Bebe Brookman

Artist Bio

I grew up in the cloudy Midwest. My mother was an abstract artist - way ahead of her time. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago in the tumultuous 60s. I am forever grateful for having such an 'out of the box' mother. I have such fond memories of lying on the grass with her looking up at the clouds. We would see an image and it would quickly morph into something else. We would make up stories about what was happening. Then she would get a glint in her eyes and say, 'lets go throw some paints around.' We would guess what the images were that appeared on the canvas and quickly alter the painting into a different image. She modeled a free style of painting that I compared to our cloud gazing.

Oddly enough, my mother did not encourage me to study art. I had a very academic high school career including, amazingly, several years of Latin! Art was considered frivolous and not what modern women should study. I was dutiful and got several college degrees without ever taking an art course.

I moved from my quite sheltered rural life to teach school in the projects in Chicago. I saw lives and people who were very different from me. My eyes were permanently opened to the universality of the emotions we humans feel. I learned that, different as we may appear to be, we all share similar emotions. We've all experienced pain, disappointment, fear, longing, love, peace, tranquility. I began to 'throw some paints around' as a sort of Rorschach for my own self development. Without realizing it, I had become an abstract artist. To me, it is like a universal language. The artist doesn't tell the viewer what to see, the artist requests emotional reaction. An abstract piece lets viewers feel the emotion and fill in their own particular details. We relate in the abstract not in the details.

More of Bebe’s work can be viewed at


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