Sunday, July 1, 2018

An Abundant Life - Visions And Dreams

Candy Le Sueur describes her work as being influenced by nature, but in looking at her work I wonder if she hasn't in some way found a way to bottle up the essence of nature and take it into herself, mixing the very essences of self and the natural world together to create her gorgeous pieces of art. Originally from South Africa, she now lives in Jersey City, but her work is so timeless and so dreamlike that she could be from anywhere and everywhere all at once. In a recent artist talk at Novado Gallery, another artist mentioned that one of her pieces reminded him of an urban environment, and as the discussion began to go in that direction, I started to see some reflections of David Hockney, whose work encompasses both rural landscapes, formal gardens and urban grittiness. The painting in question Candy said at the time had been hanging in her studio for six months until she found the expression of the particular line that was a part of the discussion that day. It is part of her process to work on her pieces over time, layering paint, waiting for one layer to dry, or in some cases nearly dry, to the point where she finds the perfect consistency for mixing in or layering color and texture. In speaking with her that day and later when we sat together at Antique Bar & Bakery where we met to talk more in depth, she spoke about the time it takes to develop a work, the patience to allow the pieces to speak and find their own expression. It is that time and patience that makes her pieces so deeply lovely, and that makes them resonate so strongly in the consciousness and subconsciousness of others. They seem to steal over us like a vision or a dream - the things that we may have thought of or wished for or hoped for, the things that we dream of when we are at our most quiet repose or in sleep when the dreams of a dreamer awake. She speaks of the influence of expressionism on her work, and there is something else that I experience, an echo of the transcendentalist poets and philosophers who were creating more than a century before, whose work grew from romanticism and brought the idea of a natural world that was inherently good into the philosophical discussion. I think of William Wordsworth and the "motion and a spirit, that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thought, and rolls through all things" that he described in "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798.

It is a testament to the kind of person she is that our conversation at Antique Bar & Bakery centered around the place we were in, the food we were sharing, and about my life and not hers. Interspersed in her interest and questions about the restaurant and the Chef and my work, I began to discover her lovely spirit in her lively curiosity and interest in everything around her. When we finally began to discuss her work and her history, she shared with me that she originally began to study art when she was thirteen because she had failed at Math, a happy circumstance for all of us who are inspired by the beauty of her work, but also very interesting to me personally because art is in my opinion another form of Math. It may not encompass the numbers and formulas in a concrete way, but in order to envision and create the beauty and symmetry of a work of art, the eye and mind must have some innate sense of spatial relations and geometry, of cutting through space and time and making a new image exist where none had before. My father was an Engineer, and I always told him that he was an artist, and whenever I visited him in his factory-like workshops and saw the circuit boards he created, I saw them as works of art and design. I remember taking pieces once that he had discarded and thinking that they would make beautiful jewelry, and the very formulas he wrote that I could not decipher seemed to me beautifully creative, making form from a void.

Prior to moving to Jersey City, she received her Fine Arts Degree from the University of Johannesburg, and had a successful career in Advertising before pursuing her work as a fine artist full time. She lived in the Netherlands prior to moving to New York in 2004 where she enrolled in the National Academy School of Art. While in South Africa she worked with charities including Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund and the Red Cross to raise funds through art. She is a member of Pro Arts in Jersey City, and was selected for the Curator's Choice show in 2014, which was exhibited at the Jersey City Museum. She exhibited at the Affordable Art Fair, New York in 2012, 2013, and 2015; and Art Hamptons in July 2014. She has also participated in numerous one person and group shows in South Africa, Switzerland, Germany and the USA. Her work is represented in private and public collections in the United States, South Africa, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and France.

In her artist talk at Novado Gallery, someone asked if she meditated because he felt that her work was so peaceful. She answered that she did not meditate, though she did usually work in silence, on occasion listening to Van Morrison, but preferring to allow the silence to inform her inspiration. In a way I would say that her meditation is her art, and it is her gift to us all that when we see it we are brought to another level of consciousness, a place where we can find our own visions and dreams and make them a reality.

Candy Le Sueur
At Antique Bar & Bakery
122 Willow Avenue
Hoboken, New Jersey

A Selection of Paintings
Photographs Courtesy Of Candy Le Sueur


"Dreamland #7"

"Dreamland #11" and "Dreamland #10"
From The Exhibit "Between Consciousness and Dreams"
At Novado Gallery
110 Morgan Street
Hoboken, New Jersey

"Dreamland #1"

"Dreamland #10"

Mixed Media on Paper and Small Monotypes
At Novado Gallery

"On the Edge of a Dream #5"

"On the Edge of a Dream #12"

"Sea of Dreams"

"Sea of Dreams" and "Dreamland" Diptych
At Novado Gallery

"Sweet Dreams #1"

"Sweet Dreams #2"

In Conversation At Novado Gallery
With Artist Anne Novado, Co-Owner and Curator

Catching A Different Light
From Different Perspectives

Patience That Perfected Over Time
With One Final Line


Jannie Susan


  1. Thank you Jannie for interviewing me for your blog. It is delightful to read and written in such an insightful way. It was a pleasure to spend time with you.
    I am very appreciative. All the best, Candy

    1. You’re very welcome Candy. I am so glad that you feel that way. Thank you for sharing your time and your beautiful work with me. It was a pleasure.