Artist actively painting, retired weaver and faux finish painter

Describe your work
I capture passages and pathways, both manmade and in nature by painting landscapes and sculpting and making paintings of shells.

Current project
Making pottery based on shells that I opened with my own hands. I started taking a pottery class for the sense of community. The shells are specific shells. I know each one as a part of my collection and I probably ate the oyster in it, too.

 What makes your paintings different?
I have painted the same landscape for 30 years. The landscape itself gives something different. I wake there in the morning after having been in the dark all night. I look straight at the long horizon in complete silence. An enormous power overtakes the dark. Incredible color’s red, grey, purple engulf the sky and reflect on the water in mirror image. It is over in less than an hour. Because of that experience, I started painting.

Were you an artsy kid
Somebody was always making something in my house when I was a kid.

Favorite tool
Trowel. I spent many years a faux finisher. Once did 22 rooms in one house.

My high school art teacher was an inspiration to all arts. He taught us to see and to draw and to relate.

Art changing experience
I was studying art and Spanish. While in Mexico, I met a weaver who taught me to weave in Spanish based on Mexican traditions and a 2-harness loom. But It wasn’t until 1988 that I went to Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) to officially study fiber arts.


Best art story:
I was dying and bleaching a piece in the bathtub when I was overcome by the fumes. My son has had that piece it in his house for almost 30 years. He won’t part with it because he likes to tell the story of what I had to go through to make it.  

Why Does Art Matter
Art is being altruistic on a planetary level. We get there through art.  We try to appreciate and be kind to each other.  It is important not just to appreciate a sunset that’s been captured but get together and appreciate our differences and similarities.

How are you beautiful
My image of myself is that my parents made me right: size, weight, skin, hair, eyes, strong, compassionate, helpful, empathetic That’s how they made me, I cannot perfect it so I’ll just go with it.

Susan Irish is the founder and owner of Fabulon – Center for Art and Education.  Each month she inrterviews a different local artist.

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