Thursday, October 15, 2015

And so it Begins--

Today seems like a good day to start this blog (again). I began a few years ago when I was traveling a lot as a sort of "Life on the Road" journal. It failed, I didnt write and it didnt seem that important. What has always been important is my work. My 45 years of making art is the thread that holds my life together and the older I get the more I see how true that is.
The last few years have been rocky to say the least. I have lost my parents, a marriage, my sweet and constant canine companion, a home that I loved, and have had health issues. And all of this as I moved to a new place where I knew no one. But, almost without being conscious of it---- the piece that held me together when I thought I wouldn't make it was making art.  So, this blog will be about a transition. It is a transition from one way of being in the world to another. When I faced the reality of the changes in my life in the last few years I also faced a host of demons. They were regret, remorse, guilt, loneliness and sadness which is no big surprise. But, I think if we grow as conscious human beings we face loss and pain in very deep and meaningful ways and can come out the other side knowing ourselves in a new way.  In my life it is a time of facing myself and really seeing who I am at a deep level. It is a time of growing into my life in a new way and facing a life that is richer and more authentic.

It is logical that my work would change. Being in pain cracks you open. It takes time to get through it all but what emerges is a deeper understanding. I see myself in more honest ways and in that cracking open much has fallen away. There is less time to "get on with it".  In my transition through a dark time to now what is really underneath all of it is an opportunity. It is the most difficult thing I have ever done. There is no more time to think about making art that is authentic, that speaks my own individual voice and no one else's. There is only time to do it. This blog will chronicle that journey of making art that comes from my inner place. This work is not about the natural world (out there) that I love so much. I have spent years painting the landscape. It has been my muse and my sanctuary. I wanted to tell people through the art about how beautiful the planet it. But for the past year I have felt lost in finding my way back to painting. Nothing I had done before made sense now. There is the pressure to "paint what sells" but I couldnt find my way back to that.
When I arrived in Washington I started to see contemporary work like I had never seen before. This part of the country reflects a different aesthetic than anywhere I have ever been. It opened my mind. I started to study artists whose work seemed to be from another planet. Morris Graves shook my world in such a strong and peaceful way. He, among other artists that I "discovered"showed me what "authentic" really means. This blog is not about that, although I will share some work by other artists that inspires me. It is about my investigation into that realm of making art from an interior space. It is a realm of emotion and inner expression. I don't understand anything that I am doing and that is the first step. Moving forward without knowing where it will go takes a level of trust that is daunting. It is a journey of  non-judgement. I have no idea how "Good" any of it is. I don't know what that means anymore. It doesnt matter now.
So, I share this journey for those who may be facing a similar adventure in art making or for those who want to. Here we go!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for the encouragement to do this!

  2. Beautiful post! I'm in a similar stage of my life and my inter voice keeps nudging me to paint my way though it. Thank you Susan for sharing, and thank you Jeane for directing my attention to Susan's blog. I guess its really true that sometimes the process of creating art is more important to an artists well being then its final out come.

    1. Hi Karen, Thank you so much for your comment. I am happy that you can find some truth for yourself in what I am writing. I know that the process is why we do what we do but we don't always know that. We aren't alone in this process. That is the most import and thing to know. I wish you all the best!

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  4. This is such a wonderful post, Susan, and I appreciate your sharing your journey so openly. This takes courage, and by sharing it, you ENcourage others (like me), as we struggle to find our footing on our own paths.

    I'm inspired by your willingness to stay open, to honor pain as a teacher, and to continue to move into the light through darkness. Your work reflects the transformation of your spirit. (Namaste!)

    "There are cracks in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen