Interview with Sue Prince – exhibition starts on June 15th

Read our fascinating interview with folk artist Sue Prince . Sue is having a solo exhibition with us from 15thJune – 7th July. Join us for wine and snacks at her preview on Friday June 15th from 5:00-8:00pm.

Sue will also have a Talk on June 21st from 7:00-8:00pm, as part of the Ashbourne Festival Fringe Events.

Sue Prince is a contemporary British folk artist creating narrative paintings in traditional egg tempera (inspired by Swedish folk art). 

1.  Why did you decide to become an artist?

I didn’t decide – I was born this way! I could never stop drawing, painting and being creative.

2.  What inspires you?

I am inspired by stories and narratives. Often where things happen to people in places, the interaction of human and planet or person and some challenge or controversy.I also inspired by nature – the beautiful, natural things around me.

  1. What medium of art do you prefer? Why?

I make traditional egg tempera paint with egg yolk and pigment. It makes an extraordinarily lovely paint – silky and exquisite to work with.  I love the history and link back to where I discovered my style in Sweden.

4.  Which artist inspires you the most and how have they influenced your work?

Thinking about this I realise I was very inspired as a child by my Grandfather’s collection of ancient bound copies of Punch magazine; full of Victorian cartoons and the collected works of W Heath Robinson.  I’m sure this led me to be an illustrator for many many years.  Then, having always loved the Bayeux Tapestry, I discovered a new inspiration on a trip to Sweden; a traditional form of Swedish folk art that had died out. I’m particularly inspired by Johannes Nilsson (1700s in Sweden).

  1. What do you regard as the key benefit of your workshops to participants?

I teach folk art, which is art by and for “folk”! Participants learn the basic tools and get the confidence to start to put their ideas on canvas in paint. 

  1. What advice would you give to prospective artists who want to attend your workshops?

Don’t worry about perspective or accurate representation – your ideas and thoughts are what will make your painting work. 

  1. What do you regard as your major achievement?

I am extremely proud to have been instrumental in the revival of this form of Swedish Folk Art (Bonad painting). I taught it in Sweden for 11 summers and now it’s a thriving art in its own community.  I’m also very proud of community folk art projects in Sweden and England when many people work together to create an amazing piece. (Like the Ashbourne History Painting)

  1. Where do you see yourself going from here?

There seems to be a natural development in my work, moving to more flowing compositions. I may explore working on gessoed board rather than canvas.  I’d love to produce a book.   




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