THE LOW DOWN
Susan graduated with a Bachelor of Education - Arts and Crafts MCAE in 1987. Since then she has held numerous teaching positions in the Arts and is currently choosing to stay at home to focus on her two children and her artistic endeavors. Susan has spent the last twenty years using the process of shellac etching and finds it a very satisfying form of printing. She finds it to be more subtle and instant than a metal plate. It has the added attraction of surprise every time the paper is lifted from the press. Most of her time is spent with her acrylic paintings which embrace texture and whimsy, and small moments in time that she likes to highlight as sometimes they go unnoticed. Color has fascinated her especially unexpected combinations and she uses it to enhance truly dynamic compositions.
Susan exhibits mainly on the Surfcoast, where she lives in Aireys Inlet, and she is represented in commercial galleries all over Australia. Susan finds her influences in daily life - trying to focus on the whimsical and the preciousness of every moment. Her topics are often thoughtful and consist of many layers. Susan spends time in Japan in each year and is at present exploring this experience visually...and loving it. The most important aspect of her work is complete enjoyment…to be lost in.... and to enhance everyday life. Susan is moving interstate this year….to another haven of peacefulness…to pursue new horizons…but she will continue to be a part of the show none-the-less
As a woman over 50... Susan works to sustain a creative mind. She actively enters her studio daily to merely allow for a space to do that. She doesn’t always work but this is a space where her creativity is allowed. Quiet. With her mind and her 2 dogs. And whatever comes out is just fine.
‘I am kind of lucky because it seems that people connect to what I do and what I am trying to say. Not many artists have this and I have always been grateful. ‘
‘It has not always been a financial decision to be an artist. I have had to bolster my income in different ways- reach into my skill set and just do what I can to add to the family coffers. Running markets- working in retail- all easy and still in some ways providing a place for me to still be creative. ‘
‘I visit Japan every year. It is my quiet space of aesthetics. I wander. I take photos. I watch the detail. The structure of this beautiful place. I visit markets and studios, filling my head and heart with a longing to contribute to this in some way through my own work. Japan has always been the Mecca for design for me and I just make that yearly trip happen as a kind of tonic.
I trained in Japanese joinery at Melbourne uni- and even though I have changed mediums I think it still influences my work. Wood is very unforgiving and if a cut is made you cannot undo it. Metal is more forgiving. Most errors can be fixed. It is also more malleable-moveable. I have often though that reflects me as I grow older- more able to accept change and go with it.
Being an artist is a kind of vocation ... something that needs to be done to keep a kind of sanity within. The need to be creative is pretty strong. Personally I have struggled with anxiety for most of my adult life and aside my loving family it is the ability to create that has helped me the most.
It can be hard to manage time as a self employed person -knowing that one can always find a diversion if the creative flow isn’t active. I just go and sit in the studio. I’d listen to a podcast and let the space inspire me. It has worked for me. My studio was a mess. Lots of things to look at. Lots of books to flick though. Lots of materials to play with. In essence. HEAVEN.
People often say to me that it must be hard to part with your work. I am at a loss as to why. It is how I connect to the world. The connective tissue between us all is what drives me. I love that my work can make someone happy or make them reflect or even think about that weird(lovely) artist that they met!