This month’s Artist in Residence welcomes Sue Gregory, a relatively new painter who discovered her love for art during Covid times. The tight restrictions across the island meant that people found themselves spending more time at home. In certain instances, this also gave people the opportunity to explore activities they previously never found time for, such as the case with Sue Gregory.
Sue explains that she had always been good at drawing and that as a child she was constantly with a sketch pad and pencil in hand. She adds, ‘I never, however, attended art lessons and never ever tried painting using a paintbrush. I only tried during the Covid lockdown, using a small notebook and children’s watercolours.’
A former children’s teacher for 30 years, Sue took the leap and decided to venture into being a full-time artist. Not for a lack of passion for teaching, but because she had discovered a new passion for painting. ‘I felt that I could not give my 100% to both. So, with the support of my husband, I took the plunge and called it a day, and started a brand-new way of life,’ she shares.
Walking through Sue’s first exhibition at The Phoenicia Malta’s Palm Court Lounge, titled A Mélange of Moods, one will quickly notice that the artist explores a number of different styles and techniques. She shares that the most time-consuming would be her ink and watercolour buildings, as they are very difficult and detailed. When asked whether she has a favourite style, Sue explains, ‘I don’t really have a favourite, because I have many different styles which reflect my personality and mood on that particular day. But I do love painting flowers!’
When asked what inspires her and how she seeks inspiration when this is lacking, Sue shares that she tends to find inspiration everywhere. ‘Anything can inspire me: a tree, a person walking in the road, a picture on a magazine, a quaint house, a beautiful antique building. Just about anything! Depending on what I feel like painting on the day.’ Sue adds that she likes to take photos wherever she goes, which she keeps in a folder named ‘Pictures to paint’, this way she’s never out of inspiration.
Sue’s opening night proved to be a very successful launch, with Palm Court Lounge buzzing with excitement and positive energy. ‘I was amazed at the feedback’, Sue admits. ‘I was fortunate to sell a third of my paintings on the first day and have since replaced them with new paintings which I luckily had already framed. I was thrilled and very proud of my success. I am grateful to everyone who helped make my launch a success.’
Discussing her plans for the future, Sue shares that she will definitely continue to learn and plans to take more online courses, develop techniques and continue to paint as long as her health allows. ‘I also teach art to children, and I intend to develop this path further,’ she adds, a clear demonstration that her passion for teaching children is still very much alive. ‘I shall start working towards my next exhibition!’ she concludes enthusiastically.
We would like to thank the talented Sue Gregory for choosing The Phoenicia Malta as the venue for her first exhibition, and we would like to wish her every success in her new journey.