Susan is a printmaker and painter who likes to mix media and paint on her prints and print on her paintings. She also makes artist books–works of art in book form that are often one-of-a-kind objects. She has been a member since last January. When she paints Susan works in water-based inks, watercolors, and watercolor pencil and recently started doing oil pastels. She loves to work outside and works from sketches and journals. She starts with landscape imagery and sometimes the paintings become very abstract and sometimes more detailed and adapts to the medium which best expresses her ideas. She’s been drawn to the landscape of Maine for a long time and has had a summer house in Ocean Point on Linekin Bay for over thirty years, “It’s a really interesting part of the coast with big outcroppings of rocks in the water as with most of the Maine coast. There’s a lot of seaweed, a lock of rocks, and funky houses built in the 1850s–a lot of history.” Susan is drawn to places that have a sense of place and history, places with the feeling that things have gone on there. She loves to incorporate old photographs into her work, drawn to their nostalgia and memory. Travel is also very important to Susan because it pushes back against one's boundaries, “There’s always so much to learn being in a different culture and environment.” She’s energized by the landscapes she experiences abroad and views them as other sets of lines and color and compositions. She and her husband and two daughters lived in France for a few years in the ‘70s and for her France is the pinnacle of aesthetics, “I love the way they approach everything; their food, painting, colors and sense of style. When you walk down the street in Paris there’s something beautiful in every window, something thoughtfully arranged, something that catches your eye without you even wanting it to. It’s an aesthetic with a deeply-rooted thoughtfulness.”
Art is very important to Susan, “It’s all about seeing and appreciating and being grateful for this incredible place we live. I want to share that vision.” She finds that making art is meditative and healing; whatever is bothering her is fixed the minute she walks into the studio. Susan had a long career in interior design and architecture, which was fun and had a mutually beneficial relationship to her art, but she couldn’t wait to do her art all the time. When Susan makes art she experiences a lifting of the spirit and that’s what Susan wants from her art, to make people feel the joy that she feels while doing it. Susan loves to teach because of the raw learning that goes on. She loves printmaking and has taught all levels. She especially loves the experience of watching those who’ve never tried it be excited by it. She teaches other mediums as well like pen and ink drawing, watercolor, and lettering and an artist book-making course called “The Illuminated Journal”, inspired by a class she took at Haystack. Susan’s class is a combination of writing and art, wherein she and her students create the pages, then create the covers through printmaking, and finally sew the book together using coptic binding, a method in which the pages are sewn together along the bind. The book lays flat with this kind of binding and allows the artist to work flat in the landscape. Susan has fun teaching it because everyone walks away feeling successful, “It’s not like drawing or painting where you think, Maybe in 25 years I’ll be good at this.” Susan is currently working on a presentation about her recently published book, Reveries: Journaling in Place and looks forward to teaching her journaling class again. Contact Susan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her website, susannewbold.com.