Featured Artist Susan Skuse

Artist Susan Skuse juxtaposes realistic images of bird with semi-abstract backgrounds, finding the perfect visual balance. View more of her work by visiting her website.

 

“Duet” (Sarus Cranes) Aerosol and Oil on Coffered Panel, 92cm x 83cm by artist Susan Skuse. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Duet” (Sarus Cranes) Aerosol and Oil on Coffered Panel, 92cm x 83cm

 

I read once that the principal task for an artist is to find their own work and do it. “You can’t do anyone else’s work,” the author said, “and no one else can do yours.”

 

“Pale Headed Morning” (Pale Headed Rosella) Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 60cm x 60cm by artist Susan Skuse. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Pale Headed Morning” (Pale Headed Rosella) Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 60cm x 60cm

 

But finding out just what it is can be a lifelong quest.

 

“Pardalotes” Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 61cm x 51cm by artist Susan Skuse. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Pardalotes” Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 61cm x 51cm

 

For me, the answer came when I tried just putting all the things I loved most together–brilliant colour, repetitive pattern, see-through layering and realistic painting, especially of birds. Things started to click and people began to respond positively to my work.

 

“Connectivity” (Rainbow Lorikeets) Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 91cm x 91cm by artist Susan Skuse. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Connectivity” (Rainbow Lorikeets) Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 91cm x 91cm

 

My approach is driven by process and philosophy. Everything in the universe is really one thing, and I am a part of that thing, too. I am always looking to develop a feeling of connectedness with nature.

 

“Double Date” (Rainbow Bee Eaters) Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 60cm x 60cm by artist Susan Skuse. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Double Date” (Rainbow Bee Eaters) Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 60cm x 60cm

 

The backgrounds in my work are very important. Rather than the viewer having an experience like looking at a photograph with everything laid out with equal clarity, I try to create the sensation of being inside an environment surrounded by receding semi-transparent layers of half-glimpsed shapes and patterns.

 

“Wrensday Morning #1” (Superb and Splendid Fairy Wrens) Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 51cm x 61cm by artist Susan Skuse. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Wrensday Morning #1” (Superb and Splendid Fairy Wrens) Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 51cm x 61cm

 

My bird subjects, painted in oils in a realistic style, are intended to “pop out” of these backgrounds, a contrasting counterbalance to their environments.

 

“Forest Gem” (Buff Breasted Kingfisher) Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 60cm x 60cm by artist Susan Skuse. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Forest Gem” (Buff Breasted Kingfisher) Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 60cm x 60cm

 

It is a three part painting process.

 

“We Are Family” (Australian Magpies) Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 101cm x 80cm by artist Susan Skuse. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“We Are Family” (Australian Magpies) Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 101cm x 80cm

 

First, I lay down a loose, fluid and intensely coloured background layer in which the mingling of pigments provides the chance for happy accidents.

 

“Rainforest Dream” Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 100cm x 100cm by artist Susan Skuse. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Rainforest Dream” Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 100cm x 100cm

 

Then I start work with aerosol paints and/or airbrush and my ever-growing collection of custom made stencils and masks. I work very much by intuition here, with no pre-determined plan, just layering colour and pattern until a satisfying composition is achieved.

 

“Learning to Fly” (Sulphur Crested Cockatoos) Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 100cm x 100cm by artist Susan Skuse. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Learning to Fly” (Sulphur Crested Cockatoos) Lithographic Ink, Aerosol and Oil on Canvas, 100cm x 100cm

 

Then I look at it for a good long time and see what bird subjects the canvas suggests to me. The final stage is tweaking and tonal rebalancing where necessary.

 

Artist Susan Skuse invites you to follow her on Facebook and her Gallery Website.

 

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