About Susan
Susan Mahan

Susan Mahan

Welcome to my world. My life is filled with the creation of art, art education, and creative people. There is nothing I would rather do than visit a gallery, a museum, or an artist’s studio. Being at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati fills me with inspiration. Being there is like traveling back in time to the art building in college. The smell of paint and turpentine is in the air. Conversations about art and artists, shows and classes, fill the stairwells.  Making and studying art fills my life with joy.

My work is inspired by my love of color and pattern.  Photos that I have taken are my main sources of inspiration. A couple of years ago it occurred to me to incorporate them directly into my acrylic paintings as additional sources of repeated pattern.  The incorporation of photos into the paint adds depth of color and texture to a painting. The paper is “painted” in a spontaneous way over an initial drawing and painting.  After the paper is applied to the initial layer of paint, loose washes of paint and ink are applied. Then details are added to areas of focus. The result is an exciting tension between blurred and crisp images. Heavy varnish is then applied which not only protects the paper but makes the paper edges disappear. The result is a final piece that is active, vibrant and unexpected. My work encourages the viewer to come closer and take another look.

My work is constantly evolving. No two pieces ever look the same. I couldn’t recreate one exactly even if I tried.  When people first enter my studio, the first response is usually, “Wow, something different! And, it’s so bright and cheerful in here!” That is very rewarding for me and I consider it high praise. I hope you enjoy my work.

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