Hi Sue, great to catch up with you again after a two year absence! I am delighted you have brought Sheila with you for a combined interview this time.
Please help yourselves to a shortbread biscuit and/or a welsh cake and I will pour the coffee.
Good morning Sue and Sheila. If I can start by asking you both how you first met?
SHEILA I first met Sue in the flower shop in Bromyard where she worked and I saw that there were lots of pictures in the window of her house and thought she would be the ideal person to illustrate my children's book. Sue lives near the florist shop by the way!. We consequently met up and both agreed to work together.
I think that answers the question for both of you!
Illustrations for Sheila's next publication
You are both great artists with very different styles and you have described your type of artistry to me in our first interview Sue when I asked the question Do you prefer drawing to painting?
SUE I would once have said that I preferred drawing, every time. It took years to admit that this was because I was nervous of trying water-colour painting. But then I thought..''Let's give it a go! What the heck!''....and now I love working in both, and I also use Oil-pastels, and pastels--pretty much anything that will make the required type of mark, really!
You have a super website Sheila https://nutshellstudios.co.uk devoted to water colour paintings. Have you been painting all your life? Can you tell us a bit about the way you paint and why?
SHEILA I began watercolour painting in the Seventies but my business career took off and demanded a lot of my time. Consequently, my painting was put on the back burner, so to speak. Now, in retirement, I have taken it up again with the aim to persuade the viewer to use one’s imagination to make new associations with colour around the images..
My work is fluid as I work with lots of water and high quality pigments. I love the way colour uplifts and I use as much of it as I can. Some of my paintings are clearly discernible. I love the way colour uplifts and I use as much of it as I can. My limited edition Giclee prints are produced using archival inks and papers exceeding a conservation rating of Blue Wool Scale 7.
Fogs hide 'n' seek - one of Sheila's super paintings
The tree of wisdom
In the eye of the beholder
The old moo
We spoke about you illustrating children’s books before Sue, can I ask you Sheila how you came to write the childrens' books and why you chose Sue to illustrate them?
SHEILA Sue has a vivid imagination and I find writing very easy. I have written many stories for children over the years. Sue has been able to portray the images relating to the pages perfectly. See front cover of my book below.
Super cover illustration from Sue
Do you find writing children's books more challenging than painting?
SHEILA Painting is more challenging and time consuming than writing. I can write a children's book very quickly.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
SHEILA I want to go travelling, find new inspiration and hopefully have some painting exhibitions.
Since our last interview Sue, you have a re vamped website, why did you choose to change the layout?
SUE This one is more easily accessible for people to find their way around and I am delighted with the way it has been designed.
Are you concentrating more on pet portraits now?
SUE Thats the plan but I shall also continue with my illustration work. The pet prtraits are experimental work for my own expansion.
Just one of many pet portraits from Sue
Has your style of drawing and painting changed since our last interview in 2015?
SUE I am concentrating on my illustrations for Sheila at present who is writing a trilogy so the style is consistent.
Do you have any commissions planned?
SUE No not at the moment.
Are people able to view your prints before buying if they live locally?
SUE Yes, please ring me on 01885 483578 and I will arrange a visit. I also have my paintings displayed at Bromyard Heritage Centre. When the Bromyard Festival of Speed 2017 takes place on Sunday April 2nd, the Heritage Centre will be open too, so if you go, pop in and have a look?
Read my first interview with Sue here.
Both websites were designed and developed by Matthew Rosser.