Artwork Description

Mixed Media on canvas, stretched and ready to hang.

Signed on the front.

I am happiest with my work when my paintings bring together many things that I love. These include, firstly, a delight in the natural world surrounding me. Layers of colour and pattern underlie my paintings, often combining natural plant forms with other elements from different times and cultures. My current work brings together a diverse range of influences including Asian philosophy and traditional art, textile pattern, bird-watching and the phenomenology of perception. The work usually goes through four processes. Firstly, I create an abstract colour background with fluid paint or ink to create organic effects. Then I work with my ever growing library of custom made stencils and masks – sometimes plant forms, sometimes abstract or classical patterns. In creating these backgrounds, which I think of as abstract paintings in their own right, I try to build up interesting layers of forms, patterns and colours, so that the eye looks through depths of space, and nothing is fully grasped in the instant. When I am happy with the background, then it is time to consider what bird subject it suggests to me. I paint the birds as realistically as my skills permit. I enjoy the contrast of a realistically detailed and modeled bird "popping" out of an abstract painting. The final stage is to re-balance the work tonally so that the subjects sit happily with the background.

This painting features two really beautiful Australian waterbird species - the Australian darter, which has quite amazingly art deco wing feather patterns, and the crested jacana, who can (almost) walk on water. Unframed, ready to hang.

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Lithographic ink, aerosol and oil on stretched canvas

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Stretched and ready to hang

This artwork is currently stretched and ready to hang.

Susan Skuse

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