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mixed media drawing on archival paper mounted in white mat with contemporary white wooden frame.
My recent work reflects my desire to bring the magic of art to bear on the often-hopeless state of the world in these
tenuous times. Inspiration comes from the beautiful juxtapositions of color and richly layered textures found in
natural surroundings my dog and I observe on our daily walks. Often the color combinations I spot outside make
their way subconsciously into my palette. I give meaning to my images through use of archetypal symbols spanning
the full range of human history. I am fascinated by supernatural pathways to subconscious wisdom. I am curious
about the purpose of art in prehistory and other cultures. Visual influences include Indian miniatures and medieval
manuscript illustrations. My aspiration is that viewers come away from my work with insights into their own
personal stories and landscapes in a way that brings them hope and joy.
Susan Christensen established her career as a visual artist in Southeast Alaska after completing her MFA at the University of Washington. She has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibits throughout Alaska and nationally. Her work is included in the collections of the Alaska State Art Bank, Clausen Museum, and numerous private collectors. Susan has been awarded several major public art commissions in Southeast Alaska and has served on the Alaska State Arts Council’s Visual Acquisitions panel. She lives in Seattle with her Studio Assistant dog, Siri.
My images flow directly from my imagination, guided by intuition, in response to a random underpinning of watercolor and ink mark making. I approach each new piece by first selecting a limited palette, often reaching across the color wheel to take advantage of the helping hand complimentary colors can lend each other. Drawing is a first love, and I relish using my pens to solve the puzzle presented by each new upstart. Using acrylic markers and other semi-opaque media, I am able to push and pull as a drawing develops, looking always for relationships between the characters who emerge and suggest the storyline.
On the most foundational level, my work is autobiographical. I work in series around recurring themes of magic and relationships between creatures both real and imagined. I draw inspiration from world mythology, dreams, and poetry. Gods and goddesses in my Art Pantheon include Elizabeth Murray, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington and Paul Klee. Always, my aim is to shed light and offer joy to a world so often deficit of hope.
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