I am re-posting this months featured artists blog with a huge apology to Sue Roberts as I had used the wrong photos. Please take a look at her fabulous artwork and big apologies for messing up.
Your name? Sue Roberts
Where do you live? Goostrey, Cheshire
What is your background? I come from a family of makers in one medium or another. My two favourite places as a child were my grandmother’s sewing room and my great grandfather’s shed where he made all sorts of things including radios and TVs. All the tools, materials and vices were heavenly to a very small child!
How did you learn your craft i.e. college, self-taught and what did that entail? All through childhood I loved art and craft and was meant to pursue a degree in 3D design (silversmithing) after finishing secondary school. However, life got in the way and after marriage and two sons I took a four-year City and Guilds course in creative embroidery. On completion I was accepted into a local group who exhibited nationwide and during this time I also did a couple of photography courses. In 2006 my husband died very suddenly and unexpectedly and, aside from all the other devastating impact, it left me completely blocked. I took a few online courses to try to break through the block but it was not until I took an amazing online art class (CVP) in 2019 that I finally succeeded and started making work which made me feel good again.
Which media do you prefer to work with? I love mixed media! Combining photography, paint, stitch, metal in a cohesive way. Currently I am exploring and developing ideas using mainly acrylic paint on wood panels. It has all become such fun.
Do you work in multiple media, if so which and why? Photography is a very important part of my process, particularly macro photography. It’s a great way to record colours or details that can be used as reference or inspiration. Paint is an essential part of the finished piece; even my textile/stitch pieces are painted as well. The metal takes me back to that shed of my great grandfather and offers a lovely contrast to the softer elements. Fabric and thread are part of my DNA, I think! My ancestry contains spinners and weavers and hatters. I love it – particularly cotton, linen and silk. The rhythm of stitch is unlike anything else.
What does your work aim to say? This is where I feel that my ‘I am not worthy’ thought process kicks in. I am not really trying to say anything. I’m just doing it because I have to, as if my life depends on it and because there’s something inside me that HAS to do this. Its absolutely personal. If other people get something out of it that is a massive bonus but realistically its not about ‘saying’ anything…..
Does your work comment in anyway on current social or political issues? No. Very definitely not. It is an escape from that!
Who are your biggest influences? Great question! I’m not sure that I’m ‘influenced’ by anyone – more inspired by. There is a huge number of artists that inspire me. Some of my ‘loves’ are Matisse, Bridget Riley, David Mankin, Sean Scully, Edmund de Waal, Lucie Rie, Caroline Bartlett, Debbie Lyddon. Diverse! Is there a linking factor? Perhaps there is an element of ‘broad brush’ with detailed elements. Colours, repetition and soul!
How do you navigate the art world? At this stage in my ‘redevelopment’ I am taking baby steps and growing an audience ‘organically’ through social media. I have a website under construction and have had work selected for exhibition. Before the lockdown I was keen to visit exhibitions and galleries.
How have you developed your career? Learning, learning and more learning at this stage. By joining and participating in artist groups and by following fellow artists and gallery/exhibition spaces. Once the world is ‘open’ again it will be exciting to put this all into practice but now – in lockdown – seems a perfect opportunity to learn.
How do you seek out opportunities? Online, social media and from discussions with other artists. I belong to an exhibition collective which aims to organise shows for the group members to promote and sell our work to a wider audience whilst aiming to keep the exhibition costs down. The group is organised run on Facebook and is still open to people wanting to take part. For more information please message Alison, the owner of this blog.
How do you cultivate a collector base? I am working on this through taking part in local and national exhibitions. Right now, of course not much is happening, but I am looking forwards to doing more when the country opens up for trading again.
How do you price your work? There are many ways to price work, but I price mine according to size, materials and frame costs using a multiplier.
Which current art world trends are you following? The move away from solely reaching the public through gallery or exhibition spaces and the new opportunities created by pop-ups, the web and social media. There will always be a place for galleries – I hope! – but diversity is good.
Do you know where you are heading career wise? Yes. I am working at having a thriving online presence and business as well as taking part in regular exhibitions up and down the country. Regular exhibition participation also allows me to meet up with the friends I have made online and gives us an opportunity to share more easily the opportunities we have discovered.
Do you have any tips for young artists just starting out? It sounds simple but find your voice and be true to that.
Where can people see your art, do you have any exhibitions coming up? Currently, like everyone else, I do not know if any of the exhibitions I was due to take part in will actually go ahead, but if you would like to see more of my work then please do get in touch via the links below.
Do you have anything else you would like to convey to an audience? Despite my age and previous experience my art practice is very much in its infancy following my 12-year ‘hiatus’. The world has changed so much in those years and the way that artists can develop their practice and their opportunities is so different. It is a very exciting time to be an artist and will be even more so.
How can readers find out more about you e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc.?
Facebook – Sue Roberts Art @suerobertsartist;
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sueroberts_art/ or
Website – http://www.suerobertsart.com