Art Carts

Meet Suzi Poland – Mrs Red’s Artist of the Month!

Suzi Poland is August 18 Red’s Art Cart feature artist (that seemed like a mouthful)! The theme for August was Urban Sketching and with Mrs Red showing a lack of skills in this department it was time to bring someone else on board as the feature artist. After a quick hashtag search on Instagram I came across Suzi and her gorgeous work, both urban and other art styles. Her urban sketching is inspiring, and I had my fingers crossed she would agree to my last-minute request, which she did, and I am so happy to have met this talented Aussie artist, who helped me out of the hole I had dug for myself. I adore urban sketches and think anyone who can sit and draw what is in front of them are amazing. It’s not my strength but hey, we can’t be good at everything, so I was happy to ask for help. I hope you enjoy reading about Suzi as much as I have had interacting with her over the past month.

Suzi Poland

Profile pics SP

Tell us briefly about what part of Australia you live in?
I live on the northern beaches of Sydney, Australia, just over an hour’s drive from the city.

What style of art do you do?
Depending on my mood, location, the subject, or materials at hand, my work falls into different styles. Some are restrained, monochromatic, others colourful and playful. Some are journalistic reportage, others intuitive or imagined. Currently, I am working on combining everything I do, so if I had to define what I’m aiming for, I’d say whimsical minimalism, or simply, what makes us happy.

What influences your art style?
Sometimes when I create, I am designing/making for others, sometimes I am simply pleasing myself, capturing the essence or telling a tale. Working alone for five years, I developed a practice based on where I live, by the sea, the bush and the bay. Nature, the local seaside culture and cycles of the seasons and the moon are all influences on my work.

I am also influenced by my childhood, spent on the English coast and countryside, and my background in landscape architecture, tourism and design.

Northern Beaches SYD

What is your history with art (any courses, self-taught, professional or hobby artist)?
As a child I sketched and drew, but instead of art school, I chose to Landscape Architecture and learnt how to draw to communicate concepts and imaginings so they could be constructed as playgrounds, streetscapes, parks and gardens. I also learnt how to think in space and time. This, and my love of adventure, led to a post graduate degree in Tourism Management. Whilst it may seem a slight detour on the path to art, it taught me much about what we desire and allowed me to explore themes of attraction, happiness and story in my work.

After my Tourism degree and when my girls were still in primary school, I started a business selling tropical flowers at local markets in Sydney. It came after a trip to Nth Queensland where my husband and I have a close affinity to the reef and the rainforests. I learnt lots through this phase about creating in conversation with the marketplace, starting with flowers and ending up doing gigs for weddings and at the Sydney Opera House! Most of all I learnt, that in everything we do there is always a second meaning, so I wasn’t selling flowers, but rather messages of love.

Later, I did a series of creative courses, online and in-person in a variety of mediums both 2D and 3D and just last year I completed a Diploma of Ceramics.

SPsketch

Have you ever exhibited or entered art awards?
I will be exhibiting my drawings at the #100DayProject Global Meet Up in Sydney which I am hosting. My ceramics have been selected to Little Things twice and the Newport Art Trail and my printmaking was exhibited at Manly Gallery. I also have a sketchbook in the Brooklyn Library which I did as part of The Sketchbook Project.

Do you have any advice to anyone else who loves to dabble or is just beginning their art journey?
Don’t listen to the mob or succumb to the pressure of the mainstream art world as a way to pursue your creativity … keep searching, keep trying all sorts of things, set up little projects of your own to explore aspects of your creativity. Sure, go to art school, learn techniques, but throughout all of it, don’t search for fame as a measure of success, instead keep searching for what makes you come alive. If that is simply learning, beginning, trying, that’s enough, keep exploring. If through persistence you don’t give up and you get good at something, that may please you, keep going as you will get even better. Re-visiting old ways can be exciting, so too can teaching others, selling stuff or entering competitions. Please, whatever you do, don’t set such a rigid route that you become stuck and art becomes a chore, but if it does, start a side-project, you never know what might spring up!

Artworks SP

Away from the desk/easel, what are your other interests?
Haha! When is an artist ever “off the job” especially when you are a sketcher like me! Even on holidays, as well as my clothes etc, there’s always a small bag of art supplies that come with me. Just ask my family! I love walking the many bush and coastal paths around where I live and my husband knows almost every plant we see. He and I love visiting rainforests and gardens and places of natural or cultural beauty as much as we love visiting a pub! He loves to surf whilst I prefer to swim in summer, go to yoga or do WuTao, which is like dancing Tai Chi. I love hanging out with my family, watching movies or catching up with friends, but yes, art and creativity form a big part of who I am.

If you could meet any particular artist, living or not, who would it be?
I think what I love most is the ability we have to meet kindred spirits online, so they are the one’s I’d love to meet. If it was someone from the past, it would be my ancestor who collected wildflowers in Western Australia, or other female artists or anyone who told stories or found joy in their life by simply making art from what’s around them.

Do you have a studio space? Describe it (as in organized, chaos, minimal, can’t move etc).
This question always amuses me. I did have a studio in the village for several years where I could create and people could visit, but I am lucky enough to live on the edge of a big city and now I am doing more things that need equipment, it’s been great to be able to attend Open Studios and join other creatives in specifically designed spaces for printmaking, woodworking or ceramics. I also work from various parts of my home painting, drawing, sewing, writing or creating online and when the weather is good I go out filming or sketching or if I need solitude, I can retreat indoors to one of many local cafes. I admit, I do love the variety!

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years from now?
Ten years from now, I’d like to be living lightly, somewhere peaceful, surrounded by nature, the sea and the city, close to my family and connected to creative people. Having a quiet cuppa or glass of something while laughing at how silly we can be. I’d love to be a prizewinning artist, but more importantly, I’d like to be creating beauty, contributing where I can and sharing the joy in the world that I see. I do love connecting and gathering, so maybe a beautiful studio where I could offer workshops and retreats would be fun, so too would traveling with a sketchbook meeting all sorts of people!

Click here to visit Suzi’s website and to find out more about the Sydney 100 Day project (in News tab)
Suzi Poland Instagram

 

Wow, such a great read and I really thank Suzi for taking the time to answer my questions and wish her well with the 100 day project coming up on 25th August.

This article has been written in regards to Red’s Art Cart, which is a monthly art subscription box, packed full of art supplies, YouTube video’s, links to online art classes and information on art supplies. For more info and to subscribe to the Art Cart please click here.

Mrs Red
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Art Carts

What’s inside August Red’s Art Cart?

crop of sketch

Every month Mrs Red likes to bring exciting and different art supplies to the Art Carter’s doors. This month is no exception, pushing boundaries for some, including Mrs Red!

For the past year, every month, Mrs Red has done the accompanying art work for the Art Carts. This artwork is also filmed and uploaded to the Mrs Red’s art room YouTube channel for everyone to enjoy. However, this month was different, for two reasons. Firstly, I am not equipped to film myself drawing beyond my studio due to my camera set up and this month is all about drawing outside. Secondly, I have not done a lot of location sketching and like everything, the more you do it the better you become. So, I rapidly decided to have a feature artist for this month, which is something I have been intending on doing but haven’t got around to it.

SPsketch

For August, the theme for the Art cart is Urban Sketching. Have you heard of Urban Sketching before? It is actually an art movement which began in 2007, where groups of people would come together and sketch, on location, sketching what was happening right then, right now. Seattle based illustrator and journalist, Gabriel Campanario created an online forum, inviting others to draw the cities they live in, the cafes they adorn, the parks they sit and have lunch in. There was only one rule, the sketch had to take place on location, not by photo’s or memory. A year later Gabriel set up a blog called Urban Sketchers, where he invited people to upload their sketches so that we could all “see the world, one drawing at a time”.  This blog went crazy and by December 2009, Urban Sketches was incorporated as a non-profit in the state of Washington.

Fast track to today, there is a yearly event held in a different city of America, worldwide urban sketching workshops and on Facebook you will most likely find an Urban Sketching group in your closest city or town. But don’t let the social aspect of it stop you. If you are an Art Carter and received this cart or you simply want to give it a go, head outside with as little as a piece of paper and a pencil and sketch away!

ContentsAug18

Included in the August Art Cart is some basic needs for a bit of urban sketching. The main product of the cart is the beautiful A5 Winsor & Newton journal that has tracing paper interleaven between each piece of drawing paper. The idea behind this is so that when using soft materials such as charcoal and pastel, the rubbings will not move around so much, you can draw on both sides of one page and they also just keep the opposite page clean. Then there is a HB graphite pencil and a 2B woodless crayon pencil (for shading in larger areas) as well as a Faber-Castell kneadable eraser, which is great to rub off excess graphite or make highlights into your darker areas. And then there are 3 different sizes of paper stumps which help you blend graphite or colour, giving a smoother finish. I have also included two Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils so that there is a little bit of colour added to the cart and the best thing about these pencils is that they can be used to turn colour into a light wash as well. Finally, a simple sketching pen, the Artline 200, which does not bleed through but is not archival or waterproof, just keep that in mind.

After realizing that I was not able to provide the artwork for this cart I went in search of an Australian sketcher who could help me out. I came across the ever so talented Suzi Poland. She doesn’t do a great deal of urban sketching but what she has done has such an organic feel to it through loose lines and simply using a black marker pen in her sketch journal. You can follow Suzi at @suzipoland on Instagram or head to suzipoland.com

All stock in this month’s Art Cart can be purchased through the Mrs Red’s art shop which is mrsredsartshop.com

As always, make sure you check out the YouTube video below to see my very first, and a little wobbly, YouTube LIVE video. If you would like to subscribe to the Art Carts, then please follow the links on this website. PLUS, Mrs Red now holds an online art classes every month where the Art Cart subscribers can come together for an art class, show their work, discuss materials, ask questions and get advice on their work, all in the comfort of their own creative space at home!

Red’s Art Cart is perfect for hobby artists, people who live in rural areas, artists who need that push to just get moving on something and is a great way to hold accountability for your monthly creative time. You will also use products that you would not normally purchase and some Carts contain samples of products that normally have to be purchased in larger amounts. The feeling you get from sitting down and having a dabble is such a wonderful and healthy way to spend your down time. Give it a go!

Finally, if you have purchased this cart, please show us your artworks via Instagram or the Facebook page which is mentioned on your information card inside your cart. This way we all get to see your wonderful urban sketches.

Happy sketching everyone!

Mrs Red
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