Purple patch goes on display
THE colour purple features strongly in the 30 pastel paintings in Judith Sutton's exhibition, Purple and Shine, which opens at Escape Gallery Murwillumbah on Sunday.
All of us experience purple patches - periods of outstanding achievement - in life, interspersed with bright, happy times that shine through, Ms Sutton, of Murwillumbah, said.
Every painting has a story behind it, which she is happy to reveal. Some have emotional reminders of her mother, while others recall trips to China or other parts of the world or plants and flowers.
Most were done within a few days, while some of the smaller ones took just a day, at friends' homes or in her native garden.
Although she did not study art at school at Nambucca, Ms Sutton's talent was recognised and she was often asked to do the artwork for programs and posters.
She studied at teachers college in Sydney, taking art as an elective, before becoming a teacher of infants.
She was posted to Main Arm Upper, then East Murwillumbah and Dungay, and worked later as a relief visual arts teacher.
She married Tweed builder Ron Sutton and had a son, pursuing her interest in art and craft through abstract art, collages, paper making and spinning.
In the 1980s she started painting seriously. Her first solo exhibition, at Brisbane Gallery in 1984, was followed by invitations to group exhibitions throughout northern New South Wales and southern Queensland.
Following a battle with cancer and the death of her mother, Ms Sutton regained an interest in still life, pastel work and the healing influence of flowers.
She inherited from her mother several vases and treasures that feature in many of her works, along with native flowers and delicately folded drapes.
The works include purple shadows with varying amounts of reflected sunlight, ranging from backgrounds to pinpoints of yellows and creams.
Ms Sutton's exhibition will be officially opened at 2.30pm on Sunday, with live music and light refreshments available from 2pm.
Guest speaker will be Tweed Shire cultural development officer Lesley Buckley, with entertainment by Jed Stone on keyboard.
Bookings are essential for lunch at noon, to (02) 6672 2433.
The exhibition is open until September 2.