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 and 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, and, my appreciation of beautiful catalogs, books, photos, maps, and paper of all kinds. I love to pour through paper images. A couple of years ago it occurred to me to incorporate them in my work as additional sources of repeated patterns and levels of color that would be impossible to recreate using only paint. The addition of occasional text is a random bonus. Once in a while a word or phrase finds its way into a painting and that  reinforces the message that I am trying to convey. Sometimes it will inspire a title. The use of these papers serves the purpose of adding color and texture to a painting, supporting the composition being developed in a spontaneous way. The flurry of activity that results is a final piece that is active, vibrant and unexpected. Sometimes a piece will take on a mosaic style look. I am constantly learning- attending workshops- and creating new work that 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, their 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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