Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.

Optical Illusion.
An Interview with Susan McCarrell.

Who and where are you from?

I am a painter living and working at my home studio in a rural area of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada.  

How did you get into this?

Art has always been a part of me – I was determined at a young age both at home and at school, to become an artist and was active in both music and in visual arts.  My mother and father were very  encouraging, and with four sisters - it was a good way of keeping us all occupied at the same time.  So I would say I came by it - i.e. being a self-taught artist, honestly!

We relocated to the South Okanagan from Vancouver, purchased land, and planted grapes which became the beginnings of Black Hills Estate Winery. We later sold the business which allowed me to pursue art full-time, which led to me leading a well balanced life of producing and selling art in private and international collections. At the same time I was also able to enjoy my family life and be part of nature in the country which is now very much my daily life in this lovely fruit growing region.

What is your driving force?

Working daily in my studio plays a huge part in allowing me self expression. This has now become a requirement and is very much my driving force. There is a thread that continues to connect all of my interests, from using natural elements - vintage items, old book covers, fabrics, papers, wood, along with different mediums - they all play a large role in how my work has evolved.

What kind of work you do and why?

I thrive on exploring many mediums. All are bound by discipline and tradition in their making - the results are rich, aged, chromatic, highlighted and layered surfaces. 

From new photography and mixed media techniques, my work has shifted the past few years to more drawing, painting with acrylics and oils, charcoal, inks, as well as working in wire and clay sculpture.

My wire sculptures are a direct result of my daily drawings and sketches that I produce from both figurative work to birds – nature often an integral part. My interest (and joy) is in the final contrast of blending paint with light, shadow and wire.

Tell us more about your thought process.

My pieces are interlocked with mind, memory and imagination while being influenced by both traditional and natural elements. What is current and real – a distant memory – and the mind's ability to be creative and resourceful.  From working with found images, to using different papers, manipulating images and working with shadow and light, I find all of these processes really challenging and exciting!  

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find interesting and why?

One artist I have always admired is Spanish artist Lita Cabellut  One cannot miss her distinctive Dutch master influenced, fresco-style large-scale portraits. Her 'Dried Tear' series expresses her fascination with the Asian culture, being one of my favorites.

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.
White lace.

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.
Valley Bird

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.
His and Hers.

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.
Figurative Wire

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.
Life Drawing.
The Wave

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.
There are no rules... Boy

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.
My Collaborations With a Mouse

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.
Harvest time for bamboo pens.

Mixed Medium Artist Susan McCarrell.
Intro to me and my mixed up media world.
For more of Susan McCarrell Check the links below:

All Images are copyright by: Susan McCarrell

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