Sue’s work can be described as ‘painting with wool.’ The array of wools she use are her ‘palette’ and she use many of the principles of painting when creating her textile pieces.
From stonewalls with huddled sheep, to autumnal skies, poppies, foxgloves, moths and cows, her work is a feast of texture and colour. She hand-dyes her own wool and even has her own flock of sheep. She says that there’s a certain satisfaction to collecting fleece straight from the sheep, washing it, hand dying it and transforming it into beautiful artwork. She uses local and rare breeds of sheep’s wool. For every painting she lists which wool she uses. She also hand stitches and freestyle stitches her pieces to add more depth, detail and texture. Her artwork is an extension of her love for the countryside and natural history coupled with a love of working with natural materials.
‘I try wherever possible to use locally sourced, rare breed fleece. There’s a certain satisfaction to collecting fleece clipped straight from the sheep, washing it, hand dying it and then transforming it into beautiful artwork. This in turn has lead to a love of sheep, and now I have a small, mixed flock which includes rare breed Wensleydales that provide me with beautiful long curly locks. I am very lucky to both live and work on Dartmoor National Park. The wonderful scenery of this wild landscape provides an endless source of inspiration to me. Stunning skies & the changing light across the landscape are all reflected in my work.’
Wet felting is a textile art form that has been practiced for many thousands of years some sources say as far back as 300-400 BCE. Felt was originally used for hats, horse blankets, boots, cloaks and tents. It has developed today into its own art form which is painting with wool fibres.Different wool has different properties. That is why we list the different types of wool as mediums.
Wet felting is a process were wool fibers are combined through a process of layering, wetting, and agitating to form a desired felt sheet or shape. Colours and shapes are built into the layering. The wetting and agitating make the fibres swell and mix or bond together. It takes a lot of skill and hard work to produce detailed paintings.