An Interview with Artist Sue O' Sullivan
If you enjoy looking at beautiful acrylic paintings of abstracts and landscapes then look no further than the gorgeous artwork of Sue O'Sullivan.
Sue's art is exquisitely rendered by her experimentation resulting in glorious splashes of colour, texture and detail.
Not only paintings, Sue has her own store where she sells her artwork on mugs, water bottles and you can also buy heard fantastic original artwork.
You can check out Sue's artwork on her website.
Or you can jump straight to the store and buy some of her paintings.
Sue also has a blog.
Sue is on Facebook
She's also on Instagram
Please talk a bit about where you grew up and where you live now...
I’m Sue born and raised in London and now living in the beautiful county of Wiltshire.
How did you discover art?
I rediscovered my love of art late in life and turned my hobby into a business.
I’d always had an interest in art, but when I was at school I had to choose between art and science and science won or rather Biology did.
What themes in your artwork are important to you?
Looking back my fascination for how things are formed and function in nature plays a part in my art today.
Over the years we have been lucky enough to travel to some beautiful places.
On our travels, I always take lots of photographs, often of unusual angles and close-ups of nature.
Many of these have influenced my work of today.
What do you like about using Acrylics?
My favourite medium to use is acrylic.
I love it for some of the reasons people hate it!
The main reason is that they dry fast, I am an extremely impatient person. They are also very versatile and durable, you can use them in thick layers, with other media and build up layers without muddying the colours. There are many surfaces you can paint on; I normally paint on canvas but have painted on wood to create some garden art and paper.
What do you enjoy most about painting and is there anything that you do not enjoy?
For me, painting is a release from the stresses and strains of life. It’s a form of meditation, when I’m painting, I’m in my own world that’s why I love it so much.
The more I paint the more I realise how amazing it is to record special memories in the form of art, a painting evokes emotion both when creating it and viewing it whether landscape or abstract.
What is your process from an idea to a finished painting?
I create both landscape and abstract work, which may be unusual but sometimes I feel like painting detail and other times I just feel like “letting go”. I love to experiment when creating abstracts, especially trying different ways to apply paint. I often apply mounds of colour and drag them across the canvas seeing how they mix then decide where to go from there. My work is very instinctive.
My painting process for landscapes usually begins from emotion. I might have been moved by a particular view or a picture someone has shown me. I love to create straight on the canvas usually from a photo. I apply a wash of one or two colours then start adding in outlines before starting on details. In between sessions, I place the work where I can see it throughout my day. I then build up an idea of where I want to go next with the piece.
Abstracts are different, the work I create definitely reflects a mood or feeling. I usually know what colours I want to use, then move them around on the canvas, make marks and see where my imagination takes me! The work comes from deep within and is about feeling and emotion.
Which artists inspire you and why?
Growing up I was inspired by the works of Turner and Monet.
I think I saw my first Monet on a print in a London Museum it was of the Thames and Westminster and my dad bought it for me.
I loved the work of Turner for his dramatic skies, especially in his seascapes.
But impressionism was my passion, especially the impressionistic style of Monet, the way he depicted nature and the way he captured light.
His work created emotion.
Please talk about the successes that you have had from your online business...
For me, “success” is knowing that you have had an impact on someone with your work.
Several years ago, I created a painting of Eucalypts in the snow. I did this to help raise funds for the Melbourne Arboretums tree planting program. The artwork was shipped to Australia and auctioned, the lady who bought it said it was for their newly renovated home and that “The painting spoke to me in such a way, and I knew it belonged in our new house.”
During the lockdown, I created more abstract work and promoted my work on social media, mostly Twitter. It was from here that I was approached by a lady who said my work “really spoke to her”.
I had never had such a powerful reaction from someone who has since gone on to create a wall of art from my work. I am currently working on a large commission piece for her. She has become a friend too.
It’s a great feeling when you get such a reaction.
How do you market yourself?
Currently, I promote my work through social media channels.
I also won the Theo Paphitis small business award run through twitter which helps.
I would advise anyone who is starting out to paint from the heart, don’t paint what you think people will buy if it doesn’t move you. Don’t just try and sell art, build relationships with people.
Love what you do!
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to keep painting and experimenting.
Currently, I am doing a walking challenge and recording my walks in a series of watercolours which will be sold with profits going to the charity I am walking for. Some of my favourites may be created on canvas in acrylics!