way back to Kenya, the country of his dreams. During those 21 years, Brooke excelled at art school; discovered the power of impressionism at the Louvre in Paris; and, after traveling to Ireland, lost himself to his pursuit of becoming a painter.

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Raised in Kenya, even as a schoolboy Timothy Brooke knew that he was destined to be a painter. At 18, he won a scholarship to art school in the United Kingdom. It would be 21 years before Brooke would find his way back to Kenya, the country of his dreams. During those 21 years, Brooke excelled at art school; discovered the power of impressionism at the Louvre in Paris; and, after traveling to Ireland, lost himself to his pursuit of becoming a painter.
          Finally, in 1981, after a serendipitous phone call to his father, Brooke decided it was time to return to Kenya: “It was wonderful returning to Kenya. It was like returning to my childhood. I could rest my eyes in the middle distance and relax. In Europe, there is always something to block the view. Kenya is so beautiful—you don’t need to make anything up, you can just look at the scenery” (Brooke, The Magazine for the Arts from Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art, Nairobi, Kenya, page 14).
          It is that authenticity that has kept Brooke in Kenya ever since: “I love the things that haven’t changed—the Masai and their cattle, the dust, and the sky. I try to see them as I saw them as a child and paint them as clearly and simply as I can” (Brooke, page 15).
          In 1985, Timothy Brooke’s reputation as an artist went international when he was selected to create 26 paintings on the set for the film Out of Africa. All 26 paintings are on permanent display at the elegant Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. Brooke has actively pursued his painting career during the last couple decades with shows in such far-flung venues as London, Warsaw, and New York. In Africa, he is well known for the many resort and corporate projects on which he has collaborated.
          Working en plein air, Brooke seeks out the drama and the beauty of the Kenyan landscape and its animals. He is well aware that much that he loves about Africa is fragile and endangered. In “Evening Breeze,” with the sparest of brushstrokes, Brooke conveys the grace and power of two magnificent lionesses. The viewer can almost feel the breeze caressing the leftmost lioness. In “Yellow Fever Trees,” we see impalas grazing under a brilliant blue sky and we understand the vastness of the Kenyan landscape. Brooke is a master at developing maximum impact from deft, minimal brushwork.
          Brooke’s painting style, which incorporates strong, sure brushwork and the supremely confident use of color, is utterly unique. His paintings demonstrate his ability to discover the essence of his subject—the annual drama of the great migration and of rain and drought, swirling dust, huge skies, the brilliantly garbed Masai and Somali herders, and of course the wildlife.
          Dennis and I first met Timothy Brooke 14 years ago through mutual friend Steve Cashin, CEO of PanAfrican Capital Group LLC and Vinalhaven summer resident. We could not resist then, nor can we now, the extraordinary talent of Timothy Brooke.

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