Susan McConnel – Artist Profile

Susan McConnel has a genuine passion for the Australian rural way of life. She has worked and lived on cattle and sheep properties all her life both in Western Australia and Queensland. She has surrounded herself with bush characters that have shared their narratives and has read fascinating stories and letters of the early settlers. These stories invoke in her a desire to share this rich Australian history by painting colourful quirky unique images.

Raised on a wheat and sheep farm near Wagin in Western Australia Susan spent her youth working with horses on sheep stations, riding with hounds, playing polocrosse and competing in agricultural shows horse riding events.

For her inaugural exhibition on 2008, Susan’s inspiration for her paintings came from acknowledging the uniqueness of her historical surroundings and the many stories that she has heard from her husband’s McConnel – Cressbrook family history. This exhibition proved to be an outstanding success with over 300 guests attending opening night.

The paintings of her horses and cattle in her exhibition draw much acclaim. With that in mind and trying to find a direction for her art Susan has drawn from her past passions and started on a new series depicting the relationship between man and beast within the Australian landscape and from Australia’s colorful bush history. Susan’s series include Harry Redford Bushranger aka Captain Starlight, The Kenniff Brothers Bushrangers, Leichhardt the Explorer, Australian Sport, Augathella History, Roma and Bush Characters. She has started work on the “cold case” death of Captain Logan at Mt Beppo, history of the circus and the female bushranger- Elizabeth Hickman. Susan has also completed numerous commissions.

Susan has been invited to exhibit in Roma, Tambo, Augathella, Blackall, and The Longreach Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Stanthorpe, Warwick, and Toowoomba. Her works have sold internationally and she has won awards. Susan is conscious of the struggles her bush contemporaries face with life on the land and has donated many paintings for charities to auction. She exhibited annually for 10 years with the 9 Ante Portas Charity Art Show where they raised substantial amounts for their chosen charities. Susan is a member of the Kilcoy Court House Art Gallery and exhibits there along with the other members on a regular basis.

Susan McConnel is a visual artist using oil on stretched canvases ranging in sizes from 33cm to 150cm. She will occasionally use an acrylic underpainting but predominately starts painting in oils. She uses primary colours to create the secondary and tertiary colours and will occasionally use white. The brush and application technique she prefers is the blended wet on wet technique on.

Artist:
Interpreting historical records

Employment:
Department of Education and Training, Queensland

Qualifications:
Master of Special Education (Dean’s Commendation)
Bachelor of Education Studies
Diploma of Education

Exhibitions:
2018: Percolator Art Gallery Paddington. Three Ducks on the Wall exhibition
2018: Kilcoy Court House Gallery
2017: Royal Queensland Art Society Brisbane Petrie Terrace Gallery – 9 Ante Portas Group.
2017: Somerset Regional Art Gallery “The Condensery” joint exhibit with sculptor Bodo Muche
2017: Kilcoy Court House Gallery
2017: June Artist of the Month Kilcoy Court House Gallery
2016: November Artist of the Month Kilcoy Court House Gallery
2016: August Maud St Gallery – 9 Ante Portas Group.
2016: March Invitation Exhibitor Roma Picnic Races – Country Life: Art and Tea.
2016: Toowoomba Grammar School Art Show – invitation exhibitor
2016. The Glen Esk Gallery – invitation exhibitor.
2016. Inaugural Invitation Exhibitor “The Condensery” Somerset Shire Art Gallery.
2016. Kilcoy Court House Gallery
2015. Kilcoy Court House Gallery
2015. Royal Queensland Art Society Brisbane Petrie Terrace Gallery – 9 Ante Portas Group.
2014. Kilcoy Court House Gallery
2014. Roma on Bungil Gallery. Solo exhibition.
2014. Royal Queensland Art Society Brisbane Petrie Terrace Gallery – 9 Ante Portas Group.
2013. Insight Art Gallery. Toowoomba
2013. Grasslands Gallery – Tambo. Solo Exhibition
2013. Hugh Sawrey Gallery – Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Longreach.
2013. Vieille Branches -9 Ante Portas Group. “Bush Characters”
2013. Kilcoy Court House Art Gallery.
2013. Blackall Heartland Art Festival.
2013. Moore Art Exhibition.
2012. Kilcoy Court House Art Gallery.
2012. Stanthorpe Art Exhibition.
2012. Blackall Heartland Art Festival.
2012. The Studio – QLD State Library. 9 Ante Portas Group “Australian Sport History”.
2011. The Light Space. 9 Ante Portas Group “The Harry Redford Bushrangers Series”.
2011. Augathella Community Centre. “H.G.H. Sanderman manuscript. Gone Out to Australia. Series” –
2010. The Light Space. 9 Ante Portas Group “The Kenniff Brothers Bushrangers Series”.
2009. The Scots PGC College P&F Inc. Art Prize.
2009. Gallery 54. 9 Ante Portas Group “Cressbrook 1841”.

Commissions
2018: “Horses”
2018: “Galahs”
2018: “Viv”
2018: “Shooting Ruse”
2017: “Someone’s Puppy”
2017: “For Kirat – Nepal”
2016: “Ruth”
2016: “Ann’s Chooks”
2016: “Judge Collier”
2016: Janice’s Grandson #2”
2014: “The Steeple Chase”
2015: “Charolaise Judging”
2015: “Steff”
2015: Rutledge – Bush Polo
2013: “Brigitte’s Sheep”
2012: Janice’s Granddaughter”
2010” “Janice’s Grandson”
2009: “Obstinate Bad Tempered Bullock”
2008: “Janice’s Dad”
2008: “Duncomb’s”

Guest Speaker:
The Moreton Club Discovery Group Presents:
“Susan McConnel The Artist”
Lunch – Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Prizes:
2011 The Scots PGC College P&F Inc Art Prize: First Prize in Open Section – “The Cockatoo”
2008 Nudgee Art Show: Second Prize for Portraiture
2008 Esk Art Show: Highly Commended for Portraiture
2017 People’s Choice Prize Kilcoy Court House Art Gallery
2013 Moore Art Exhibition. Highly Commended. “Horses Don’t Like Camels”.
2011 The Scots PGC College P&F Inc. Art Prize. Open Section. “The Cockatoo.”
2008 Second Prize Nudgee Art Show for portraiture
2008 Highly Commended Esk Art Show for portraiture

Work Shops:
2011. Augathella Community Project – “Historical Records Interpreted Through Visual Arts”

Memberships:
The Australian Artist and Talent Register