The title of Sue’s new show, “Finding Solace,” beautifully matches the subject matter of the florals, birds and aquatic life for which she is known across Mendocino, Sonoma and San Francisco Counties. She has always been drawn to the natural world as a place of solace, and the pandemic offered her more time to dive into the beauty that nature offers. Thinking a bit more about the collection of work in her show, Sue muses, “I am moved to paint florals and create beauty because the world has and continues to be so taxing with lingering Covid, divisive politics and worries about climate change. I want to create something that is soothing and lovely to look at... kind of an escape. I don’t care that it’s not edgy like the work in a lot of other galleries". Her love of Georgia O’Keefe shows clearly in vibrant colors and lovely lines in the paintings.
Sue has been a prolific artist for most of her life, though painting wasn’t her first love. After receiving a BFA in sculpture (ceramics, casting, welding and neon) with a minor in printmaking from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, she went on to explore printmaking and then fell in love with paper making. She took a class at Sonoma State and created huge sheets of paper (mixing it with neon), taking advantage of the college studio where she could use their equipment. Her current mixed media work reflects her love of paper and texture. Her sculptural sensibilities somehow morphed into a fascination with gourds, and it wasn’t until Sue was featured in four books about that art form that she took another turn and made the dive into watercolor painting… one skill in which she had never received any formal training.
Sue describes her adventures with watercolor. “I discovered watercolor about 14 years ago and continued with it because I love water and the unbeatable translucency of the medium. I’m a swimmer and I love color. The happy blending of what I love most led me to where I am now with my art, which is primarily watercolor.”Sue’s beautiful watercolors are currently featured in San Francisco Women’s Art Gallery and the Healdsburg Center for the Arts, and she was just accepted into the international Watercolor West show in Newport Beach. “The world needs more beauty and solace and quiet,” Sue says. Beauty and solace and quiet are exactly what visitors to this show will experience.
The First Friday opening celebration of Sue’s show will be on June 2 from 5-8pm. The Corner Gallery is located at 201 S State Street in Ukiah. Live music will be provided throughout the evening by Chris Gibson and Char Jacobs.