Sue Atkinson lives in Wakefield and paints in her studio at West Bretton. She also has a holiday cottage at Runswick Bay where she can often be seen painting on the beach. Her enthusiasm for nature comes across in her landscapes, as her sympathy, humour and curiosity about people comes across in her joyful depictions of life at the seaside. She works in a variety of media including watercolour, oil paint and gouache.
Sue Atkinson’s paintings have a magical, naive quality and her quirky portraits and landscapes are in great demand. Whether she’s working in watercolour, oils or gouache her work is packed with life and movement, and her beach paintings are especially energetic and sought after. She refers to her own work as ‘the great escape’, as it allows her to give free rein to her imagination, and many of her beach and landscape paintings have a engaging feeling of space and freedom which has ensured a steady market for her work.
“Painting, for me, is the Great Escape,” she says. “I use watercolour with gouache or oils or acrylics. At first it was all plain air, often on the moors above Holmfirth. The sea gave me an equal feeling of space and freedom. With their similar patterns, there were times when I changed a sea painting into a woodland one, and vice versa. Now, I do much of my work in the studio, which gives my imagination more rein. People can be a focal point. Those I have sketched or photographed on site become more naive and energetic in the studio.”
Exhibitions include: Royal Academy Summer Exhibition; the New English Art Club; the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours, London; the Royal Society of Marine Artists, London; the Singer and Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition; Bretton Hall, West Yorkshire; Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough; Northern Prospects at Harewood House; Eton College, Windsor.
Sue’s paintings have won a number of awards including: South Yorkshire Artist of the Year; Manchester Academy Small Picture Award; Hull Ferens Open Exhibition; Discerning Eye; the Laing Landscape; Royal Watercolour Society Saunders Waterford Award.
Sue Atkinson is a member of the Leeds Fine Art Club and the Fylingdales Group of Artists.