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

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

ANB Spring Show

Nearly time for the ANB Spring Show at Parkside Hall in Ampthill. The exhibition will run from the 23rd - 24th May and will feature a huge variety of works from members of Artists Network Bedfordshire. I still trying to decide which paintings I'll be taking!

ANB Spring Show
23rd - 24th May
Parkside Hall Ampthill


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Latest paintings available as prints

White Hart by Sue Wookey
I've been a busy bee today and finally updated my website with my new paintings. Prints are now available to buy online for White Hart (above), Moon Dance and Holding the Net of Life.

I've also realised that I haven't posted White Hart here on my blog despite finishing him several weeks ago. Where does the time go?

White Hart is the latest in my series of animal portraits framed by the moon. (See also Lunar Owl, Badger Moonrise, The Listening Hare, Fox and Lunar Eclipse and Moon Horse). A beautiful white Fallow Deer Stag stands poised with the moon behind him. The words I've composed for the border read: 

Hart of the White Fire, silver swift, 
poised between stillness and the leap, 
keeps the secret of the unbroken moment 
and hears the forest breathe. - SW

I've completely fallen in love with him so the original is now living permanently with me as part of my painting family. At least there are the prints!

Holding the Net of Life
Moon Dance

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Art of Poetry

Badger Moonrise
Another exhibition opening tomorrow - 'The Art of Poetry' at Obsidian Art, Stoke Mandeville, Bucks. The 'Art of Poetry' Exhibition runs from 23 April - 31 May and I'll be exhibiting 'The Apple's Heart', 'Badger Moonrise' (above) and 'Sharpenhoe Summer'. I love this annual exhibition because you know how dear the combination of poetry and painting is to my heart! From the Obsidian website:
"An exciting exhibition of selected work inspired by poetry in a wide range of mediums and styles. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book with selected art and poems from the show - available from the gallery and on the web shop.  On Thursday 23rd April from 6.30pm – 9pm, to coincide with World Book Night (and Shakespeare’s birthday), we would be delighted if you could join us to meet some of the exhibiting artists, with readings from the poems that inspired their work.
I'm thrilled to be included in the book for the second year running, this time with my own poem 'The Apple's Heart':

The wassail fades from Wisdom's field,
yet full I grow and branches part
for Avalon and Gawain's shield
and you who know my secret heart. - SW

Follow the links to see a PDF preview of the book!


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Demonstrating watercolour at The Eagle Gallery

New painting for the demo. I have no idea what it is yet...
Well, the Eagle Gallery 10th Anniversary Exhibition is well underway with the Gallery decked out in all things Italian. This weekend has been a special celebration with music, storytelling and artist demos. I was first up with a watercolour demo (see above). I had the quaint idea that I would sit in the garden and paint while people occasionally drifted by firing the odd question at me but a) it was pretty chilly (see most attractive boho shawl and scarf below as I try to fend off the breeze while still keeping my painting arm free) and b) I very quickly realised that rather than 'drifting by' people were going to sit around me in a circle and stay. And not only that, they were mainly keen and well-informed watercolourists!

So... I really had to get myself into another gear and do some serious demo-ing while talking all the while. And I loved it! I think we all had a lot of fun and, even better, everything I attempted to show came out well. As watercolour is pretty tricksy and fickle, especially wet-in-wet which I used a lot, I was very thankful to the watercolour gods for seeing me through. Quite honestly, anything could have happened - washes could have gone completely bonkers and the breeze could have sent them in every direction, flies could have landed in them (flies love an outdoor watercolour wash), neat little effects could have refused to play ball. Some watercolour secrets are as elusive as the unicorn. But everything went like a dream. I was asked some very interesting questions and heard a bit about what others do and, hopefully, people went away with some fun ideas to play with to make washes more interesting and textured.

As there was a whole day of events (and more to follow today) I stayed around and watched artist Sarah Janavicius demo her vibrant collages and Jo Spyropoulos demo how to really enjoy creating your sketchbooks and how to turn them into free and atmospheric paintings. I enjoyed watching and listening to both of them and came away with lots of tips and ideas. I also heard master storyteller Max Steinhardt tell a moving and beautiful story about old love, new love and healing. All this and fantastic music too.

Our Italian Connection Exhibition runs until 7th May and is well worth the visit - members have really risen to the challenge and come up with some amazing work, not just on the walls but in the browsers which are positively busting out all over with all things Italy!

The latest in artist outdoors wear

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Eagle Gallery 10th Anniversary

The Eagle Gallery's 10th Anniversary Celebration kicks off this coming weekend with painting, music and storytelling. I'll be demonstrating watercolour from 11-12am on Saturday morning as part of a really interesting programme of events which will launch our Italian Connection Exhibition. This themed exhibition will celebrate 10 years of our co-operative with some really interesting works on show inspired by La Bella Italia.

Saturday 11th April
10.30am -5.30pm
Artists Demonstrations
11am Sue Wookey, Watercolour Artist
1.30pm Sarah Janavicius, Mixed Media Artist
3.30pm Jo Spyropoulos, Sketching in pen and wash
Story Telling and Music
12.30pm Mark Steinhardt Italian Fables
1.00pm Interval- Juliet Lawson, Live Music
2.45pm Mark Steinhardt- Italian Fables
3.30pm Music-Trio, Clarinets

Sunday 12th April
Artists Demonstrations
12pm Keith Wells, Watercolour Artist
1.15pm Janet Cook, Textile Artist
2.30pm Aike Wright Mixed Media Artist

The Eagle Gallery
101 Castle Road
Bedford MK40 3QP

Friday, 13 March 2015

Caft Fair at Harpenden on 21 March

Last year's stall!
Art and Craft Fair
Harpenden HVA Group 
 Methodist Church Hall, Harpenden
 21 March 2015

I'll be joining other members of the Harpenden HVA at the Methodist Hall in Harpenden on Saturday 21st March for an art and craft event. I'll be setting up my stall with all the usual suspects - cards, prints (some framed) small originals and some painted hearts (though not that many as people will keep buying them....).

The Fair is open from 10am to 4pm and is conveniently close the Methodist Hall's coffee shop for essential tea and cake.

Monday, 16 February 2015

La Bella Luna

La Bella Luna © Sue Wookey
A new painting and this one is a little unusual. The Eagle Gallery will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary in April with an all Italian Exhibition: 'Italian Connection'. I've decided to go full on Italian Renaissance for it and emulate those beautiful profile portraits beloved by Botticelli and the like.

My painting represents a personification of the Moon - La Bella Luna - and is stuffed full of moon symbolism. Those Renaissance masters loved symbolism so I'm on home ground here! There are moths (5 if you can spot them all), a hare, mistletoe with its moon like berries, a willow by a stream, an owl's wing, pearls and a beautiful moonstone pendant. I've given her golden hair partly as a contrast to all the greys and blues, and partly because the moon can be gold as well as silver and reflects her partner, the sun. Renaissance portraits often include a Trompe-l'œil window frame (you know how much I like to 'frame' my works with a border!) so I've included one in a soft silvery wood.

Now to find a real frame to complement it - I'm thinking silver, flamboyant and in the Italian style. No place for restraint here....


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Moon Dance

Moon Dance © Sue Wookey
Another painting which had its birth during September's Open Studios. It is possible to be fruitful while demonstrating and talking about your work! This one grew out of the series of Moon Drummers I painted, but the connection with the drum and the moon is even stronger here. I've tried to use the crater markings on the moon to map out the body of the drummer as she bends over her drum. Around her the Moon dances through all her phases, passing over the Earth and the oceans.

The words I've written around the border are:

Through the shadow, through the light,
sometimes dark and sometimes bright,
round and round to the drum of the moon,
dancing the dance of life. - SW

Prints of 'Moon Dance' will be available soon!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

My thanks and Christmas wishes to all of you who've supported me through this year, making the journey to various exhibitions and craft fairs, and keeping me busy painting, printing and sticking cards together!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas Mouse © Sue Wookey

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Holding the Net of Life

© Sue Wookey
At last, a nice shiny new painting - Holding the Net of Life - which started life as a sketch at this year's Open Studios and left me wondering how to accomplish the intricate net at the painting's heart, which has been woven from the bright central fire. Sometimes I see these things very clearly in my head but getting them on paper is another matter entirely! Getting the right contrast, so that there was detail in the centre of the painting without destroying the sense of intense fire and light, was pretty tricky but I got there in the end by building it up very slowly with delicate washes. With watercolour it's all too easy to lose the transparency and glow from the surface of the paper and, with a subject like this, once that's gone you've had it. The only option is to start again. Luckily I made it through the creative fire!!!

The four figures holding the Net of Life can be read in more than one way. They are clothed in the colours and patterns of the Four Elements from which the fabric of life is woven: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, with the central light representing the Fifth Element, Spirit. They embody the Elements, but they also represent the powers that sustain us - Guardians, Teachers, Family, Friends, Ancestors - all that holds us up in our walk through life.

The words around the border are:

Woven together in the Web of Life.
Woven together with Spirit,
Woven together with Earth,
Woven together with Air,
Woven together with Fire and Water. - SW

Prints will be available very soon!