Strange how life works. I was on Vancouver Island about seven years ago, watching the Mann Cup, lacrosse championships being played out between the Victoria Shamrocks and the Peterborough Lakers. During the days between games, my wife and I would drive around the Island.
Somewhere along the way I chanced upon some cards produced by Sue Coleman. I was intriqued by the way she blended native mythological symbols into her artwork.
After I began producing the blog, I tracked Sue down through her website.
Sue, lives in Cowichan Bay. She and her husband and daughter operate a publishing business (Coleman and Coleman Enterprises).
Sue has been painting for about 30 years, although she confesses that like most artists she was born with the gift of natural talent.
Sue prefers painting in watercolours, and she says:
I realize now that oils and acrylics can be so controlled that they are not exciting. There is no challenge in their creation. Mistakes can be covered up, not so in aquarelle. I don't use white paint so each painting has to be planned and thought through carefully. Even so I find there is more freedom working with flowing water than with stiff oil paints.
Sue would be the first to tell you that she enjoys capturing the play of light and reflections on water. And as most watercolourists will tell you, this is more easily said then done.
Sue has managed to create a reputation for herself at a time when many BC galleries have had a reserved attitude towards watercolour painting. And what a reputation! Sue's works have appeared at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. She has painted and taught art on cruise ships on the Alaskan passage, and she has been a guest artist at the Epcot Centre in the United States.
Sue reminds me, in one sense, of Emily Carr insomuch as she is also a writer. Sue is presently working on a novel. Sue demonstrates the same kind of respect and admiration for native culture and art that Emily Carr experienced.
You are invited to check out her delightful gallery of works. Please click here to be taken to her website.