Susie Parry. philosophy

Fine Art Philosophy: In my work I seek to capture the beauty and intricacies of life in the world around me. I am inspired by the vibrancy of light as it is reflected and refracted from objects and the ways in which the quality of light manipulates our perception of colour. My work is about capturing a singular moment in time, a quality that unites all my work across highly varied subject matters including portraits, botanical art, urban architecture, still life and mythical and fantasy scenes. To portray a subject faithfully I need to understand the subject’s fundamental truth as much as possible, including that which is found in deeper layers of meaning. In pursuit of such understanding, I have undertaken serious studies in psychology, sociology, art therapy, Jewish Kabbalah, mythology, astrology and the Tarot. The influences of these studies are obvious in my mythical and fantasy paintings but are also symbolically incorporated in other art works.

When painting a portrait, I am not content to simply recreate a visual facsimile, but rather I aim to provide insight into who the subject really is, to capture their “essence”. There is something in the vitality and substance of “being” that I find completely absorbing. In this regard I have found the work of certain artists particularly inspiring - for example in his series of portraits of people with whom he was intimately acquainted, Albert Tucker seems as much to capture an essence of personality as to present exact likeness. Other sources of inspiration I find in the works of Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and illustrator Arthur Rackham.

Teaching Philosophy: I passionately believe that anyone, with the right guidance and motivation, can learn to draw and paint enabling them to realise their own artistic expression. It is essential that the teaching environment be conducive to learning, one in which the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of each student are understood and respected and it is from this basis that my teaching practice has evolved. We all have different methods of learning and so I try to discover the method that best suits each individual and adapt my teaching style accordingly. This is achieved in a number of ways. Examples of work that employ concepts and techniques being discussed are provided. I demonstrate techniques that are then explored by students during the class while I observe progress and offer constructive feedback. I endeavour to structure activities and practical tasks in line with the interests of each student so that it is easy for the student to stay focused, engaged and motivated. Most importantly I aim to make the class enjoyable and nurturing so that students may experience the true joy of creating and come to share my love of and passion for drawing and painting.

Art Therapy Philosophy: My approach to art therapy is best described as phenomenological in nature. I seek to encourage participants to focus on their experience of life as it is in the current moment. I see art therapy as a journey taken by both myself, and the client as they explore images and emotions that are brought up through exploration of their life circumstances and personal experience. My role is not to provide interpretations or make judgements, but rather to guide the client towards a place of self-awareness, acceptance and healing.