Q&A fir & wren

1Susan Kane72dpi

fir &wren

What is your practice? Materials? Processes?

I produce illustrative paintings. My aim is to create a feeling of happiness and spontaneity through simple, expressive line drawings, fresh colour and playful compositions. My pictures originate from a 25 year background in textile design, a life long love of illustration and a mid-century design inclination.
Generally I use acrylics, watercolour, ink and collage, whatever gives me the marks I need. Due to many years painting designs directly onto fabric I sometimes like to work on unprimed cotton or linen, but at the moment I work mainly on paper.
My best pictures tends to happen when I work quickly and don’t think too deeply about the lines or shapes, colours or placement, hence the spontaneity.

What 5 words best describe your work?

Delicate. Spontaneous. Line. Playful. Calm

Do you have any design heroes?

I admire the work of many designers and artists and illustrators. Here are some:

Designers: Lucienne + Robin Day, Charles + Ray Eames.
Artists: Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Paul Klee, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, Elizabeth Blackadder, Geoffery Robinson.
Illustrators: Saul bass, Paul Rand and Abner Graboff
Where is your studio?

I share my studio with Clinton Pilkington of ‘Holm’ in Manchester Craft + Design Centre. It doubles as a retail space so we sell our work directly from it too. I like to spread out when I work so it always feels too small- then again I think any space would feel too small to me.

Describe in 10 words a typical day in your studio

Emails, coffee, clear desk, mixing colours, thinking (too much), painting.


Are you working on anything unusual at the moment? Commissions? New work?

I am working on some contemporary still life pieces, contrasting flower and plant studies with flat pattern and mark-making.
Also I have it in mind to produce some large canvases at some point this year.

Did you exhibit or visit last years SAT?

No I missed last years SAT.

What will you be selling at SAT15? Anything new?

Paintings along the theme of contemporary still life with a mid century inclination and my formica, graphic style brooches.

What venue are you exhibiting at on the trail?

I will be at Serendipitea

Tell us something we don’t know

I worked in-house as Mary Quant’s textile designer for 3 years. I also turned down a textile design job in New York which I regret now.


Thank you Sue!



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