There are no rules.

When people see my work, it's ok if they think they could do it. Because they wouldn't. Nobody would do exactly what I do but me at that exact moment in time. It's a completely personal statement. There's no map, no picture to follow, no blueprint, no formula, no recipe.

The act of creating a painting is an adventure—a journey. I don’t know where it will end. Every piece is uniquely determined by my mood, time of day, energy level, lighting, and materials at hand. The textures, layers, and interplay of colors are different every time. 

I’m a tactile monkey.

I love oil paint because of its density. I like to sculpt forms and create dimension, building up ridges that cast shadows and catch glazes. I like the process of layering things and seeing what happens. I’m a tactile monkey and I want to create pieces that demand that you touch them.

I’m fascinated by the world around me so I’m influenced by everything: music, books, travel, fashion and pop culture. I’m an observer, a collector, a traveler, and an adventurer. Everything I take in gets filed away in some back corner of my head and eventually comes out again recycled and reformatted onto canvas. 

A lot of my work explores the concept of impermanence. I like using sequins because over time they'll come off the canvas like leaves from a tree. I often add graffiti-like layers over old paintings to give them a new life.

Some days I grab a finished piece and throw it back onto the easel for a complete make-over.

Any of my paintings that have '2.0' or '3.0' at the end of the name are complete reworks of an earlier piece. When a finished painting sits around my studio too long, something about it will start to bug me. Even pieces that I really really like have a shelf life. So some days I grab a finished piece and throw it back onto the easel for a complete make-over. In some cases, I save almost nothing from the original piece but the texture and color palette. Other times I highlight parts of the piece that I like. I use a lot of Krink's graffiti markers and graffiti paints during the rework process. It's very freeing.

For me, a piece is done when it doesn’t beg to be tampered with anymore. It’s accomplished whatever goal I’ve set for the piece and it’s pleasing to me, which isn’t always the same as being beautiful.


Brandi Brooks moved to San Francisco in 1995 and soon began creating metal sculpture as an outlet for pent-up creative energy. Welding wasn’t conducive to apartment dwelling, so she started painting in 1999. Brandi was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and grew up on a cattle ranch. She currently works in marketing at a large non-profit by day and paints by night.

Here's a link to learn about encaustic painting.