Artist Statement

The first painting that ever took my breath away was a huge piece by Helen Frankenthaler.  It would be another fifteen years before I would even give any serious thought to being an artist, and at that time I was intrigued with designing fabrics, not painting fine art.  As my art career began, my interest was first piqued by the work of DeKooning, Kline, and Diebenkorn, but I came to admire Milton Avery for his brilliance with colors, Olga de Amaral for her magic with fiber, and Gerhard Richter, Brice Marden, and Ed Moses for pure painterly technique.

 

During the more than three decades that I have been painting, what characterizes the personality of my works is the particular relationship and intimacy with the physicality of the materials and the complexity of my process. What inspires me has morphed over time, but the one consistent factor is that I love the process.

 

The creative process is demanding and possessive; and like a love affair, has a certain privacy involved. Inspiration is a moody companion, continuously affected by one’s environment, as well as a Muse that must be teased and satisfied, exercised and allowed to rest, then imprisoned and set free, refined and reborn.  

I often call my process “random theory abstraction” because while I handle the materials in much the same way each time I make a picture, there is an indescribable element that is essential; as singer-songwriter Corey Hart put it, “I’m searching for the discovery that intention can’t find.” 

 

Using the canvas as a space for this intimate expression, I have worked in oil, as well as acrylic, cold wax, and collage at different moments across my career.  Since the early 80s, my signature finish has been elaborated through various techniques based on gestures that represent and encapsulate time: layering, sanding, scraping, glossing, as well as recycling, shredding and repurposing. Out of this labor of patient seduction, I aspire to create a direct emotional impact upon my viewers and collectors. Since childhood, I have had a particular and intimate relationship and near obsession with recycling or repurposing materials. This notion is not only born from a pure sense of ecology, but also from this raw passion for materials, as the artist’s soul seeks to shape and express its deepest desires and concepts.

 

For me, painting is simply a way of life.

 

Susan Sales

“I just paint.”  Frank Stella

 © 2019 Susan Sales