Local artist profile: Susan Long

One of Gallery 1855’s featured artists in this year’s SALA 2015 exhibition, Susan Long, says her featured work, Evening Glow’, was initially a work she had cast to the side in her studio, without a second thought.

But seeing an artist scraping through layers of paint during a visit Gallery 1855 created a desire to return to her work.

‘It was a complete surprise because it was a work I had finished and thought I was done with, but not long afterwards I saw an artist scraping through layers on a painting at Gallery 1855 and I knew I had to go home straight away and start working on it again,’ Susan says.

‘I had to get going and working on it very quickly, as the hands and mind must work together when inspiration strikes.

‘I tend to work in layers and bright colours and when I started to scrape through the painting, it started to reveal itself to me.

‘But I’ve also learned to stop, wait and step back from a painting and read it and see what it’s saying. Paintings do have their own mind!’

Susan’s work, titled ‘Evening Glow’, depicts a sole tree in the middle of an undefined landscape, allowing the viewer to imagine where it could be.

‘To me it is a Tree of Life…and it could be anywhere, it could be on a farm, by water, it doesn’t matter. This tree is very grounding and by painting it, it has helped me to ground myself in the landscape and identify with landscapes I have been in.’

SLong_Evening Glow v2.0

Image: Susan Long, Evening Glow, Acrylic, 2015.

‘Often when I start a painting I have no idea where it is going to go.  I have to get into the rhythm of painting and then allow the creative process to take over.

Describing herself as a ‘colourist’, Susan approaches her work with a bold and colourful brush technique.

‘Vibrant tones always feature in my work, especially orange, which is my favourite colour and you will always see it somewhere in my works.’

Susan is a regular exhibitor at Gallery 1855 and local resident of the area. She has held careers in cooking, teaching and now focuses full-time on her work as an artist and freelance food writer.

Her work is included in Gallery 1855’s SALA exhibition, titled ‘Looking but seeing…something familiar for the first time’, which opens Sunday 9 August. Other featured Adelaide artists include Jane Greet, Amy Herrmann, Judith Rolevink, Greg Geraghty and Talia Dawson.

‘I think it’s a great time to be an artist in Adelaide, with the support of councils and their involvement in the SALA Festival.’

During the 2015 SALA Festival, Susan’s work will also be on display at the Pepper Street Arts Centre, The Red House Member’s Group Exhibition and  is part of a pop-up artist open day on Walkerville Terrace on Friday 28 August.

Looking but Seeing’…something familiar for the first time’  runs from Wednesday 12 August until Saturday 19 September.

Gallery 1855 is located at 2 Haines Road, Tea Tree Gully, and is open Wednesday – Saturday from 12-5pm.

For more information visit the Gallery 1855 website or phone 8397 7333.

See the full list of venues and exhibitions in this year’s SALA Festival.

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