“When I have an idea for a painting, my first impulse is to use my classical training to create a realistic image. Now I want to move beyond that physical reality to explore the elements that make up a particular subject. I think of the emotions the image evokes. I think of colours, shapes, positions, relationships, textures, light and shadow – all the elements that form an image. Then I go to my sketchbook where I use pastels and pencils to explore my ideas and form bold abstract shapes that best realize my impressions. The chalk allows me to smudge, blend and layer colours further experimenting with line and form. It’s a messy process where I create many images trying different configurations, colours and textures until I am pleased with the results. That’s when I move to my canvas where I develop my ideas further now using graphite and gel mediums to create the base painting before I layer in colour. I build the painting slowly taking days to add colour, textures and details until I am satisfied that I have captured the essence of my subject matter.
A graduate on the Ontario College of Art, I have a deep interest in our natural and built environment including urban planning, architecture and heritage conservation. The political interplay of these subjects along with my love of all art forms inspires my work.” – Susan Cargill