Featured Artist 2016: Susan Crismas Wood
Published: 31 May 2016
Susan Crismas Wood is the next of the Skipton Open Studios Artists to be featured on our blog! Holly went to photograph Susan (and her gorgeous dog!) working in her studio in St Ouen. Susan talked to us about her work with oils/mixed media, the work of other Artists that has influenced and and been the creative stimulus for her own work, and why she enjoys painting with a good radio drama playing in the background:
"How would you describe yourself as an Artist?
Sensitive and driven!
Have you taken part in Skipton Open Studios before?
Yes, I loved the opportunity to meet so many other Artists on the Island.
How did you first get into Art?
I’ve always painted, but wasn’t allowed to go to Art College when I was young. So after having a whole other career and raising my family I went to Highlands first to train and then trained one on one with local Artists and at a wonderful school in Italy.
Who is your creative inspiration?
So many artists!! I have a rather eclectic taste and it really depends on what mood I’m in. I love paintings that fire my emotions. For style I am a great fan of Steven da Luz and also Paul Wileman.
Why should we visit your Studio?
Because it will be colourful and I hope pleasing and should ignite your imagination. Also, there will be cake !!
What have you been doing so far in preparation for this year’s Open Studios?
I have been working hard on new work to exhibit including spending a week painting in France for inspiration. I am enjoying doing a mix of abstract, quite misty atmospheric work and also some pieces that are more representational.
What can we expect from you from this year’s Open Studios?
Describe Jersey’s creative scene in 5 words… Super abundant
What inspires you to make art?
For me it’s a creative energy that has to be expressed or I become restless and irritable. I am usually inspired by nature, whether it’s a country or coastal scene. The light here is so amazing I feel like the top of my head has been lifted off sometimes!
Tell me about your work process?
Do you have a routine or will you work through the night if inspiration takes hold? - I am erratic and sporadic! I will have days when I do a lot of work and days when I won’t and even a good talking to in the mirror won’t make me!
Do you work in silence or with the radio?
I love working listening to music or drama from BBC iplayer radio. It really helps me to disconnect from my conscious mind which will be chattering about more mundane things that need to be done.
Do you like to focus on one piece at a time or do you have lots on the go at once?
I always have more than one piece that I’m working on at any one time. It keeps me interested and one painting might affect another in a positive way. Also from a practical point of view as I use oils, I have to allow drying time.
Have you recently been to any exhibitions in the UK or elsewhere that surprised you?
I always try and go to see the Wallace Collection if I’m in London – it’s a haven of peace apart from anything else and you just can’t see everything in one visit. I loved the frivolous Fragonard paintings that have lots of secret messages in them. The contrast of frivolity and secrecy is exciting.
What are you artist plans for the next 12 months? I did a lot of private commissions last year and therefore only exhibited once. This year I need to raise my profile a bit more by exhibiting and social media. At the moment I am working on building up a new body of work for this purpose."
Susan will be accepting visitors to her studio in St Ouen's during the West weekend of Open Studios: 25th + 26th June, 10:00AM - 5:00PM. Check out Susan's artist profile to find a map of where to find the studio, as well as links to her website and her contact details.