Susan Ann Barber (Member)
Oil painting is my preferred medium, it compliments and illuminates the work.
I enjoy the feel of painting onto canvas and drawing with charcoal whether on A4 or 7 ft x 5 ft rolls of paper. I gather information in black and white photography as well as sketches, working these up in the studio. I use an eraser to create effects together with distilled turpentine, compressed and willow charcoal. The large scale of the work is important and the use of black and white emphasizes the stark environmental situation.
The choice of charcoal as a medium is particularly relevant, being the burnt remains of wood and therefore the stored energy of light “ancient sunlight”!. Charcoal is the oldest artist’s material and goes back to the drawings of Neanderthal man who used burnt pieces of wood to draw on walls and roofs of caves.
My processes remain centred around drawing. Drawing enables a different dimension to be explored within the image, stripping down to bear essentials and presenting an opportunity to create subtle marks which can dip in and out of the “surface” creating a sense of light, movement and atmosphere.
I work outdoors directly from nature and in the studio. My working methods create a “push-pull” relationship between mark making and constantly searching for the right image.
I will be showing my latest paintings at the Slimbridge Wildlife Trust in Gloucestershire November 2012.
The work of contemporary artists Nicola Nicks, Michael Porter and Hugh O’Donaghue are influential for their textures, concepts, form, processes and techniques.
Quote from Rodin: Show me a shape from nature and I will show you something worth painting!