Currently, Susan is working with ceramics but plans to work with glass again at some point. She attended the Masters program at The School of The Museum of Fine Arts Boston with a semester at Radcliffe and was raised in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Her art is mostly dedicated to her children.
What is the goal of your work?
I was always drawing, always knew that I was an artist, that I was different. My mother’s family is musically, and my uncle was on Broadway, so luckily art was always surrounding me. I drew and sewed dolls out of felt and painted. On weekend afternoons my mother would drop me off at the local Artist Guild. As a child, the strong scent of ink and the large printing presses were so foreign and demanding of my attention. I created a linocut of a girl watching ants, which was a favorite activity then, and won an award for the piece. After having Girl watching ants exhibited I was hooked on art I knew what I wanted to be. My world became a very magical place that saved me from a lot of sadness. Today I like to remember that childlike energy because it is full of possibilities and any kind of art is possible. There are no limitations when I am in that space where I can just create. Children never stop to worry about whether their drawings or paintings are „good“.
Discernment is for later and I have thrown a lot away or painted many pieces over. I like to keep an open, fresh mind when I work. I don’t let pieces become precious because I know they can always be better.
What subjects do you cover?
I have different goals for all of the different things I do. I try to imbue my eye paintings with a kind of spiritual or transcendent quality, as they were made after I suffered the loss of my son. They are my most important works, I call them my illuminated manuscript, my visual diary. Like an illuminated manuscript, the eye paintings are filled with symbols and when strung together form a kind of story. In contrast, I make my self-portraits. Inspiration for these paintings is Medieval art, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Van Gogh. Sculpturing is very important because sometimes one needs a little extra happiness I am also painting thick impasto childlike zombies that could be read as a political statement or as my personal style. In time, I will be making larger paintings of these figures inhabiting dystopian landscapes.
Why is art so important to you?
„Every writer no matter the story or poem is always writing about himself.“ I think that goes for every artist as well. I paint about myself my needs, my desires, the hidden places and sometimes the things I won’t even tell myself, but I will make a piece about it. Art is the most important way humans have communicated since the caves at Lascaux, and Altamira. It is the backbone of culture it is in our life’s blood. Humans need to make art or see art it is a way for us to understand ourselves and the world. While challenging our perceptions at times or calling out injustices, art can also help to make us feel calm, centered, and at peace.
I create to fill a void to speak and be seen. Sometimes the outcome is surprising even to me.
How are you feeling today?
Art is healing. When I lost my son I held onto my art and it is the one thing that pulled me through, that pulls me through every day. I don’t know where I would be if not for art. In a way, it helps me to communicate with my son through drawing and painting. My flow state is accessed through creating. My higher consciousness is opened up while painting and I feel closer to my son when I am painting. I am feeling happy and very grateful today.
On which website do you spend most of your time?
I am listening to a ton of art podcasts and I love your website because there are many artists from all over the world being featured. Suffice it to say, I am not happy with the direction of my country and hope a change will occur in November. People are in great pain here and people are in pain all over the world. We are united in hope that injustice, the virus, displacement, hunger, addiction, death, stop and we find a way to help those that need it the most. I believe artists are at the forefront of the healing that must take place in this world. We fight the darkness with the light in our own ways and with our work.
How does the future look like?
I am having my second solo exhibition at Labspace in New York, USA in early September called In my Room. It will be virtual and open to the public. I have worked very hard for this exhibition and I am now packing up my studio to bring the work there. I also am in a group show at La Grange Gallery in Cernay-lès-Reims France called Way out in September as well. For me my future is making art, exhibiting in my country, and internationally working every day to make a positive difference with art. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share my work and life with you.