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Sue Van Coppenhagen

Sue’s delicate yet vibrant watercolours reflect a very immediate and enthusiastic response to her surroundings, and are sought after by collectors both in Ireland and further afield. Her paintings hang in private and corporate collections in Ireland, South Africa, England, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and America. Sue is a selected member of the Water Colour Society of Ireland, with whom she has exhibited in Dun Laoighaire, Waterford and County Clare. In addition to regular participation in Art Fairs in Cork and Dublin, she has held seven successful solo exhibitions in County Cork. In 2014 and 2015 she had floral paintings accepted for inclusion in the Bloom Exhibition of Botanical and Floral Art in Dublin; in both years, her paintings were awarded medals.


Sue’s bird paintings are represented on, which showcases the paintings of thirty international bird artists. She has published a Birthday (perpetual) Calendar featuring Irish Garden Birds (available from the Online Shop), as well as one featuring some of her floral paintings.

"I grew up in South Africa, where I was always moved by the light and colours of the spectacular landscape.

Since re-locating to East Cork, Ireland, in 2000, I have had to learn a new landscape, with a greater range of contrasts between different seasons, and different qualities of light. The urge to explore my local environment and learn new birds and plants has given me an endless supply of satisfying subjects to capture in paint; in the winter my work is obviously studio-based, but in the summer I try to work outdoors, with the feeling of air and sun on my skin. This presents challenges when working in water-based media, as the drying time is greatly accelerated, adding a sense of urgency to the painting process.


My paintings are predominantly watercolours on paper, although I enjoy detours where I explore working on different surfaces, and with other media applied. There is no greater excitement, however, than the magic of watercolour, which can explode and flare on the paper; its fluidity allows a range from the diffuse and delicate to bold and juicy use of paint. Because light is reflected from the paper through the layers of paint, one is able to achieve a high level of luminosity, making the paintings fresh, atmospheric and evocative.”

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