Louis Turpin was born in post-war London, the son of artists living in Brixton.
On leaving school he studied Architecture before changing direction and going to art school. The last half of his Fine Art painting course was spent film-making and, on graduation, he became involved in film work in London.
In 1975, Louis began to concentrate on painting and, in an intense three-month period of work, he moved from abstraction to figuration. The hop garden outside his cottage was the pathway through to figurative painting. Once this change of direction had been consolidated, he began painting his rural environment and at the same time pursued his interest in the figure. These paintings contained the same iconography as his film work. Many canvases were of his wife Davida, dressing, eating and drinking and in bed. Several portrait commissions followed.In 1980, Louis won the South East Arts (SEA) Major Award. This award enabled him to complete a series of ‘Provincial Interiors’ which made up the nucleus of his first one-man show in 1981 in Oxford, which was timed to coincide with the inauguration of Green College, Oxford.
In 1985, inspired by Vita Sackville-West’s garden at Sissinghurst he embarked upon a continuing series of British garden paintings. This year also saw the start of a series of very successful one-man shows throughout the UK, and latterly in the USA. During this period he also continued to paint his distinctive portraits as shown at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Royal Society of Portrait Painters and at international contemporary art fairs. His work has featured in several publications including Anthony Huxley’s ‘The Painted Garden’.
In 1986, one of his paintings of Davida was selected for the National Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. This lead directly to his being commissioned to paint ‘Miss Pears 1986’.
In 1993, Louis was invited to exhibit in York in conjunction with the National Garden Scheme. This was the first of a series of National Garden Scheme exhibitions around the country, including a one-man show in Henley which was the subject of a major article in the Sunday Times ‘Classic’ magazine. ‘The man who creates the most beautiful gardens in Britain does not do so with a fork and spade, but with a brush and paint. He loves to work with bright light and colour yet the riot of colours never overwhelms the senses and Turpin’s stylised technique enables him to combine vitality with the shades and stillness inseparable in the mind’s eye from the classic English garden.’
Philip Jacobson in ‘The Sunday Express’
In 1996, Louis completed several commissions to produce paintings for hotels including a suite of paintings for the Bedruthen Steps Hotel, Cornwall. 1997 saw a commission to paint the gardens and landscape of Glyndebourne.
His work is in many public and private collections including: Fondation Elebor (Switzerland), Rye Art Gallery, South East Arts Permanent Collection, Sir Richard Doll, John Radcliffe Hospital (Oxford), Bath University, Pears, The Thatching Advisory Service, National Westminster Bank, Burton Agnes Hall, Professor T Ryan, Sir Paul McCartney, Higashi Hope Foundation and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.