Artist in Focus: Susan Wooler
Susan in her studio
Susan’s works are all about marks, colours and shapes on canvas. As an expressionist, she follows her intuition, rather than planning her paintings beforehand. Her main drive are emotions and this she hopes translates into the viewer’s experience. The paintings are textured and bright, and she has sold them all around the world.
Hi Susan, let’s start at the beginning, why did you become an artist?
I was an unruly teenager and was also painfully shy and anxious. I would truant from school and ignore my parents’ requests. I always felt unable to express myself until I started painting and all of a sudden, my disruptive behavior and erratic emotions changed overnight and I found inner peace.
Do you have any painting that you are particularly proud of?
Yes, Over the Rainbow Bridge Diptych, I am working on a series of paintings inspired by my favourite artist Cy Wombly, I love my paintings to be eye catching and make a viewer look and then look again.
How often do you surprise yourself?
Every day, I paint every day, what I initially envisage I am going to paint often ends up being completely different and spontaneous.
Is there a medium you wish you could master as well as the one you are working mostly in now?
Yes using dry pigments and with oils, I adore the vibrancy of oils and have recently been looking at dry pigments from Marrakesh.
What question about your work do you get most often?
Where does the painting mean, I often cannot answer. Each painting I create is truly personal and unique and comes from my own thoughts and feelings. I’ve been described as an emotional painter, my abstract paintings are my first love as I am free to indulge and be spontaneous experimenting with colours and textures, creating multiple layers resulting in visceral unique painting with mood and depth.
Do you wish the place of art would change in society, if yes, how?
In respect of gender equality. In March this year I took part in a campaign ‘Art World Sexism for International Women’s Day to make people more aware of Gender Equality. Only 1 out a 100 top lots sold at auction in 2015 was by a woman and none of the top ten richest living artists in the world are women.
What part of the working process do you enjoy most?
Choosing the colours I am going to use and then getting the paint onto the canvas, when I work it’s just me, the paint and the canvas everything else fades away.
Which artist would you like to be compared to?
Cy Wombly, I adore his free approach his works are freely-scribbled and graffiti like.
Is there a point you know for sure your work is finished?
I often take a photo or look at my paintings in a mirror to get a ‘from a distance’ perspective. I leave the painting to ‘marinade’ overnight. If my painting excites me or gives my butterflies in my tummy or makes me smile, I know its finished.