Suzy Philips of Royal Tunbridge Wells Art Society

Suzy Phillips has called this part of the world home for 26 years – “I love the diversity of the area – lovely Georgian town with great shops, markets, entertainment and beautiful woods and open spaces”.


2021, despite the lockdown, may have been the busiest of the 26, as Suzy became the vice chair of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Art Society.


CommunityAd caught up with the artist at the Christmas Fair, which was brimming with life as Suzy noted “Our members have supported the society through thick and thin. They couldn’t wait to exhibit again and the Winter Show is a great platform to show the diversity of work produced”.


A remarkable year really, 2021? Despite the early locked-down months the society and its members have been extremely busy, haven’t they?

As soon as we could we opened up our gallery spaces and put on exhibitions using safe procedures. Fortunately, we had a good summer so we organised fortnightly En Plein Air trips to a huge range of outdoor places to picnic and paint together – one even included a small local brewery!


What is it about Tunbridge that inspires artists and creativity do you think, Suzy?

Living in an area surrounded by woods and greenery only 45 mins from the coast is a delight for land and seascape painters. Those who are more figurative have amazing historical streets and buildings to paint – we are spoilt for choice.


A lot of people during the darkest days of the pandemic took up a new creative hobby in aid of distracting themselves from the doom and gloom, why do you think creative endeavour no matter what form it takes is so important for the human spirit and one’s mental health?

Yes, I was one of them and started a great stained glass course at Adult Ed and an online abstract painting course with the St Ives School. As a Life Coach too, I experienced people taking a breath and questioning their lives, their legacy and achievements. People found using their hands in a creative way, relaxing and producing something at the end of the day satisfying, when all around us was in chaos.


Your art is so intriguing; how would you describe your style? And what are your influences?

I have different styles as I like to mix it up a bit. However, I love painting larger work in oils, using a palette knife and other tools, standing at my easel and moving my arms freely to add expression. I am a colourist at heart and tend to paint in an impressionistic and sometimes abstract style.


For examples of Suzy’s work visit her website, and for more information on the Royal Tunbridge Wells Art Society visit their website.

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