Not just art, a piece of my heART

Susan, in her Toronto studio, creating Loving
9 x (18 x 18 in), iridescent oil on canvas, 2008: acquired in 2009
by Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, via the Art Connection

 

Susan’s whimsical and colorful artwork elicits smiles. Passion and dedication prompt paintings that are powerful, purposeful, and positive—reveal their creator’s spontaneous and playful sides. Even on gray days, she trusts the subconscious to guide and nurture: bring cheer. She also enjoys being up close and personal with what she is painting—in the picture, almost. Nearly all of Susan’s work (abstract, figurative, representational, or landscape)  is produced in series and with painstaking care and attention to detail. What is displayed on our walls matters to her, motivates or sets the tone.

Susan’s subject-specific imagery (portraits, flowers, food, animals) focus on the pleasant, marvellous, or special. Most backgrounds are excluded and many heart-shapes enhanced. A PhD arts therapist/personal coach and educator, as well as fine artist, she is deeply sensitive to environmental influences and concerns. A graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Canadian participant at the Florence Biennale, and native Liverpudlian, Susan embraces diversity and gathers inspiration from near and far. The unknown intrigues, the exotic empowers, and the familiar comforts.

Initially, circumstances (trauma, loss, and relocation) led Susan to consider the familiar from alternative viewpoints. Over time, noticing viewers' responses to her artwork, she learned that what is familiar (reassuring and meaningful) for one person can be for many. When you feel your world turned upside down or are uncertain of direction or belonging, easy-to-recognize-and-identify images that don’t just comfort but offer new starting places and a sense of hope. Susan’s larger-than-life style lightens mood. It also suggests fresh patterns and possibilities. Though the artist's home base is Toronto, her energy and ideas come from out-of-town travels and experiences, as well as educational and childhood influences and recollections. Then there are studio assistants, Poodle Pals, Lev (of blessed memory), Sage, and Sweet: always ready to supervise, encourage, and distract (in life and/or in spirit).

Susan’s artwork adorns homes, offices, and public spaces internationally. However, its greatest concentration is in Greater Boston. This is where most of the artist's training, exhibits, and donations have been—donations via the The Art Connection, a charity that enables community service organizations to acquire original artwork without cost. Susan’s painting practice is identifiably her own, and her artist-muses eclectic. They include Ida Applebroog, Emily Carr, Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Leonardo Da Vinci, Jim Dine, David Hockney, Frida Kahlo, Wassily Kandinsky, Alex Katz, Jeff Koones, Henri Matisse, Jean Miro, Amadeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Alice Neel, Georgia Okeefe, Pablo Picasso, Norman Rockwell, John Singer Sargent, Alma Tadima, Wayne Thiebaud, Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, and more...