Sue Fawthrop

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Milky Light at Studland

Milky Light at Studland

As with many artists, the need to experiment, change direction and push the boundaries dominates my work.

When I moved to Dorset in 2010, I was making large studio works in a vibrant, semi abstract style based on tonal landscape drawings, but I wanted another challenge. 

So I moved out of doors, and started to work on much smaller surfaces with oil, finishing works on site. The first results were a little crude and frequently a sticky mess but I enjoyed the experience of working directly from the scene and the challenge of a small surface. Nowadays the great majority of my work is created directly from the subject in this way.

Plein air painting is such a delicious thing to do.  Trying to capture one elusive ray of light as it hits a particularly bright field in the distance, whilst hanging on to your hat and easel in a high wind is exciting.  You can’t work carefully and I’m sure that struggle against the elements comes through in the energy of the work.

I love the smell of the paint, the light, the weather, the fact that everything is in constant flux.  This is infused in the pieces, along with small insects, bits of grass and occasionally a complete rework as everything has blown over and landed facedown (of course) in mud.

My aim is to create as much space and distance as possible on my little boards, working quickly and using big brushes and broad strokes to distill the scene.