Max Verstappen by Sue Verity Signed by Jonathan Wheatley
“I’ve always painted, but I thought I needed to go and get more training, so I started attending Lichfield art college and trained there for two years. I started doing murals at nursery schools and outside playgrounds, but working on big walls was hard.
I started painting my first canvas piece in 2002 of Johnny Depp when he was in the Pirates of the Caribbean. That was the first painting I took into a gallery. They asked for more and offered to put on an exhibition! So, I always say Johnny started my career! I need to meet Johnny to tell him!”
The inspiring Sue Verity took a leap of faith and pursued her passion for the arts with determination and hard work. She took time to hone her skills and kickstarted her art career by painting a canvas of Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Each painting Sue completes takes between; two weeks to two months, and her artistic journey is a testament to the power of hard work and perseverance. She displayed portraits of Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe, and other iconic figures in her first art exhibition. From there, she attended art fairs and eventually landed herself a studio.
“I finally got my first studio. It was a little brick building, absolutely freezing! It was then that I started getting commissions and selling my work directly. I’ve worked with a few galleries, but I’m a bit of a control freak in that sense. I like to sell my work so the client can meet me and form a relationship with me.”
Her drive and determination have taken her to exhibitions around the country and have even led her to meet celebrities like Marino of the Chelsea football club.
“I’ve had a lot of support from people who have helped me to meet people I’ve painted, and then I go tracking them down to see if they will sign the piece. I meet these celebrities through contacts and friends, or for example, to meet Marino at the Chelsea football club, I rang Chelsea football club up, and they put me through to his secretary! Sometimes you’ve just got to try your luck, put yourself out there and be nice to people, that works!”
When asked about her favourite celebrity to paint, the artist struggles to choose just one as she has had many positive experiences. However, she admits she has a particular soft spot for Johnny Depp because his striking facial features make him an interesting subject to paint.
“He’s like a chameleon, you can paint him in so many different ways, and he looks so different all the time. I find that very interesting about him. He’s also got great eyes to paint, very nice eyes.”
Sue mentioned her fondness for her portrait of Robert Plant as it was her first signed artwork. The meeting was made possible by a friend who managed to arrange it for her at the Wolves stadium in reception. As a big fan of the Led Zeppelin star, she was grateful for the chance to have her artwork signed by him. I donated all the profits from the collection to the Acorns Hospice charity.
Sue is a talented artist who loves bringing superheroes and villains to life on her canvases. She has masterfully painted some of the most iconic characters like Iron Man, Batman, Spiderman, and the stunning Margot Robbie.
“What drew me to the superhero/villain genre was the vibrant colours and boldness of the paintings. Even Batman, who is primarily black, was presented with an opportunity to get creative. I experimented with resin raindrops, which I layered over the original painting to create the effect of rain running down Batman’s suit. It was incredibly effective! I can let my creativity run wild when painting superheroes and villains.
Take Margot Robbie, for instance. Although she is still, the expression on her face and the details of her features are so incredibly expressive. And let’s not forget about the Joker. I’ve had the pleasure of painting Heath Ledger twice, and one of my absolute favourites is the piece of Joaquin Phoenix dancing. It’s great to bring these iconic characters to life on my canvas!”
Three years ago, Sue entered a fine art competition held by the BBC in collaboration with Talent House. And guess what? She won! She was named the official Peaky Blinders artist for that season!
“Seeing my artwork on bus stops and advertisements all over the city was a surreal experience, and I even received an official poster from the show as a memento. I was even allowed to have custom t-shirts made by the BBC!”