'Artists are gnostics, and practise what the priests think is long forgotten.' - Hugo Ball

Thursday, 26 November 2015

New Website!


Well, I've finally plucked up the courage to design and launch a new website to sell my prints from! My Blog will, of course, will carry on here as normal. But the old Galley Hill Art site has gone - it did wonderful things but was the devil to manage and edit behind the scenes. Gone along with it is the Galley Hill Art name. It is now 'Sue Wookey Art' and I've changed the name of this blog to match it! No more will people get confused and type in 'GalleRy' instead of 'Galley'. Sorry for that one - it never occurred to me the words were so close when I picked it!

Although making the changeover has been quite a malarkey, the new site is easier for me to use and will - I know - also be much easier for visitors. The payments are still via Paypal. The different galleries make it much easier to browse through, the format is much simpler and more my 'style', there will be updated News and Events (although you will also still find them here as usual!) and, quite honestly, it just looks a whole lot better and less messy.

Don't worry if you forget and type in the old galleyhillart.com address, you will simply be re-directed to the new site:


And, as I've said above, the Blog will carry on here on Blogger as normal.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Wakefield Gallery

I'm very pleased to announce that I now have work at the Wakefield Gallery, run by the lovely Jenny Timms of Vitreus Art. Full of beautiful goodies, the gallery is also a place where you can take part in wonderful art and craft courses. At the moment I have four pieces hanging in the gallery, including my Lunar Owl who has taken flight and settled there!

Lunar Owl by Sue Wookey

Wakefield Gallery
Unit 4 Wakefield Country Courtyard
Potterspury, Northants NN12 7QX

Wakefield Country Courtyard is just off the A5 north of Potterspury. 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Winter Fairy Tales

It's all go! One exhibition ends and another one begins, this time at Obsidian Art in Stoke Mandeville. I have three paintings in their wonderful Winter Fairy Tales Exhibition which runs until the 31st December. As well as yours truly there are lots of magical artists including Hannah Willow, Amanda Clark and Jackie Morris. And for dragon lovers there is also a special exhibition: 'Ere be Dragons'!

I'm afraid to go and see it all on the wall as I know I will just end up buying something!!!!

The Bucks Goat Centre
Old Risborough Rd
Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury HP22 5XJ

Friday, 13 November 2015

Christmas Art Show!

ANB Christmas Show
Sat 14th - Sun 15th November
Parkside Hall, Ampthill

I will have several paintings hanging in this exhibition, along with a browser full of unmounted goodies for Christmas! If the Spring Show was anything to go by this is going to be a fantastic event. Tea, cake and charity Christmas decorations on sale too!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Sun Horse

Sun Horse © Sue Wookey
You may remember this from a couple of posts ago! Sun Horse started out as an Open Studios demo - demos are never usually a good place to produce something really worthwhile - yet somehow he survived all the necessary interruptions and being attacked by one of my sandwiches (!). I finished him off at home, painting the sun into the background and refining some of the places where I felt my hand hadn't been steady enough (hey - it's hard painting and talking at the same time...). I've now fallen completely in love with him, of course. He's the counterpoint to my Moon Horse (below), all radiant energy and fire. Maybe he's been pulling Apollo's chariot?

I finished painting him and then stared and stared at him for nearly a week until I could compose the words to go around the border. Most of my paintings have the moon in there somewhere, so I had to drum up some inner fire for this one before I could come up with:

Over the horizon, the morning sun
rising from the hearth with heart of fire,
ignites the dark to forge the day
and strikes the sky with hooves of light


I've made lovely limited edition prints of Sun Horse which are available from my website at galleyhillart.com.

Moon Horse © Sue Wookey

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

A wonderful Open Studios!

No idea what this demo is going to be!
What a great few weeks thanks to my artist friend, Teresa Newham and her husband Jon (Art Assistant Extraordinaire), who allowed me to share their home throughout September for Herts Open Studios. We had a wonderful time welcoming visitors, painting and sketching, chatting and getting through rather a large amount of tea.

Teresa experimented with coloured pencils (nothing like trying out something completely new while people troop past!) and I stuck with my usual watercolour, managing to almost complete a Sun Horse (see previous post) and a round mooney, blobby, earthy thing (above) that looks lovely, but I have no idea what it is. Maybe it will turn up here eventually as a 'proper' finished painting and maybe it won't. We shall see. But I had a lot of fun creating it and chatting to visitors about it.

Teresa tries out her pencils
Thanks to all of you who came and made it all so special. We had nearly 100 visitors, sparking some really interesting conversations, and we had the chance to encourage quiet a few people, young and old, to take their art a bit further and enjoy it. Open Studios is a chance to show our work, of course, but it's even more about sharing the enthusiasm and joy that creativity brings. The response from everyone was so encouraging we plan more of the same next year!

Teresa's lovely dresser becomes a great big easel!

Monday, 7 September 2015

First weekend of Open Studios!

Well - my fellow artist Teresa Newham and I have had a wonderful first weekend at our Open Studios! Over 30 visitors turned up and we had a lovely time showing everyone our work and talking about what we do. Between us we had so much stuff to show off that Teresa's dining room vanished beneath a plethora of arty stuff, not to mention Teresa's studio which was equally crammed with paintings, prints and photographs and a terrific reduction lino cut display. Everyone who came seemed to be really interested and enjoying themselves so thanks to all of you that made the trip over to Harpenden!

Teresa with her lino cut display
Part of Open Studios is demonstrating how you work so we spent quite a lot of time sitting and being as creative as we could under the circumstances (wielding a paintbrush while you explain things is always pretty tricky!). Teresa experimented with coloured pencils over a light grey ground, while I tackled an idea I had for a sun horse. The watercolour kept galloping away in all directions as I talked, while I kept trying to corral it back and make it behave. In the end it started to shape up nicely despite the fact that I managed to get Branston Pickle on it while eating my lunch. Note to self: never eat within 3 feet of a painting...

Sun Horse in a pickle
Amazingly, I managed to get it off without any ill effects, but although the official title of the painting will be 'Sun Horse', I will always think of it as 'Pickle'.

Teresa and I will be sharing Open Studios for the next two weekends and also on Wednesday the 16th when all Harpenden Artists will be open together, so there is still plenty of time to visit and see how 'Pickle' turns out!

Herts Open Studios
Wensley Arts
  4 Wensley Close, Harpenden AL5 1RZ

Saturday - Sunday, 12th - 13th Sept 2015
Wednesday 16th Sept
Saturday - Sunday, 19th - 20th Sept
11am - 5pm


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Herts Open Studios

Open Studios has finally arrived! I'll be exhibition throughout September with fellow artist Teresa Newham at 4 Wensley Close, Harpenden AL5 1RZ. Full dates and times are below. We are looking forward to showing everyone our work, giving watercolour and printing demonstrations and doling out tea and cake to visitors!

I will have my latest original paintings and prints on display, photography, cards and some of my painted wooden hearts. So plenty for everyone to look at.

Herts Open Studios
Wensley Arts
Exhibiting and demonstrating with
Teresa Newham 
  4 Wensley Close, Harpenden AL5 1RZ

Saturday - Sunday, 5th - 6th September 2015
Saturday - Sunday, 12th - 13th Sept
Wednesday 16th Sept
Saturday - Sunday, 19th - 20th Sept
11am - 5pm

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Forgotten Stone

The Forgotten Stone © Sue Wookey
Time for another new painting, and one with a slightly Aurthurian theme. A stone marked with the spiral pathway of the Sun and a Celtic sword sits at the centre of a mysterious green grove, surrounded by protecting trees.

This is a painting that's been knocking around inside my head for nearly a year now so it's nice to finally get it down on paper. It's part of a series of paintings of tree temples, which includes Temple of the Moon and Temple of the Midwinter Sun:

I like to think of trees, with their long memories, as guardians of the mysterious and the Aurthurian sword in the stone has so much resonance. Maybe we all have a green grove within the centre of our being where something sacred and forgotten, meant for us alone, waits to be discovered by those brave enough to venture there!

The words I've written to go around the border are:

Venture into the heart of the forest deep 
and within the spirals of the green grove, seek 
the forgotten Stone and claim its gift, for a 
piece of the Sun has fallen to Earth.
- Sue Wookey


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Current and future events

There is quite a bit happening at the moment! This coming Saturday 18th July I will be at the Methodist Church Hall in Harpenden at a craft event supporting Welwyn Harmony Chorus. I will have all the usual prints, mini-originals, cards and small painted wooden hearts for sale. I will also have prints and cards of my new painting, Unicorn, with me! The event opens from 10am until 4pm and, of course, Wesleys Cafe is just next door for that all important tea and cake.

Unicorn by Sue Wookey
Welwyn Harmony Craft Fair 
Saturday 18 July 2015
Methodist Church Hall, Harpenden

Also, at the moment, there is a taster exhibition for Herts Open Studios at the New Maynard Gallery in Welwyn Garden City. The exhibition will run until 5th September and contains work by most participating artists. It includes my owl paining: 'Hunting at Dusk' and is a great chance to get a preview of all the Hertfordshire artists you will be able to visit throughout September:

Open Studios Preview Exhibition
New Maynard Gallery
Welwyn Garden City
10 July - 5 September

Then last but by no means least, Open Studios is coming up fast! Herts Open Studios runs throughout September and I will be sharing the home of fellow artist Teresa Newham. We will have a mixture of  paintings, prints, photography, linocuts and cards, and will also be demonstrating our work. All our Open dates are given below. You can also have that all important (at least to me) cup of tea and cake! More details at the HVA site here.

Herts Open Studios
Wensley Arts
Exhibiting and demonstrating with
Teresa Newham 
  4 Wensley Close, Harpenden AL5 1RZ

Saturday - Sunday, 5th - 6th September 2015
Saturday - Sunday, 12th - 13th Sept
Wednesday 16th Sept
Saturday - Sunday, 19th - 20th Sept
11am - 5pm

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Painting Kerry

View towards Bray Head
I indulged in a spot of plein air painting with fellow artist Teresa Newham while on holiday in Kerry last week. It was somewhat challenging in a strong wind, with random passers-by and with the sun blazing in our eyes (not something either of us are used to in Kerry!!!). But we both managed to produce something passable despite the difficulties. My effort at Bray Head from Portmagee is below - not my usual style but good to do some quick landscape paintings for a change.

The result!
I would have loved to have done more plein air painting in Kerry, but we were too busy enjoying ourselves with other things! Having bought a gorgeous sketch book of different paper samples from Two Rivers Paper Company at Childwickbury Arts Fair on Friday, I decided to use it to loosen up my watercolour landscape skills (it's been a while...) by using my Kerry photos for reference. As we have only just come back the atmosphere is still fresh in my mind - hence a series of 'fast and loose' sketches where I set myself a 30 minute time limit. I decided that that was the only way to stop myself doing too much to them! With watercolour landscape, overworking it can be death to a good painting so anything to make me call a halt is good. I used some wax resist in the highlights to avoid the dreaded rubber solution (to the relief of my older brushes who bristle at the thought) and because it is quick and easy. Here are some of the results from over the last two days, showing just how beautiful West Kerry is. It was hard to chose what to paint out of the ton of photos I took!

View of Canuig from Ballinskelligs
Rossbeigh Beach with incoming rain
Old cross, St Brendan's Well, Valentia
Peat drying, Emlaghpeartia, Kerry

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Unicorn by Sue Wookey
Another new painting to share - this time a bit more fantastic than my usual fare as a lot of people at the last Craft Event I did asked me if I'd ever painted a unicorn. To be honest it had never occurred to me. Then the possibility of taking part in a future Fairytale themed exhibition came up so a unicorn seemed ideal! But the more I thought about it the more I realised that I wanted to do something that got away from the usual modern representation of unicorns - i.e. a big strong horse with a horn on its head. I wanted to return to the medieval idea of a delicate animal, shy and smaller than a horse, and veering between being deerlike, or horselike, or even goatlike depending on which representation you were looking at. Things were much less fixed in those days! So here is my Unicorn - a cross between a deer and a small horse, a bit furrier, with large ears to listen for danger, blue-eyed and very delicate.

The words I've written for the border are:

Seek the pure heart of your childhood
and sit quietly within its hidden garden.
Flowers will unfold all around you
and shyly, stop by step, Beauty will come - SW


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

ANB Spring Show

Nearly time for the ANB Spring Show at Parkside Hall in Ampthill. The exhibition will run from the 23rd - 24th May and will feature a huge variety of works from members of Artists Network Bedfordshire. I still trying to decide which paintings I'll be taking!

ANB Spring Show
23rd - 24th May
Parkside Hall Ampthill


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Latest paintings available as prints

White Hart by Sue Wookey
I've been a busy bee today and finally updated my website with my new paintings. Prints are now available to buy online for White Hart (above), Moon Dance and Holding the Net of Life.

I've also realised that I haven't posted White Hart here on my blog despite finishing him several weeks ago. Where does the time go?

White Hart is the latest in my series of animal portraits framed by the moon. (See also Lunar Owl, Badger Moonrise, The Listening Hare, Fox and Lunar Eclipse and Moon Horse). A beautiful white Fallow Deer Stag stands poised with the moon behind him. The words I've composed for the border read: 

Hart of the White Fire, silver swift, 
poised between stillness and the leap, 
keeps the secret of the unbroken moment 
and hears the forest breathe. - SW

I've completely fallen in love with him so the original is now living permanently with me as part of my painting family. At least there are the prints!

Holding the Net of Life
Moon Dance

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Art of Poetry

Badger Moonrise
Another exhibition opening tomorrow - 'The Art of Poetry' at Obsidian Art, Stoke Mandeville, Bucks. The 'Art of Poetry' Exhibition runs from 23 April - 31 May and I'll be exhibiting 'The Apple's Heart', 'Badger Moonrise' (above) and 'Sharpenhoe Summer'. I love this annual exhibition because you know how dear the combination of poetry and painting is to my heart! From the Obsidian website:
"An exciting exhibition of selected work inspired by poetry in a wide range of mediums and styles. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book with selected art and poems from the show - available from the gallery and on the web shop.  On Thursday 23rd April from 6.30pm – 9pm, to coincide with World Book Night (and Shakespeare’s birthday), we would be delighted if you could join us to meet some of the exhibiting artists, with readings from the poems that inspired their work.
I'm thrilled to be included in the book for the second year running, this time with my own poem 'The Apple's Heart':

The wassail fades from Wisdom's field,
yet full I grow and branches part
for Avalon and Gawain's shield
and you who know my secret heart. - SW

Follow the links to see a PDF preview of the book!


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Demonstrating watercolour at The Eagle Gallery

New painting for the demo. I have no idea what it is yet...
Well, the Eagle Gallery 10th Anniversary Exhibition is well underway with the Gallery decked out in all things Italian. This weekend has been a special celebration with music, storytelling and artist demos. I was first up with a watercolour demo (see above). I had the quaint idea that I would sit in the garden and paint while people occasionally drifted by firing the odd question at me but a) it was pretty chilly (see most attractive boho shawl and scarf below as I try to fend off the breeze while still keeping my painting arm free) and b) I very quickly realised that rather than 'drifting by' people were going to sit around me in a circle and stay. And not only that, they were mainly keen and well-informed watercolourists!

So... I really had to get myself into another gear and do some serious demo-ing while talking all the while. And I loved it! I think we all had a lot of fun and, even better, everything I attempted to show came out well. As watercolour is pretty tricksy and fickle, especially wet-in-wet which I used a lot, I was very thankful to the watercolour gods for seeing me through. Quite honestly, anything could have happened - washes could have gone completely bonkers and the breeze could have sent them in every direction, flies could have landed in them (flies love an outdoor watercolour wash), neat little effects could have refused to play ball. Some watercolour secrets are as elusive as the unicorn. But everything went like a dream. I was asked some very interesting questions and heard a bit about what others do and, hopefully, people went away with some fun ideas to play with to make washes more interesting and textured.

As there was a whole day of events (and more to follow today) I stayed around and watched artist Sarah Janavicius demo her vibrant collages and Jo Spyropoulos demo how to really enjoy creating your sketchbooks and how to turn them into free and atmospheric paintings. I enjoyed watching and listening to both of them and came away with lots of tips and ideas. I also heard master storyteller Max Steinhardt tell a moving and beautiful story about old love, new love and healing. All this and fantastic music too.

Our Italian Connection Exhibition runs until 7th May and is well worth the visit - members have really risen to the challenge and come up with some amazing work, not just on the walls but in the browsers which are positively busting out all over with all things Italy!

The latest in artist outdoors wear

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Eagle Gallery 10th Anniversary

The Eagle Gallery's 10th Anniversary Celebration kicks off this coming weekend with painting, music and storytelling. I'll be demonstrating watercolour from 11-12am on Saturday morning as part of a really interesting programme of events which will launch our Italian Connection Exhibition. This themed exhibition will celebrate 10 years of our co-operative with some really interesting works on show inspired by La Bella Italia.

Saturday 11th April
10.30am -5.30pm
Artists Demonstrations
11am Sue Wookey, Watercolour Artist
1.30pm Sarah Janavicius, Mixed Media Artist
3.30pm Jo Spyropoulos, Sketching in pen and wash
Story Telling and Music
12.30pm Mark Steinhardt Italian Fables
1.00pm Interval- Juliet Lawson, Live Music
2.45pm Mark Steinhardt- Italian Fables
3.30pm Music-Trio, Clarinets

Sunday 12th April
Artists Demonstrations
12pm Keith Wells, Watercolour Artist
1.15pm Janet Cook, Textile Artist
2.30pm Aike Wright Mixed Media Artist

The Eagle Gallery
101 Castle Road
Bedford MK40 3QP

Friday, 13 March 2015

Caft Fair at Harpenden on 21 March

Last year's stall!
Art and Craft Fair
Harpenden HVA Group 
 Methodist Church Hall, Harpenden
 21 March 2015

I'll be joining other members of the Harpenden HVA at the Methodist Hall in Harpenden on Saturday 21st March for an art and craft event. I'll be setting up my stall with all the usual suspects - cards, prints (some framed) small originals and some painted hearts (though not that many as people will keep buying them....).

The Fair is open from 10am to 4pm and is conveniently close the Methodist Hall's coffee shop for essential tea and cake.

Monday, 16 February 2015

La Bella Luna

La Bella Luna © Sue Wookey
A new painting and this one is a little unusual. The Eagle Gallery will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary in April with an all Italian Exhibition: 'Italian Connection'. I've decided to go full on Italian Renaissance for it and emulate those beautiful profile portraits beloved by Botticelli and the like.

My painting represents a personification of the Moon - La Bella Luna - and is stuffed full of moon symbolism. Those Renaissance masters loved symbolism so I'm on home ground here! There are moths (5 if you can spot them all), a hare, mistletoe with its moon like berries, a willow by a stream, an owl's wing, pearls and a beautiful moonstone pendant. I've given her golden hair partly as a contrast to all the greys and blues, and partly because the moon can be gold as well as silver and reflects her partner, the sun. Renaissance portraits often include a Trompe-l'œil window frame (you know how much I like to 'frame' my works with a border!) so I've included one in a soft silvery wood.

Now to find a real frame to complement it - I'm thinking silver, flamboyant and in the Italian style. No place for restraint here....


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Moon Dance

Moon Dance © Sue Wookey
Another painting which had its birth during September's Open Studios. It is possible to be fruitful while demonstrating and talking about your work! This one grew out of the series of Moon Drummers I painted, but the connection with the drum and the moon is even stronger here. I've tried to use the crater markings on the moon to map out the body of the drummer as she bends over her drum. Around her the Moon dances through all her phases, passing over the Earth and the oceans.

The words I've written around the border are:

Through the shadow, through the light,
sometimes dark and sometimes bright,
round and round to the drum of the moon,
dancing the dance of life. - SW

Prints of 'Moon Dance' will be available soon!