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Arts features

You are in: Berkshire > Entertainment > Arts features > Unique art style brings in lolly

Unique art style brings in lolly

Sue Bartlett is the only artist in the world to use a combination of wax and glass - a medium the Newbury mum has invented after years of experimenting in her studio-cum-science lab!

Sue Bartlett - cupcakes

Two cupcake canvasses by Sue Bartlett

When Sue Bartlett returned from six months of travelling, she decided upon a new career. After 25 years of working at her husband's business the Newbury mum felt a desire to pursue her love of art.

Two Red Poppies by Sue Bartlett

Two Red Poppies by Sue Bartlett

"I'd always wanted to follow art," she says at the Modern Artists Gallery in Whitchurch, which is showcasing a range of her canvasses.

"So I took a fine art degree at Thames Valley University."

It was there that she developed a technique that has now resulted in a unique medium.

Sue is the only artist in the world that uses a blend of wax and glass to create a liquid lollipop effect that she pours on to her canvasses.

The sweetshop effect has led to her art being described as "edible", particularly with her cupcake pieces.

"I started using wax at the university and it went on from there," says Sue, "I got my own studio and started to work through different techniques.

"I wanted my paintings to be very textural and I love the shine of the glass and the slight matt of the wax, it's the two things that I just love."

Sue, whose family has a history of furniture and clothes-making, spent a year experimenting with different glues and other products, turning her studio into an alchemist's science lab.

Sue Bartlett

Sue Bartlett

"There's lots of melting pots," she says of her studio, "but I use just a normal cooker hob and saucepans.

"There are a lot of fumes so I have a good air filter unit."

The glass she uses isn't the glass as we know it, but glass used in set production for films. But otherwise Sue wants to keep her art recipe a secret.

"I get a lot of emails from students that say 'we really love the technique, can you show me how to do it', but I always say 'don't copy somebody else'.

"Rather go away and find some other materials you can play with."

Lay And Smell The Flowers by Sue Bartlett

Lay And Smell The Flowers by Sue Bartlett

Sue graduated in 2005 and already she is working seven days a week to meet the demand for her art.

Thanks to the striking images and texture created from her unique technique Sue stands apart from fledgling artists who attract the stereotype of being penniless while furiously creating art in some dingy garage.

Blue Flowers In The Sun by Sue Bartlett

Blue Flowers In The Sun by Sue Bartlett

"It's amazing, I've had four truly amazing years, I can't believe where it's gone: affordable art fairs, Glasgow, Bristol and London - at my age!," says Sue.

"I've been really fortunate and I love what I do. I love every single moment of it."

For more information visit:

Sue Bartlett's exhibition of 18 paintings is entitled Four Red Cherries and is on at the Modern Artists Gallery, High Street, Whitchurch-on-Thames until Saturday 8 August 2009.

last updated: 20/07/2009 at 12:19
created: 20/07/2009

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