As I was in my studio, just minutes ago, finishing two of the three long, thin canvas boards of a triptych, I was struck by how alike this process is to the many hours, days, months, years I spent alone in some isolated research lab. However, sometimes I also liken it to getting ready for a date. When I am deciding what and how to paint something, or accepting the date, then prepping the canvas and setting up my palette, or deciding what to wear and then the act of painting, especially this new style—this pouring technique—is like the sex part at the end of the date. That’s the time I am 100% absorbed in the act of painting. No interruptions, nothing but me and the moving paint making it happen.
The first time I blurted out that analogy at an artist’s meeting, I was met with averted eyes and giggles and a few, “Oh Susan!” so I decided not to trot out that imagery of doing my art. Maybe if I lived in France I could, but not here in America. Not even in California, or in a women’s art meeting in Northern California, where I was when I made that pronouncement.
What I do want to tell you today is how I found it utterly fascinating that my early adulthood laser-focussed interest and work in the field of geophysics has an incredible overlap with my current art life. Honestly, I would have written you off as a nut job if you had told my utterly devoted scientist-self that 30 years later, I can see a strong merger in what I am exploring as an artist with what I studied and researched back then; that my interests would come full circle with my intentional flow artwork and is connected to my early research and studies in geophysics.
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