Su Sheedy, based in Kingston, Ontario, Canada has been a full-time encaustic artist since 2001. As a material based artist, she enjoys mixing encaustic with other mediums. Pressed tin, carded wool, corrugated steel, and birch bark are a few of the materials she works with. Texture is her subject matter, and narrative markings result from pouring, routering, or persistent scraping gestures. Sheedy has always had a great deal of interest in the preservation of the Canadian wetlands, which can be seen across all of her previous painting series titled Marsh, Pond, Bog, and Lichen. Her abstracts appear to be a lush blend of wildflowers, vines, grasses and reeds with patches of water or even snow. Su Sheedy’s works are anything but typical paintings – they have a frenetic energy that is calmed and restrained by her use of natural beeswax and tree resin. The translucence of the beeswax and her dynamic colour range engages the viewer like the 3D atmosphere of a backlit aquarium. “I began the Pond series in 2009 as a homage to the wetlands near my home in Kingston, Ontario. My painting process is instinctual, spontaneous and quite physical. Rich layers of pigmented beeswax are gouged into, poured, and torched creating rowdy and random markings.” A profusion of repeated forms, strokes and textures result in what could be described as ‘tactile expressionism.’ Unsurprisingly, given the tactility of her work, she cites the art of Paterson Ewen and Cy Twombly as formative influences.
Sheedy, 20 years a Massage Therapist, remains interested in cellular memory, sensory perception, and our visceral response to texture.
Sheedy’s work has appeared on TV shows, movies, and documentaries. Her work resides in a number of collections including the Visual Art Collection of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. She has taught workshops and given lectures in her medium. She has been Chief Hanger and Adjudicator in several art exhibitions and is represented by Muse Gallery, Toronto, Gallery 3, Ottawa, Whistler Village Art Gallery, Whistler, B.C., and Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario.