Homecoming for Scots artist who honed her talents in the desert


A SELF-TAUGHT artist whose work has been showcased around the world and sold to international buyers is now seeking recognition from her fellow Scots.

Talented artist Susie Capaldi is returning to the country after a triumphant year in the United Arab Emirates where all 24 of her artworks sold, totalling an incredible £35,000.

The Scots born painter is now hoping to repeat her international success in her homeland.

The 57 year-old from Edinburgh developed her love for art in the depths of the Dubai desert where her skill for colourful flower artwork blossomed.

Despite only beginning her career 10 years ago, the mother-of-two has had work featured in an exhibition at the Dubai International Finance Centre and in private collections across the globe.

Susie said: “I came to art later in life and absolutely love the entire process. I have painted every single day for the past three years and find it like a form of meditation.

“It’s certainly ironic that I first found success while living in the UAE, since it is pretty much all desert and the only thing you see growing there are palm trees.”

Susie and her husband Joe moved to the Middle East in 2004, where Joe works successfully in the finance sector.

However, she has now moved back to the family home in Brunstane, Edinburgh, to pursue artistic success in Scotland.

While Susie’s son, also Joe, 27, still lives in Edinburgh and works with a city investment firm, her daughter, Jemma, 26, has built a career in HR in Doha, Qatar.

Her joyful, brightly-coloured canvases feature a huge range of blooms, including intricate roses and peonies, to hydrangeas and daisies.

She continued: “I have always loved gardening so it was perfectly natural that I drifted towards floral art.

“The variety of colours and textures in flowers and plants are so incredibly rich, it keeps it constantly interesting.

“However, that may have actually benefitted me because it makes flowers seem all the more special and people crave a bit of colour. That’s probably why I managed to sell 24 pieces last year and that convinced me that it was worth pursuing this as more than just a hobby.

“While I’ve spent most of the past 15 years in Dubai, Scotland is my home and I’d love to be able to establish myself here. I know it is incredibly difficult to crack the art market in Edinburgh, but I’m determined to work at it.”

Her works now feature in private collections in Britain, Dubai, Hong Kong, Ireland, France, the Philippines and Qatar.

For inspiration, Susie travels all over Scotland visiting renowned private and public gardens, while a major source of material for her is an annual three-day pilgrimage to the Chelsea Flower Show in May.

Although she prefers to paint her own designs, she also accepts commissions.

Susie added: “While that was brilliant, I’d be even happier to achieve an exhibition or event in Edinburgh and that is one of my targets for this year.

“If I could also sell three or four pieces in the year ahead, that would be the perfect start.

“Effectively I’m starting from scratch in Scotland as an artist which is pretty daunting, but I feel incredibly lucky to be doing something I love with the full backing and support of my family.”

Find out more about Susie and her work at www.susiecapaldi.com.

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