I am Suzy Naylor, a painter living in Roberts Creek, BC. As you can see, I started painting a long time ago. Unfortunately, I got distracted by life, and it has taken me many years to get back on track.
Over the years, I have taken some classes and work-shops, but mostly I just bumbled along. Almost 15 years ago I met Greta Guzek. She is a wonderful painter and a fabulous teacher. To my everlasting joy, she agreed to be my art mentor, and has helped me put some direction to my bumbling.
For years, I stopped myself from painting because of all the “rules” about what “real artists” do. One of the hardest rules for me to overcome was the one that decreed that a real artist has something to say. This always confused me because when I have something to say, I use words. Now, I think of my paintings as illustrations for other people's stories. I hope that my images stimulate the viewer to create their own stories about what they are looking at.
I have heard artists say they paint what they see. I paint in order to see. The act of painting makes me slow down and look. Sometimes what I am looking at is not, at first, visible to the eye. When I start a painting with an image or idea that I want to explore, I lay that idea on the surface of the canvas. Of course, it never looks exactly like I thought it would and so I follow it until it becomes something interesting or beautiful or intriguing. Most of the time, these ideas arise from the natural world around me.
Sometimes I have no image or idea to start with and then I let the canvas lead the way. I begin a conversation with the surface of the canvas by offering some marks for the canvas to respond to. Eventually, the canvas lets me know which image it wants to reveal and then the fun begins. My job is to help the image emerge using my painting skills but by not imposing preconceived notions of right and wrong. The end products of these kind of paintings are always a surprise.
My art is about the process of painting. I am fascinated by what happens when I move paint around on a canvas. The subject matter of the painting is only the excuse to play with the paint. What intrigues me about paint is how it can be manipulated, which is why I have chosen to work with acrylics. There seems to be no end to the possible effects that can be achieved with them.
When I look at the world, first and foremost, I see colour. Shapes and forms are vessels for holding the colour. Colour is the unifying element in my paintings.
I work with a wide range of styles and subjects. I choose to ignore the conventional wisdom that says you must pick a style and stick with it. My subjects include: landscapes (many inspired by my current home in Roberts Creek, British Columbia), very loose renderings in the traditional still life genre, quirky interpretations of real and imaginary people, images which simply emerge from the canvas, and abstracts.
The real joy for me in painting is seeing what emerges on the canvas. Painting is a journey and each piece is a snapshot of the place I have just visited. I can look back and be reminded of the trip so far, but the future journey still lies ahead waiting to be discovered. Please come along and join me in my journey.