Seeking out the place between
Obscurity and revelation.
Layers and dust.
A mapping of dreams.
And caught in a net.
On the brink,
At the edge,
Light and dark,
Light and dark.
The feel of pastel in my hand, the sound of it releasing pigment onto paper; a meditative process through which connections emerge and listening is the key that unlocks response.
That statement in colour and gesture both fragile and bold reaching out for its story to be told.
A flight of imagination.
A love letter to life.
Method of working:
My work is inspired by maps and landscapes, current affairs, life experiences and childhood. Soft pastel is the perfect medium for me to explore the themes of fragility, resilience, tension and balance which fascinate me. Working directly with my hands and fingers on the paper is a very important aspect of my practice, and the tactile and expressive quality of pastel provides an immersive and challenging experience as I paint.
My method of working is a mix of the carefully planned and the intuitive. I begin by selecting sketches and studies to work from, and usually with the subject matter and title already decided upon. As the work gradually evolves, I am aware of an ebb and flow process during which I keep an open mind about the direction the work will take.
I work slowly, often in silence, and with a lot of contemplation time to keep myself tuned in to the dialogue. For me, the most precious painting experience is when I feel like a conduit for something deep in my subconscious to find its expression.
Sketches and studies are essential to my work. I sketch a lot both in the studio and in the landscape, and these can be observational or abstract. I love the immediacy of a sketch and I try to work quickly to avoid overthinking and to respond spontaneously to what is before me. I am always learning, and even the ugliest of sketches can sometimes yield a nugget of something useful and help to spark ideas.
Elected member of the Pastel Society 2023
First Prize, the Pastel Society Catalogue Award 2020
2023 The Gallery Holt, Norfolk, pastel exhibition “Enigma” (forthcoming)
2023 The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2023 Quay Arts Centre, Newport, Isle of Wight, “Messing With Heads” by Paradox Paul Woods, (Collaboration with Paul creating interventions for 78 posters forming part of his exhibition)
2022 The Gallery Holt, Norfolk, pastel exhibition “The Colour and Shape”
2022 St Barbe Lymington, Hampshire, Open Exhibition
2022 The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2021 The Gallery Holt, Norfolk, pastel exhibition “Fusion”
2021 Quay Arts Centre, Newport, Isle of Wight, Open Exhibition “Freedom”
2021 St Barbe, Lymington, Hampshire, Open Exhibition
2021 The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2020 Quay Arts Centre Cafe, Newport, Isle of Wight, “Balance”, solo exhibition
2020 The Gallery Holt, Norfolk, pastel exhibition “Drawing From the Heart”
2020 Award Winners Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London (online)
2020 The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2019 St Barbe, Lymington, Hampshire, Open Exhibition
2017 Quay Arts Centre, Newport, Isle of Wight, Open Exhibition “I Must Go Down to the Seas Again”
2016 St Barbe, Lymington, Hampshire, Open Exhibition
Susie’s lifelong passion for drawing and painting began in early childhood and has never waned. A love of abstract, non-representational art and poetry provided a refuge during the thirty years that life was mainly concerned with paying a mortgage and supporting the family with a series of dead-end jobs. The collection of art books and materials steadily grew over the years as did the pile of experimental and therapeutic drawings and paintings.
A thirst for knowledge and the need for greater understanding led Susie to do a short course, “Making Sense of the Arts” with the Open University in 2006 and it proved to be a valuable experience.
In 2008, Susie moved to the Isle of Wight where she is still based and was able to pursue her dream of finding her artistic voice full-time. As a largely self-taught artist, Susie’s curiosity and a degree of defiance have helped her on the journey with many paths still to explore.