My road in art began with a love of typography; studies in black & white including scratch board, pen and ink and water color. My passion was architecture. I studied Architectural Design for 2 years and have applied those skills throughout my career.
Working on the drafting table to assist an architect was a position that eluded me in the 70’s. So my career choices instinctively brought me to become a layout artist, designer for newspapers and magazines. This included logos, signs, marketing materials, print negative work and design. All of this was done by hand with press type, lithography that was waxed on layout boards. Adobe and computers were just breaking through. I worked my way into the role of Operations/Production Manager because I understood the production process from beginning to end and loved the pressure and joy of completing the projects on time. I learned a great deal about business, deadlines and the cause and effect of design upon the printed end product.
During the 80’s, I bought property with my husband and became the Project Manager for all our projects which included residential and commercial challenges. I began the process sitting behind my drafting table putting together floor plans, timelines, cost analysis and hiring sub-contractors to complete the projects. Now my own home is my canvas.
In the 90’s, I began to really study color, paint and learned to cut my own stencil designs and applied these techniques to decorative painting and murals. I found that my art was evolving over time and I was mixing my own paint colors to get certain effects. While working as Operations manager for a Hardware store, I started re-habing old kitchens on weekends in order to help my children with college expenses. I learned to apply paint to cabinets, hardware, counter tops (laminates) and floors (wood, linoleum, ceramic tile and concrete). My children used to joke; “Keep moving or she’ll find a way to paint us.” Soon, I found myself the local color consultant and paint expert that people traveled from other local towns to get advice for the interior and exterior their of homes.
Around this time, I discovered floor cloths and fell in love with the concept. I love walking on my own designs and I had been commissioned to paint hundreds of floors over the years. My stencils and printing back ground allowed me to create complicated designs and I could execute designs with a single stencil to upwards of 18 overlays and fill in with hand painting. I was commissioned to re-create Georgia O’Keefe’s “Poppy” using 16 stencil overlays and reproduced it 4 times on an 8-1/2’ x 11’ floor cloth. It
Tidbits on Floor Cloths: The finished floor cloth is coated in 3 coats of urethane so it can be cleaned like a hard wood floor. If you tire of the design, you can repaint it. They can be used for outside carpets on decks for the summer season. They are a great alternative for people who suffer from allergies.
Over time, I have become less ridged and linear in my painting. I’m exploring a more fluid art technique, combining mixed mediums (including stencils) and using my keen sense of color to direct the flow of my new pieces. It’s all about inspirations and the joy that painting brings me. I find myself producing studies on smaller scale canvas and then executing the new techniques to the larger format of floor cloth. Each piece is unique.
In the future, I would like to produce limited editions of my art in silk screen on posters, window art, T-shits, dresses and whatever the next evolution of Susan brings me to.