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One of the interesting things about making paintings is the emotional response I have to my art.  Different themes flow through my brushes but they are all intimately linked to me as a person. Sometimes it is a quirky little road I've traveled to bring an idea to fruition,  but I get there because the theme speaks to me. Sometimes it is a relentless gnawing that wakes me up from sleep and sometimes it's a rapid fire idea that requires pencil to paper immediately. Eventually I get somewhere with it but I will have you know there are several themes in various stages that you haven't seen yet. Don't you just want to know? Something is always cooking! Some of the themes are very old friends of mine and will always be with me - my love of women's life stories, birds in trees and of course, my Quilted Women series that I'm sharing in this writing.

Beyond working in a theme, each painting requires its own unique story. Even if I have found a new pattern or concept for a painting it still must have a message that is compelling.

 This painting is so large, certainly for me. I spent several weeks making it. I became very emotionally involved with it, saying hello every morning and stopping reluctantly each night. I began by carving a stamp that allowed me to paint blocks of rosettes. After placing the stamped images I needed to find a color story for my painting. That takes me to my close painting girlfriends - The Friday Painters. I really love the pallet of my friend Diane Calkins and thought I would use her colors for a challenge. I started out calling this painting Diane. I painted a few colors in some of my blocks. Each time I mixed a new color I put a stroke of it on the top. Gradually I found my own colors.
 While I'm in the studio I listen to podcasts, books on tape or music. This day I was listening to oldies and a couple of old Todd Rundgren favorites played. While I was making my rosette quilt squares the music was pretty up lifting. And- it was moving my painting along in a beautiful rhythm.  Pretty soon I began to see a story to this particular painting. My Quilted Woman is standing humbly with arms wide open ready to comfort. And then I wrote my title.
That became a mantra while I painted. 
 Throughout the weeks that I have worked on this - LOVE was my underlying theme in each rosette square I painted. Of course I'm still attentive to all of the other things I know must happen in a painting, color transitions, patterns mixed with solids, good value and composition. But with love as my mantra it was easier to shine light on my figure and create a rich glow.
My finished painting - Love Is the Answer, 36 x 48 inches frame added
Stop by my booth, #102 at the Golden Fine Art Festival to see it. 

Reader Comments (8)

OMG my dear friend Susan, I SO love this painting from the first time I commented on it, as I "felt" the LOVE so apparent in the seeding that you planted as you painted. YOU are amazing and wonderful and I love that your work continues to come from the depths and inspire you and all that are touched by it!! Keep on keeping on....and I LOVE Todd Rudgren too!!

August 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpeg conley

thank you Peg! I appreciate your opinion. I, for one, can't wait to read your next book!

August 11, 2016 | Registered CommenterSusan Schmitt

It was so much a joy to watch this painting develop as we painted together on Fridays. She is a spectacular rendition of Love. And her master painter is as well. Beautiful light running through. She is beautiful. And you are too.

August 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSydney

I blush Sydney!

August 11, 2016 | Registered CommenterSusan Schmitt

I love that you share your thoughts and process with us.

August 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMyra Garcia

This is such a beautiful piece. I love it.

August 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Susan, you are such a treasure! An absolute well of inspiration, generosity, and love for all.
I love your work! Thank you so much for all that you are and all that you do!

August 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

thank you so much Nancy. I aim to please!

August 23, 2016 | Registered CommenterSusan Schmitt

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