Susanna Hickling

STUDIO SPOTLIGHT

Summer Roundup

It has been an unusually busy summer with a variety of projects. As well as being the official wedding stationary producer for my son and impromptu bridal shower photographer, I was able to use my daughter as a model for yet another watch illustration in Telegraph Time, illustrating 'Secret Watches'. Not included here, but in my Graphics & Layout portfolio, one of my favourite design refreshs of the logo for 'BeInspired', a yearly careleavers' inspirational day. In the midst of serving on jury duty, freelancing for Telegraph Magazine, working on my next book and preparing for the Made in Gnosall craft fair, I managed to squeeze in a painting I am really proud of 'Somewhere in Lee'. Stunning architecture is hidden in plain sight all around us and I can't wait to be able to revisit this subject in my next painting. Hopefully very soon. I shall wear my different hats until I can lock myself away in the studio - by far my favourite place!

May Spotlight: Stars and stripes...

For my next mini series I am focussing on patterns in nature. They come in may shapes and sizes and the colours and patterns are just as practical as they are beautiful. Mesmerising stripes – I wonder if it’s a defense mechanism, as I have never found drawing a horse shape so hard: 'Zebra' Equus quagga. Optical illusion: 'Swallowtail butterfly' Papilionoideas.
Both Acrylic on canvas (61x61cm).

April Spotlight: It's time...

One of my favourite repeat projects is Telegraph Time. I work with a small team of people headed up by Tracey Llewellyn, editor of the watch supplement. It is great to collaborate with such a friendly bunch – Jenni Moore and Emma Hughes being the other partners in crime, as well as Helen Gibson, picture editor. The icing on the cake is slipping in one of my own illustrations, this issue it was for the Freak c'est chic piece. Nothing lasts forever, but while I keep getting asked to take part, I'll enjoy it every single time.

March Spotlight: You could paint an Orchid...

The answer to a question I posed my husband, when deciding, what to work on next. Finding an interesting composition with orchids that had just bloomed at home almost took a whole day. The realisation came that the delicate colours required a deliberate application of thin layers to keep the surface untextured. I found myself almost working the acrylics in such a way as if they were watercolour inks just staining the surface. I am extremely happy with the result. As I paint there is a deeper seeing of the subject, Orchidaceae will most likely be one that I will return to in the future.

February Spotlight: Finally complete

A series of three paintings (unhinged triptych), themed around the architecture of plants. Celebrating the simplicity and graphic quality, from left: ‘Silver Joey palm’ Johannesteijsmannia, ‘Golden barrel cactus’ Echinocactus grusonii, ’Windmill Palm’ Trachycarpus fortunei. Each measures 60cm x 60cm and is worked in acrylic paint on canvas. The inspiration came after looking through pictures I took at the Palm house in Kew.