Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Introducing the Formally Trained Artist and Hidden Treasure Expert that is Sue Smyth

Hello Everyone.
As promised, today I have some very different and special projects to share with you and introduce the Artist behind them.
Sue Smyth is another one of those special people I have come to know over the past 6 years or more. We first worked together, when she was the editor of a magazine that  published my work. We have done trade events, shows, expos and cruises together. We always have fun together and I have spent quite a few hours in her Aladdin's Cave of a studio.
 She is an amazing artist and her work is outstanding. Every art piece she makes must take her hours to create - so much detail in every project, they often end up as a treasure hunt. I call it the "where's Wally" style of scrapbooking. Every time you look you find something new tucked away underneath something else. Sue does layers and layers of mixed media techniques before she even adds all her treasures and precious bits and pieces on top.
I am inspired by her work, it is the "eclectic-ness" of her style that holds so much appeal for me.

I asked Sue to put a bit of a bio together for me.
I am a formally trained artist, in Visual Communications, with a back ground in painting, design and sculpture, I turned to paper crafting later in life when family came along. Some 20 years later I have taught at some of the leading stores around Brisbane, and now teach at 2 major Brisbane stores.  I teach at the Scrapbooking expo in Brisbane each year, and also occasionally teach on Cruises and retreats, and also had the opportunity to demo at CHA in the USA. I have designed for many design teams , including Couture Creations and have been published many times and even Edited, Australian Scrapbook Ideas and Cardmaking in Easy Steps for several years, before moving on to write my own book 3 D Papercraft Projects. The many years of experience creating and teaching in the Scrapboooking and papercrafting world, has led to designing my own paper ranges for Ultimate Crafts, the first being Magnolia Lane in 2016 and Rambling Rose in 2017. I have two distinct styles, with a mixed media painterly side, and a shabby chic layered look that celebrates paper the other.
Sue is an "off the page" expert,  and this wonderful Ladies head is a wonderful example of her eclectic style.

The photo's don't really show the beautiful mixed media base that Sue has painted onto her head before she started the decorating.  
Just look at all the beautiful treasures Sue has fitted onto the top of her head. This is where her Aladdin's cave of a craft room comes into play. She has 100's of jars, tins and containers filled with bits and pieces she has collected over the years to play with. 

Sue also does Canvas - large and small. This one is one of her larger pieces.  If you look carefully at the background you will find heaps of chipboard pieces that Sue has glued on then painted over.  There is just as much work done on the foundation of the canvas as there is on everything she has placed on top.

This photo shows some of the independent pieces Sue has clustered or layered together on top of her canvas. Each piece has to be painted or have a finish put on it before Sue can add them to her canvas. Once everything is on, I am sure Sue goes over the top of every piece adding highlights.

Again you can see more of the pieces used on the canvas.

This is one of Sue's Layouts, you can see her confidant use of colour and strong elements that if not use correctly could over shadow her photo.
But with Sue's background as a Trained Artist, she is able to create a layout that is balanced perfectly and with just the right amount embelishments to keep you wanting to look at it again and again.  

Sue also does amazing Journal covers or Book covers. I had the pleasure of being able to watch her teach a project just like the one above to 50 excited Ladies. Most of them had never done anything like this before. It was great fun watching them come to terms with the whole concept. The joy on their faces as it all came together was wonderful to watch. Sue had all of them working on their cover with just about everyone at a different stage. She kept it all together, encouraging those who needed help, pushing those who were confidant and just having a great time.
 Sue also does "normal" layouts, but always lots of mixed media techniques. Here she has done masking on her background, and random punching around the edges of her layout. Again Sue has added just the right amount of embellishments to layout to create interest but not overpower. The perfect chipboard titles finishes her delightful layout. 

Because Sue has been with us for a while now, I thought I would show you some of her earlier work. I went back through her blog and found these two charming mini canvases. The one above with the Paris theme is a favourite. I love the chipboard gilt frame and Eiffel Tower. But it's the way Sue has added the other chipboard pieces that shows her background in design. It all works so well together and the finish canvas is "Parfait".

This little cutie of a canvas would make the perfect baby boy present.
I love the background Sue has created on her canvas.  She has used textured paste on her chipboard clouds to give them a fluffy feel. The chipboard train is just stunning, it has a vintage feel to it with an almost pearl like finish. Her use of yellow on her sun is just inspiring along with the sequins and metal star. Again an eclectic mix of bits and pieces that Sue with her years of designing has made to work beautifully together.
I am delighted to have Sue back on our team for 2018. I have shown you only a small sample of Sue's work and I am sure you are going to be inspired by what she creates for us this year.
Please feel free to leave Sue a personal welcoming message.
Back tomorrow with another one of our super talented design team ladies.
Thanks for looking


  1. thanks so much Jane for your kind words, Imaginarium chipboard is the catalyst to doing what I do, I could not create without it Love Sue

  2. Thank you Sue for your kind words and ongoing support, we love having you on our team. Look forward to seeing more of your work this year.