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Sue Daniel was born in Hungary and came to Canada during the Hungarian revolution in 1956. Confidence, freedom and a fierce independence are critical components that live in all her works, shaped and driven by memories of struggle. After travelling extensively and living in Turkey, England, California and Montreal, she now resides in West Vancouver, Canada, and works there in her own purpose-built studio.
Largely self-taught, Sue works in oils to abstractly depict and reflect the drama she finds in nature and life. She studied at Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, completed a mentorship under Dene Croft, and a residency in Juseu, Spain.
Like other abstract impressionists before her, Sue believes that art is a window into the soul, and that window is best opened through the application of control and chance working together: the artist consciously drives the creation process while encouraging and exploiting the random wonders that occur by taking creative risks.
Sue paints in her studio in West Vancouver, Canada. Her work is in corporate and private collections in the US and Canada.
For me as an artist, painting is primarily about color, materials and texture.
When prepping a canvas, I generally start sketching with graphite, or sometimes ashphaltum then soaking the canvas with thinned quick- drying acrylics, then some gels or molding paste for raised textures. This process saturates the canvas in some areas and not others allowing for different levels of absorption of later layers of oil paint and different mediums, providing a complex base for the detailed drawing elements I often finish with.
I work and rework a piece many times, adding layer after layer, then scraping back to reveal sections beneath. The process is very like a dance to music, steps forward then back, then forward again. Broad patches and layers of colour that I spread and scrape, using large brushes and edges of a palette knife. I like to use different elements, shapes, circles, ladders, also loose detailed gestural marks, chalk, oil sticks, all creating a visual vocabulary that opens a dialogue.
I keep applying layers of paint in different ways, mixing with different mediums, like varnish, thinners, linseed oil and water to create new and exciting ways that paint can flow across the canvas.
I push boundaries in the many ways paint can be applied and manipulated as well as the physical and chemical interactions of the process.
I favour large canvases because large pieces create powerful impact.
I paint pure abstracts, where colours, lines and shapes stand on their own to express ideas and emotions. This is very different from representational art, which is designed to capture the essence of a person, place or thing.
I create a specific type of painting, but never a predetermined one. My works appear simple at first glance but offer increasing levels of complexity as the viewer becomes engaged.
I favour the simple expression of the complex on large canvases. I use rich, bold colours and multi layered shapes that create a strong physical presence in my work. That presence is enhanced by rendering abstracted construction and shapes to provoke, challenge and evoke passion. The resulting works transform standard notions into uniquely expressive abstract forms influenced by the abstract expressionists of the New York School of the 1950’s.
“I aspire to create art that is not anything recognizable, not contrived, not anything describable, an abstract construction that just makes you feel.”