Friday, 5 December 2014

Mi Blog Es Tu Blog - Susan Wilson

I have known Susan for more than ten years, I have been taught by her and we had children in the same schools. Born in New Zealand, she arrived in London in 1976 and her work has been widely shown in UK and NZ.  She has a straight forward attitude towards painting that I always admired ( read about her studio gear in this post); what for other painters might be a source of inspiration, in Susan's works gets chewed and swallowed up whole: literature, old masters, foreign landscapes, costumed portraits. Her insatable painterly appetite results in pictures that are always engaging, challenging, confrontational.
Here is an interview from 2008 with Michael Peppiatt.

Susan is having a solo exhinbition at Browse and Darby next week, and chose this painting from the show:

Tiepolo Sky with Hollyhocks    
oil on linen, 30 x 50 inches

I have been driving across Europe this year to deliver paintings and prints- and then collect them- to an exhibition at the Bibioteca at Cassino where my father was a stretcher bearer with the NZ Medical Corps at the terrible battle for Montecassino in WW2.

I planned the route around Tiepolo, so we had a stay at Wurztburg to see the Tiepolo ceilings in the Residence there- reader- see them, you will never be quite the same-, then Udine, where again the NZ Medical corps was stationed at the close of the war, and young Tiepolo painted the Archbishops Palace, hollyhocks stand by the door Sarah peers around as a handsome angel arrives to tell her she will have a child, then Villa Valmarana ai Nani, where Giandomenico and Gianbattista again worked together as at Wurtzburg. Lorenzo, another son, also went to Wurtzburg.  They lived in a room at the Residence for two years and I keep imagining them lurching across Europe up mountain passes from Venice in a  horse draw coach.

So the Tiepolo sky picture is a distillation of thinking about Tiepolo after Mary Kuper (illustrator) gave me "Tiepolo Pink" by Roberto Calasso ( he's one of the foremost Italian intellectuals !) to read . It was made in my garden - I grew the hollyhocks and was given them as small plants as well, by Oonagh Elliott.
I sat outside, used a big linen canvas, and watched the clouds go by. My dog walking affects how I paint skies, as I am out with her twice a day in all weather. She is an orange pointer bitch, and she features in Goya, and Tiepolo, same dog!

The picture is on show at Browse & Darby from 9th Dec.

Paint? Sax naples yellow, alizarin crimson, sax heilige blau, titanium white, linseed, rickety old chairs to support the picture and thats it.


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