Can you tell us about yourself? Where did your artist passion begin? How did art become your work occupation?
I grew up between NYC and Miami Beach and from the age of 5 I was learning watercolor and sumi ink drawings from my dad and godmother who were both artists. Fast forward teens through 20s my creativity came out in fashion where I would pull apart vintage clothes and any fabric I could get my hands on to create club clothes for my friends and I. Soon after I landed a job in fashion where I worked for 20 years before deciding it was time to do what I was meant to do. I relocated to the Poconos and devoted all my time to my real passion, painting.
Out of curiosity, do you have a daily routine such as habits or morning rituals to channel a productive workday in the studio?
The only routine or ritual I have is making good strong coffee in my French press and walking into my studio. Otherwise daily routines are just too boring. Once I get into my studio I just go with the flow. I’m addicted to working and work long hours. Everyday I do paint, I take photographs, I work on marketing and Instagram and talk to collectors but they happen in whatever order they are supposed to happen on that day and always with lovely little unexpected challenges and bits of fun thrown in.
If someone were to ask, how would you describe your artwork?
Original, bold, brave, large paintings that the viewer will continually find new things to discover within.
What projects or works are currently in progress inside the studio?
I have a lot of exciting things going on for 2020 and so many newly stretched canvases around the studio in various stages that I am currently playing with.
What is your style? Is the artwork pre-planned or improvised?
Improvised. -Berrisford Boothe (Artist, Art Professor &Curator, Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of Art) wrote about this in my latest catalog “Susan has mad improvisational skills with the media she uses. Anyone who has practiced improvisation as art, knows that successful improvisation (ironically) requires a structural layout, a conceptual setting, an intuitive understanding of where and when deviation is necessary and where and when it must be reintroduced….”
I work best when I become one with the canvas. I used to paint from pre-planned digital works but now too much seems to get lost in translation. I like to begin and build on the canvas with ripped pieces of art and fashion magazine and then scrape them off. I never know what to expect, what ink will remain and what will not become part of the canvas. I build from there, what feels right, loud music playing to take away any unwelcome chatter while I intuitively work and create.
What are the upcoming plans for the remaining year?
I am looking forward to 2020. I will be having a show with Muriel Guepin Gallery in Soho, she will also be bringing my work to one of the fairs in NY this year and I hope to be exhibiting at the Other Art Fair in Brooklyn in the Spring with Saatchi Art. I also have a solo show in New Jersey in April.
When it comes to Instagram, what are the pros and cons of using the profile? Do you consider Instagram an important platform for today’s’ working artists?
I have a studio in the Poconos so Instagram is an extremely important platform for me to meet potential collectors, advisors, designers and build relationships because most of my clients are in major cities.
But really it should be an important platform for all artists. With technology and the way our buying habits are trending it is important for selling our art but even more important it’s a place where we can build relationships with people. It’s a place we can gain trust and share not only our art but our lifestyle and what goes into our art and who we are, which is all an important part of buying into an artist. Yes, of course, we can do this in person but we are limited by geographical location. IG changes the playing field, literally.
Could you mention any artistic influences and how their influence impacted you and your practice?
Robert Rauschenberg, Joan Mitchell, Cy Twombly. When I see their work I am in awe, there is an amazing energy and I don’t want to leave and I can stand and look at their work forever. Eventually that’s how I want people to be moved by my work. They all influence my practice because they inspire me to work harder every single day.
Where should interested collectors buy your artwork?
My work can be purchased directly through my studio www.susanwashingtonfineart.com or send me an email for a list of available works to Susan@susanwashingtonfineart.com. Work can also be purchased via IG @susanwashingtonart or on Saatchi Art at www.saatchiart.com/susanwashington.
Tell our readers any thoughts you want to share.
Any thoughts I want to share? Maybe just to say how grateful I am. I’m grateful that I can wake up every morning and do what I love to do more than anything and I have such amazing people that support me, that buy my work, that share my work, that put up with me and that don’t unsubscribe from my mailing list lol
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