creative conversations 7

28 Nov

Welcome to episode seven of creative conversations. This week I am joined by Susan Hughes, who had organised an exhibition at Weymouth Library.

[audio |width=380]

Right click (or Ctrl click on a Mac) on this link (Creative Conversations #07) to download (Save Link As). Or subscribe to our podcast, or subscribe via iTunes.

The exhibition includes paintings and drawings from her life drawing classes, along with the launch of artwey’s cultural Olympiad project, ‘the Giant Wall’. We hear about the exhibition, of how Susan thought the act of framing and showing their work would greatly aid members of her life drawing class, and the Giant Wall, which is a Big Draw project. Artwey had wanted to get involved with cultural Olympiad and this project is about local portraits, which involves painting and sewing. They have had very positive response to its launch from the general public.

Susan talks about how she feels that art is all about communication and that the audience is very important. That sometimes the art world forgets about this.

Susan sees herself as a professional artist. That she is an ‘artist’ and has no choice in it. Selling her work is important to her practice and is what draws her to be part of artwey, as the selling of work is very important to this group. We hear about her progression, how she ended up here putting on this show.

Susan has recently got back into drawing and had to teach herself to draw all over again. She has been influenced in this process by the Betty Edwards idea of drawing and using it more meditatively. Betty Edwards’ method of drawing and teaching is now widely accepted by artists, teachers, and others around the world. Underlying the method is the notion that the brain has two ways of perceiving and processing reality — one verbal and analytic, the other visual and perceptual. Edwards’ method advocates suppressing the former in favour of the latter. It focuses on disregarding preconceived notions of what the drawn object should look like, and on individually “seeing” edges or lines, spaces, relationships, and lights and shadows, later combining them and seeing them as a whole, or gestalt.

On finding there were no life drawing classes in the area, that Adult Education had priced itself out of the market, she decided to start her own. Susan makes her life drawing classes very relaxed, very supportive environments. You do not have to be good at it to enjoy drawing, and this fits into the Big Draw mentality.

Susan talks a bit about balancing her time between producing work, marketing, doing the admin and fitting in a personal life, a difficult mix to manage. As all this other stuff takes away from you producing new work.

Susan talks about finding an audience. That through discussing with her audience she has discovered two audiences that like different aspects of her works. As an artist you need to look for audiences in a lot of different places.

Susan talks about how she fits within the artwey group. She doesn’t see herself as central to the group.

We discuss the lack of an art space in which artists can meet and show work. There is an arts community here in Weymouth. Susan feels that Weymouth suffers in not having an art centre because near by towns, Bridport and Dorchester both have supported art centres.

We hear Susan’s advise to artists is to sustain their practice is do a business course. Even just get a bit of a business head of handling money, dealing with money, not being frightened by it. A lot of artists see money as quite corrupting, while she sees it as liberating. If someone buys your work, they will look after it and it frees up your space to make another piece. The most important thing is to just enjoy making work. To enjoy that quiet space to produce your work. Find a way to make it as enjoyable as you can and realise that it is going to be difficult. Try and remain positive and engaging with people.

Susan Hughes Facebook page:

I hope you will find this new show on art, culture and the economics of being an artist in Dorset interesting and engaging. I welcome your input to future episodes.


3 Responses to “creative conversations 7”


  1. creative conversations episodes « creative conversations - May 9, 2012

    […] Susan Hughes, local artist, talks about her work and an exhibition she curated at Weymouth Library. […]

  2. Creative Conversations No5: artwey « creative conversations - February 19, 2013

    […] Hughes who I had interviewed at the library while this show as up and you can hear this show here: Creative Conversations 7 with local artist, Susan Hughes (published 28 Nov, 2011).  Susan is featured in next weeks creative conversation show, talking […]

  3. Creative Conversations No6: Susan Hughes | creative conversations - February 28, 2013

    […] Welcome back to creative conversations number six, this week sees me talking to local artist Susan Hughes. We talked to Susan last year, during her exhibition at Weymouth library. You can hear this previous show at: Creative Conversations 7 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: