Susan Sutton is a painter of significantly detailed oil paintings on canvas which embody social observations and specific subjects along Victoria’s Surf Coast.
There is particular emphasis on the region along the Great Ocean Road between Geelong and Lorne. Susan’s representational Surf Coast images have become well known and widely accepted in recent years as iconic paintings of living experiences around the southern beaches of Australia. Regional and city images from central Geelong, and occasionally metropolitan Melbourne portray obviously different subjects, but nonetheless the same feeling of actually ‘being there’.
Susan Sutton commenced work as a serious artist in the late 1990s following more than three decades of other career involvements. Following secondary schooling, Susan’s practical interest in general art began at the tertiary level in 1964 and by the end of 1967 she had completed Diploma of Art through The Gordon Institute Geelong and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology [R.M.I.T.] , the Trained Secondary Teachers’ Certificate [T.S.T.C. Art & Craft] through Melbourne Teachers’ College, and also Fine Arts IT at Melbourne University. For four years 1968 – 1971 incl. Susan taught art at Geelong High School, before establishing ‘Pottage’, a large Geelong based arts and crafts retailing business in 1972. The close involvement in this and other family businesses continued well into 2003. Although occasionally managing to keep in touch with her own artistic talents over nearly forty years, it actually wasn’t until 2003 that Susan realised her long held ambition to pursue a career as a fulltime painter.
A very brief period of pastel work was the forerunner to her first significant artistic period of watercolour painting. Her watercolours drew attention through early solo exhibitions and regional showings. With the passing of time oils began to emerge as Susan’s strongest expression and she is now recognised as a painter of significant images in this medium. During the formative years from the late 1990s, painting trips to overseas destinations provided broad artistic experiences. Considerable lengths of time were spent travelling, painting and studying in Italy, France, Austria, UK, Japan, USA and East Timor and provided the inspiration for numerous early solo exhibitions.
The development of serious artistic social observations came into prominence through personal involvements in East Timor. In 2003 and 2004, Susan presented three lengthy voluntary teaching workshops in watercolour painting and print making to adult students at Arte Moris, East Timor’s first free art school. A highly regarded solo exhibition ‘East Timor – A Visual Journey’ was shown in Geelong in 2004. In the years following she continued her involvements with the school and in 2007 instigated, co-ordinated and hosted a six week tuition project for three senior students at Geelong’s Gordon Institute Art Department.
In the most recent years Susan has chosen to present her work annually in solo exhibitions through two galleries … Qdos Arts at Lorne www.qdosarts.com.au and Metropolis Gallery in Geelong www.metropolisgallery.com.au .Throughout the disciplined preparation periods she enjoys researching, gathering ideas and working seriously in relative isolation to create the large body of work required for these anticipated showings.Her work is mostly produced at her studio in Geelong West.
Susan Sutton’s paintings have been acquired for significant public collections including The Surf Coast Shire, Arte Moris Permanent Collection in East Timor, The Geelong Regional Gallery Permanent Collection and The Gordon Foundation Collection and The National Sports Museum / MCC Fine Arts Collection and the new St.John of God Hospital in Geelong.A very large number of works may be found in numerous private collections throughout Australia and overseas in England, Germany, Austria, Japan, USA, France, Hong Kong, Belgium, Sweden and East Timor.