Thursday, April 02, 2015


(Above:  Morning, mixed media on printmaking paper.  Unframed:  30" x 22 1/2"; framed: 39" x 31 1/2".  Click on image to enlarge.)

Recent blog posts include entries describing the task of cleaning/sorting/purging/organizing/tackling two absolutely disastrously messy rooms at Mouse House ... where I both "live" and "work".  One room now functions as a "shipping center" with plenty of space for "installation art storage".  The other is my "home studio", a room that once functioned as a space for 3D assemblage art and has been reclaimed again for that purpose.  While pitching piles of "stuff" in this studio, I came upon a roll of printmaking paper.  I'd taken it to the Columbia Museum of Art a couple years ago when attempting life drawing with one of the museum's affiliate organizations, a group called "About Face".  I went weekly for several months.  I tried watercolor pencils and crayons, charcoal, ink, and pencil.  I wasn't very good but I also didn't totally "suck" at it.  Most importantly, I wasn't passionate about drawing at all.  Eventually I stopped going.  I rifled through the stack of sketches and tossed all but one.  I sort of liked the expression on this model's face.  Later, the paper was mounted to an old damask tablecloth.  I used a framing product called Fusion 4000 in my 36" x 48" Seal dry mount press.  Carefully, the excess tablecloth was cut away from the edges ... leaving only the paper to be seen.  There was a spot on the paper, something like a drop of coffee.  I almost threw the entire thing out.  Hair-brained idea!  Coffee!  There was still a little left in the pot upstairs ... and it got poured from a distance of about four feet onto the surface.  I liked what I saw and left it to dry.  The next day I added a few simple lines of free-motion machine stitching with a variegated cream-colored thread.  This is the result!

(Above: Morning, detail.)

Steve like it so much that we decided to frame it.  I'll show it for Artista Vista, an annual downtown Columbia art crawl!  I'm sort of nervous ... because I've never really exhibited anything remotely like this, certainly not a drawing of any sort.  I know there are many problems with proportions but overall ... the work does express my morning mood, especially before drinking coffee!

By the way, my summer schedule has now been set!  After an art residency at Anderson Center in Minnesota (May 1 - 15) and teaching at the Craft Alliance of St. Louis (May 16 - 17), I'll drive north for an art residency at Wormfarm Institute, an organic farm in rural Wisconsin.  From there I go directly to a third art residency with Ellen Kochansky at the Rensing Center in Pickens, SC.  Steve will meet me there in order to fly off to Scotland for our son's wedding.  Basically, I won't be "home" for two-and-a-half months.  This will likely mean that my "home studio" will stay sorted and tidy! LOL!


Yael said...

Susan, I like how honest and open you are about everything. "Eine ehrliche Haut" your dad would say!

And I like the expression of the watercolor woman. :-)

Bruce the Great said...

If I drive 2 hours and 7 minutes I could see you in Wisconsin. Then I would have to drive the same amount home again. Busy day.

Wanda said...

I love the drawing. You may not think so but your drawing has always meant a lot to me. I'll just say "paperdolls". Very good memories for me. Wow...your summer is jammed packed! I'm so happy for you though. What awesome things await you! Such wonderful opportunities to be inspired and see things through your eyes, in your very special way!

Maggi said...

Such a good idea to add more coffee to the drawing.

You certainly sound as though you are not going to have much time to rest over the next few months - exciting though.

Unknown said...

Aside from really liking your drawing I am grinning at the image of you spilling coffee on it to get the desired look. Love that! I find that a very Susan Lenz art moment.