'Artists are gnostics, and practise what the priests think is long forgotten.' - Hugo Ball

Thursday, 17 April 2014

More small paintings

I'm still working hard getting ready for my Exhibition with Patricia Ellis at the Eagle Gallery in June, and have another mini-acrylic ready to hang:

Every Tree has its Gifts © Sue Wookey
I've called this one Every Tree has its Gifts and the words run round around the wide edges of the canvas, just like the previous ones I've posted. I'm really having fun mucking about with acrylic, but am not ambitious enough to produce something big just yet. And fun though it is, it will never be as much fun as watercolour. How could I live without that frisson of knowing that the next wash might ruin it all, with no going back? Watercolourists live only a few Siberian sable hairs away from disaster. Watercolourists say 'Arggggggh' a lot. Well, I do anyway. But sometimes it's nice to slap thick paint on knowing you can scrape it all off.

And talking of watercolour, I've done a couple of little ones for displaying in the browser:

Squirrel and Sun Hare © Sue Wookey

I paint a lot of hares, as you know. But this is my first squirrel and he's a nice red one. Not one of the ones who dig holes in my lawn because they've forgotten where they've buried their nuts.

I do have six of my usual larger paintings up my sleeve, ready for the Exhibition, and I'll post some of them here nearer the time as teasers. At the moment I'm saving them so there will be some surprises to look forward to!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

3D Tour of the Eagle Gallery!

© Google

You can now visit The Eagle Gallery (the Bedfordshire Artist's Co-operative) virtually by taking a 3D tour on Google! Just on the image above. You can just see my painting Grove hanging in the centre of the screen grab, and I have Sacred Landscape 5 on the opposite wall as you click your way around. Isn't technology wonderful?  :-).


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Art of Poetry Exhibition, Obsidian Art

21 March - 27 April
'The Art of Poetry'
Obsidian Art

Layby Farm, Old Risborough Road
Stoke Mandeville
Bucks HP22 5XJ

The Owl Knows and The Innermost Garden will be at Obsidian Art as part of an exhibition of poetry inspired Art. You know how much I like putting poetry around my paintings so this was right up my street! Even better, The Owl Knows will also be published in the book which will accompany the Exhibition: 'The Art of Poetry', edited by gallery owner Trisha Woodcock. It's a beautiful compilation of artworks and the poems which have inspired them. The book can be ordered directly from the Gallery. See a preview of the book here. My tawny owl is there on page 6-7 along with 'The Two Trees' by WB Yeats - one of my favourite poems. Obsidian Art itself is always a gallery full of treasures and well worth the trip over.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Mini-acrylic paintings

I've been trying to think of ways to add interest to the exhibition I'm doing at the Eagle Gallery in June (see fab poster on the right!) and have been painting up some small 6" x6" canvases with acrylics. I've tried to maintain my combination of text and image by putting words around the canvas edge. I figure that as the space is there why not use it? And the smaller the painting is, the bigger, in relation, that chunky edge seems. I've kept to small canvases as I haven't painted with anything this hefty since doing oils donkey's years ago, so I thought I'd start out bijou! It's been a lot of fun, although I don't think it will ever replace my love for the luminosity of watercolour. It's so.... heavy. On the upside I'm not used to being able to paint over/scrape off mistakes. It's a bit of a luxury not to feel that at any point you can ruin it forever with one badly judged wash.

The Sun Horse has a lot of gold at the bottom and on the fringes of the horse's mane which, sadly, can't really be seen on the photo. The hidden words around the edge say 'PASSION  ENERGY  STRENGTH   AND FIRE'.  I like him so much it's going to be hard to put him up for sale in the exhibition, but I really must stop keeping all my horses.

© Sue Wookey
The painting below is one of those mad ideas that come to you in dreams. Saying Hello to the Moon is both the title and forms the words around the edge of the canvas. I'm hoping to complete two more mini-canvases before June. Nothing like a serious exhibition to make you work your socks off!

© Sue Wookey

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Two Exhibitions: The Place, Bedford, and Harefield Hospital

Three Leaping Hares © Sue Wookey

Exhibition at The Place, Bedford.
6 February - 25 March 2014
Bradgate Road
Bedford MK40 3DE

For any of you out there who want to see paintings 'in the flesh', I currently have 8 works (including the hares, above) hanging in the Foyer of The Place, Bedford, alongside works by fellow Eagle Gallery artist Juliet Lawson.

The exhibition comes under the umbrella of the Eagle Gallery and I must admit that it was very nice to turn up with the works knowing that the Hanging Team were going to work their magic (thanks everyone!). The Place is a very popular theatre so I'm hoping the audiences will enjoy having a look at our paintings while waiting for Act 2! Maybe someone will even buy one : -).

 Galley Hill from the East © Sue Wookey

As exhibitions, rather like buses, always seem to arrive together I also have three paintings (including the one above) at Harefield Hospital as part of a HVA Group Exhibition on the theme 'Journey':

HVA Group Exhibition
7th Feb - 13th May
 Hill End Road
Middlesex UB9 6JH


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

My Sketch Book

Well, Christmas is well and truly over so it's about time I posted again and bumped the previous Festive post back where it belongs!

I'm busy preparing for my exhibition on the 14th - 21st June at the Eagle Gallery, which I'll be sharing with artist and photographer Patricia Ellis. As well as lots of new work on the walls and various smaller pieces scattered about, I have a cunning plan to show my sketch book just to add interest and give visitors something different to look at. My sketch books are normally a bit of a mess, I generally have several on the go at once of various different formats, usually only about half full and on the thin side where I've torn pages out. This isn't part of the plan at all, so I've set myself the task of actually sticking to one for the duration and not cannibalising it, so I have something presentable. Like my other sketch books it's full of cartoons and doodles as well as proper drawings (what is a 'proper' drawing anyway?). And, to avoid the blank page I always leave on the reverse of a drawing - you never know what you might want to do with it - I've put quotes and fragments of favourite poems in little boxes just to make them interesting. This is lot of fun to do. And it feeds my obsession for putting text with everything!

Here are some of the pages below. Just a taster as there are 70 of them! The problem is, the sketch book now looks so nice, can I bear to put it out to be endlessly handled?

For some reason I'm ridiculously pleased with the chicken!

All artwork and photos © Sue Wookey

Monday, 2 December 2013

More Christmas Decorations

Just a reminder that we are selling Christmas Decorations at the Eagle Gallery in aid of Leukaemia Research. All the ones I've shown you previously have gone (yay - thanks to those of you that bought them!), so I spent today wrestling once more with my acrylic paints and a teeny-tiny brush, and made four more (above). I think I'm starting to get the hang of this decoration thing...!

They will be hung with the efforts of other members on our tree in the centre of the Gallery - and I have to say it looks lovely with some very inventive things on it - everything from stitched decorations to ceramic and painted wood. So if you're in the area pop in and have a look and take in our Christmas Exhibition : -).

If you are interested in keeping up with everything that's happening in the Gallery you can also follow us on Facebook.


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Christmas Exhibition at the Eagle Gallery

I've been very busy preparing Christmas Decorations for our Eagle Gallery Christmas Exhibition (see above). We'll have a tree at the exhibition hung with the decorative efforts of all our members and the proceeds of their sale will go to Leukaemia Research. I've been painting papier-mache hearts with an snowy, Christmassy animal theme:

I have to say they've haven't come out too badly considering the fact that I've never painted with acrylic before (watercolour isn't robust enough for this) and, of course, given that they are really miniatures. For a lot of the time it felt like a wrestling match between me and the paint, but I think I won in the end and the second set of three (in the bottom photo) work much better for being simpler. The reverse sides are also painted with snow scenes, animal footprints and spirals. I also painted a lovely Robin but, do you know what? He just worked so well I can't bear to give him away and will be putting him on my own tree as a reminder of how to do it properly.

'Christmas Cracker' Exhibition
25th November - 24th December

The Eagle Gallery
101 Castle Road
Bedford MK40 3QP

Monday, 4 November 2013

Owls, Hares and Harts

I've been playing around painting some animal watercolours with lovely loose, wet-in-wet backgrounds, the idea being to splodge paint about in a wild, wet and haphazard manner then stare at it until I can see what sort of animal might live in the resulting chaos. This is huge fun. A bluey, greeny, reddy wash was clearly a hill seen from a high angle, so had to have a barn owl flying over it:

Hunting at Dusk © Sue Wookey
The next was all heathy and heathery with a spot of yellow gorse, so I decided to put a hare leaping through it. I'm now obsessed with painting hare hair with a teeny tiny brush:

Leaping Hare © Sue Wookey
The last painting was all dark and mysterious with lashings of Payne's Grey (I love Payne's Grey but I suspect I'm fairly alone in that), so it seemed perfect for that most elusive of all animals, the White Stag, with a ghostly owl popped in for good measure. All the paintings feature the moon because... well... I like the moon, so why not.

White Stag © Sue Wookey
There are more to come (I've now got a rough and wild background that looks distinctly snowy... another stag???) and I'm hoping to exhibit them in mid-June in a shared exhibition at the Eagle Gallery, Bedford, along with the more usual, mystical stuff. More details of the Exhibition to come!


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Kingdom Animalia CD

Kingdom Animalia 

Time to share some exciting news with you all! My painting, Four Elements, with its Celtic stag, salmon, hare and hawk will be used as the cover art of Kingdom Animalia, a recording celebrating the magic of animals by Welsh musician and songwriter, Gwion (Richard Price). I'm thrilled to be part of this project - the subject is very close to my heart - and Gwion has now launched a fundraising  page to help the project along:

The Shapeshifter: Kingdom Animalia
Kingdom Animalia "is a musical celebration of the inherent knowledge, wisdom and magic of the animals who inhabit the Celtic realm. It's a collection of songs from the tradition of the British Isles, plus newly written material which present the splendor of a particular animal."
I'll keep you updated as the project progresses and - of course - when the CD, which will also be available as downloads, is released.

As Richard says - 'here's to the animal kingdom'!