Hi, my name is Sue Munson. I am a Mixed Media Artist. I work from a studio near my home in Lower Sunbury on Thames. I have always had an interest in art and the creative process , but didn’t realise how strong that pull was until about forty years ago when I started experimenting with paint. I was just married and lived in Scotland. I had an at home studio at the top of a big old Victorian house. I loved climbing the stairs to a place I loved, a place where my relationship with paint begun. In the beginning I was self taught, art was a journey of exploration. I Studied Textile Art in the early nineties. It was through working on fabric I learned the process of mark making, layering and creating depth.'Be tenacious, keep at it. Every blank canvas is another opportunity to start again.' Sue MunsonClick To Tweet
My art career has now spanned a few decades, and I am still at it. During this time my genre has changed only because of my curiosity. Mark making and layering can be seen as a link that binds all my work. I have exhibited in group shows, two solos, and one three woman exhibition. Getting into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2014 and 2015 was a highlight. It’s very exciting to have work accepted by ones peers. I am still waiting for the career catapulting moment to happen, and I believe it will.
I am fortunate that my studio is only short walk from home, this makes it easy for me to work most days. I sometimes take my two mini dachshunds, Ben and Daisy with me. My Studio is one of a small group of workshops set in a courtyard behind a couple of old cottages which many years ago belonged to the local baker. The Studio has a sloping roof which is a bit challenging, also the light isn’t great, but as I don’t depend on changes of light it suits me well. Next to me is an icon painter, and upholsterer, and a curtain maker who has some of her family living in the cottages. At times it’s a bit like a soap opera playing out before me. It affects my work, but I am ok with it.
Method and Approach
As a mixed media artist I love to experiment. I would say my present style is Urban. I use acrylics as this allows a spontaneity that oil doesn’t. I also use markers, inks, pens, sprays. Nowadays I very rarely use brushes, preferring to use other implements to make my marks. My present work reflects the inspiration I get from the great mark makers like Basquiat, Alan Davie, Picasso, DuBuffet, too many to mention. Thankfully I am never with out inspiration, only time is a premium.
Marketing and Promotion
I find marketing and promoting my own work very difficult. I don’t think one can be all things. I am getting better at approaching galleries, and I am considering an on line portal as a platform to taking my work to a larger audience. Art fairs are another way to put work in front of people.
Exhibitions and Shows
I am just launching the new series which I am very excited about, and would welcome any opportunities to take my work to a wider audience. During November I exhibited at the FLUX Exhibition on Brick Lane. Most recently I took part in a pop up exhibition at The Barge on the Southbank. Currently I have what I call my minimal work at Arundel Art Room and on Tuesday I am taking paintings to The Dynamite Gallery in Brighton for a group exhibition.
Obstacles and Challenges
I think the main challenge for me is getting exposure to an audience who would appreciate one’s work. Urban art hasn’t yet made it to the suburbs, I would love to be in the forefront as one of those who takes it there. Sometimes living 15 miles outside of London can feel creatively Isolating so frequent trips to London keep me in the loop. Working alone is challenging, being confident and strong with ones work helps. I do meet up with other artists to chat.
Tips and Advice
Starting out with a practice is the most daunting experience, and most artists give up after a while through lack of money or lack of self motivation and ideas. Be tenacious, keep at it. Every blank canvas is another opportunity to start again. Learn by everything you do. Go to galleries, exhibitions, look at books, read about other artists. Only paint what you want to, and not what you think you ought to and certainly not what you think will sell. Don’t seek advice or praise from those without knowledge. Your family will always love your work. Rejection is awful but par for the course, it makes you stronger but it’s still not nice. We all want to be loved. If you want to be creative you will be, it will find a way into your life forever. Being an older artist I did’t grow with social media, although I quickly learned this is a priority as a tool for promoting work. Technology is a great platform for showing your work to a global audience.