Sue Graham

"I was born in Auckland but moved to Perth, Western Australia, in 1978, where I trained and taught as a primary school teacher. In the 1980's I dabbled in various art media, gaining high marks in an Art and Design course at a Perth Tech, but it was the watercolour medium that really hooked me. When I moved back to NZ in 1995, my woodturner husband Robbie and I opened our own gallery - Wildwood Art Gallery."

My main motivation is to express through my paintings the beauty, drama and mystery of the Central Plateau landscape near Lake Taupo where I live.

My inspiration usually starts outside in the natural environment, enters my eyes, is processed by the brain, touches the heart, and then exits through the hands via my paintbrushes. What I see, hear and experience around me (such as viewing our mountains from different viewpoints or weather conditions and learning about our local mountain legends) fires my imagination. I play with colour, texture and pattern to suggest natural elements that intrigue me.

Water-media (watercolours and acrylics) are exciting to use because the colours run around talking to each other on the painting. You're never exactly sure what their conversation will be, but it's always interesting! I enjoy using vibrant colours enhanced by quieter colour mixes placed nearby. Layering transparent glazes, texturing with impasto, using varied brush strokes, drizzling, spattering, etc. create textures and patterns to represent the geological and botanical features of our region.

Being an artist keeps me observant and appreciative of my surroundings and I feel fortunate to be able to express my delight using delicious colours, textures and compositions. To portray a special image that has spoken to me is a powerful way to communicate memories, emotions and atmosphere when it evokes a meaningful response in another person.

Sharing my passion for painting through teaching art adds even more depth and meaning to my art journey! As an experienced teacher and art tutor, I design my painting workshops to make the exciting world of painting with water media available to adults and children around the region, while promoting conservation of the natural environment.

Sue's award-winning original artwork can be viewed at Wildwood Gallery in Waitahanui, Taupo with her husband Robbie Graham's award-winning wood and metal art. She also exhibits around and beyond Taupo and is often commissioned to paint requested subjects. Her paintings are now all over the world, giving her the satisfaction that others can relate to her vision and take pleasure from her creations.

  • frequently commissioned

  • winner of the Waimarino Premier Visual Art Award 2018

  • represented around NZ and in many countries overseas

  • small and unframed works also available

  • packing and postage arranged

  • workshops, demonstrations and tuition