Susi Whittaker – Owner and Artist in Residence at The Stani Gallery – was recently interviewed as one of the exhibitors at the Reading Contemporary Art Fair.
Susi will be exhibiting her new stunning mixed media abstract work in resin together with a small selection of limited edition bronze frog sculptures by tim Cotterill – aka The Frogman. Drop by and say hello if you can !
What is your background?
After a variety of jobs following a pretty poor performance at school I eventually trained in retail management.
How would you describe the work you produce?
Extremely varied. I am best known for my naïve and humorous Ewe paintings. Whilst I do still produce these I have totally changed direction recently to more abstract contemporary work.
Who inspired you to be an artist and what still inspires you ?
I inspired myself ! And I still do now. It’s due to colour, humour and the sense that you can draw or paint anything you wish to, and why not ?!
How has the experience of being an artist most benefited you?
Being an artist has given me direction in my life. I now own and run 2 art galleries, an arts studio and tea rooms with my husband in Stony Stratford. They provide a very wide range of art to suit all tastes and budgets ; art & craft tuition for beginners and the more experienced so you can make your own art, as well as a relaxing place to have a cup of tea or a light bite afterwards ! I am also able to paint almost every day, so my life is full of colour !! … and lovely people.
What is the best surprise you have had from the experience?
When I recently changed to very abstract artwork, which took me 3 years of thought and then a sudden eureka moment. I hung my first piece and sold it the same day. It was both fabulous and scary at the same time.
What is it that you are trying to achieve with your art?
I paint to please myself, when it pleases others enough to buy and hang it in their own homes that is the best achievement ever.
What complement would make you feel the happiest at this point in your life?
You look as if you’ve lost weight !!
A big broad question, what is art worth in society/our culture?
Art is everything…. feelings, emotions, fun, sadness etc… and without it we are not human.
Is your work featured in any major collections/ has anyone famous bought work from you?
John Bercow, speaker of the House of Commons, told me if he was going to buy a painting it would have been mine….does that count ! I did sell a painting of hens to Lord XXX, I put it in a plastic black bin bag so he could carry it home easily, although I had no idea who he was at the time.
You can see Susi’s art, discuss her work and watch her paint most days at The Stani Gallery. 61 High Street in Stony Stratford.
The Reading Contemporary Art Fair is being held from 26 – 27 April this year and features over 100 artists.