Sally Shrubsall, our Artist of the Week, shares a bit more about her relationship with painting, and what drives her work as she answers our questions over a cuppa...
1.What first drew you to painting?
I don't remember any one event or experience. It just crept up on me. I realized that most of the work that I responded to was painting and this whilst studying on a course that seemed very conceptual and rather discouraging of painting at the time. It seemed like you needed to be able to paint when you started, or you weren't encouraged. This was St Martin's ten years or so ago. I was very lucky to have Mario Rossi the painter as a tutor in my final year. That got me properly started.
2. What is your favourite artistic memory and why?
I organised a group exhibition for my studios about 8 years ago and my daughter sang at the private view. I enjoyed the sense of artistic community.
3. Which painters do you most appreciate and why?
I love processy, muscular, abstract painters like Cy Twombly, Anselm Kiefer, Tapies and the later, more abstract works of Gerhart Richter. Unfortunately they are all blokes, but I also love Tracy Emin's drawing and painting, I find it visceral and poignant.
4. What would be in your ideal art box and where would you take it?
I would have liquin, a few well chosen oil colours that worked as a palette, a few gloss sponge rollers, rags, a spray with white spirit in it, and a large piece of thin, gessoed aluminium sanded very smooth. I would take it to my studio as I am far too messy to work any where else!
5.Tell us what you most enjoy about your own work and what has inspired you recently.
I spend quite a lot of time preparing , i.e. sanding down surfaces so that they are very smooth, working out the palette, so when I come to apply the paint with rollers and spray it , its exciting and even more so when I can see that its working. The downside is that it can easily go wrong, the composition isn't right or for some inexplicable reason the paint doesn't behave in the expected way, and that means time and energy wasted. I try to be philosophical!
6.Do you have bursts of creativity, if so when/where are you most creative?
My 'bursts' of creativity tend to occur when I have been working on an idea for a while, experimenting and making notes, plodding on and then I 'get it' and I make a rapid series or 'batch' of work as a result, making sure that I have enough fresh canvases so that I can work on a number at the same time. My inspiration comes from the process itself rather than from anything in my environment.
7. What for you are the most important elements in a painting?
At the moment, colour, and a sense of drama.
8. Tell us your favorite piece of work, either your own or somebody else's.
Gerhart Richter, Abstract Painting 2009 oil on canvas. I saw a series of these enormous paintings at his retrospective at Tate Modern recently. There is a wonderful suggestion of depth through layers of paint and the evidence of the processes used is very seductive, along with the fabulous muted colours, mostly white. I also watched a video of Richter creating these pieces which I found very exciting - more process!!
To see more of Sally's work, and to buy originals or prints of it, please visit her Shed Profile. And, as ever, feedback is always appreciated by our Shed Creatives - so do comment on here and share your thoughts with Sally!