Susan's "subject matter, context and medium...present a coherent artistic vision"
John Torreano, Clinical Professor of Studio Art, NYU

"Great stuff. Love your work."
Seymour Chwast

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Sunday, November 28, 2010


HARRISONIA IS A STATE OF MIND. I am thoroughly enchanted whenever I visit that state. The ruler of this land is HRH Harrison Barrison, an off the wall, free-spirited, eight-year-old benevolent dictator. The top fourteen reasons I like visiting Harrisonia so much are because Harrison :

14. Is never cold and is never tired.

13. Hears thunder and wonders whether it is Thor, and whether Thor is in charge of lightning as well.

12. Stands as far away as he possibly can when filling up watering can to make it more fun and challenging to get water into the aperture.

11. Carries fistfulls of brightly colored, appallingly wiggling rubber snakes around with him.

10. Eats strawberry pancakes while performing cool dance moves to ambient rock music standing up in booth, inspiring wait staff to gyrate with him.

xxxxa. Figured out why pancakes taste good–maple syrup.

9.Eats only three things for dinner: chicken nuggets, hot dogs and french fries.

xxxxa. Figured out why french fries taste good-- Ketchup.

8.Tests sharpness of cactus needles at the nursery by pressing his fingers into them.

7. Jumps off twelve-foot high boulders to see if he will bounce.

6. Rapidly clicks bathroom light on and off while I'm inside to give me the benefit of strobe effect.

5. Knows a thousand reasons why it's not time to go to bed.

4. Holds hands and poses with store mannequins, so they will not be lonely.

3. Scores soccer goal–says it's not about the goal, it's about the way teammates set it up.

2 Systematically loses all birdies before badminton net is even set up.

And the number one reason I like to visit Harrisonia is because Harrison:

1.Moves hand-held shower head back and forth in front of his mouth and says he's kissing his girlfriend.

It's fun visiting Harrisonia, but ... err ... uh ... Harrison ... lose the snakes.

Friday, November 19, 2010


John Addison Youngs, III
March 3, 1973 - November 20, 2002
An artist, journalist and gentleman
loved by all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Empathy for Winged Hunters

Reliquiae enhances their culture.
Others dive in search of fish.
I too eat sushi--it's delish.

Though I fret, Egret,
when you fly through the sky
with your prey, which will die,
I'll not have an impassioned snit.
At least you're dainty about it.

While the cormorant picks his bone,
I've certainly got my own
to pick---with his wings,
the silly inefficient things.
With wings, he swims and soars quite high
When wet, he holds them out to dry
And, yet, it's odd; you might ask, why?
Water-laden, he cannot fly.

Stealthily, the graceful heron fishes off my dock
Long pointed beak pinning bass to rock
A toss of his head sends his catch up high
but before you know it ... down the gullet!
Then off he flies to hunt for pullet.

But so do you and I.

Paint on,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cadavre Exquis

"CADAVRE EXQUIS" IS A PARLOR GAME INVOLVING DRAWING or words. It relies on the chance encounter as a disruption of rationality and a product of the shared. Invented and played by Andre Breton and other 1920's Surrealist artists, "Cadavre Exquis" literally translates to "Exquisite Corpse."

To play, the first artist would begin by secretly drawing a head of a person or animal. He would then fold over the paper, hiding all but a small portion of the neck. The second artist would continue the drawing. From the neck lines of the first artist, he would draw the torso, including arms, wings, tentacles, or whatever struck his fancy. He would then again fold the paper so that only a small portion of the hips or thighs was showing and pass it along. The third artist would continue drawing the legs, feet or perhaps claws and a tail, springing off from the exposed tips of the hip lines.

This is one of many ways in which the Surrealists experimented with, and exploited, the mystique of accident and collaboration. Indeed, even the name is derived from a phrase that resulted when they first played the game: "Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau," meaning "The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine." This early game obviously was played with words rather than drawings.

An artist/curator friend recently asked me to paint a portion of a Cadavre Exquis on which he will be working with other artists. We haven't started yet, but I am eagerly looking forward to it. At the time he invited me, I was just beginning to learn Photoshop and the invitation gave me an idea. I could turn what might have been tedious Photoshop exercises into real fun by playing solitaire Cadavre Exquis. Thank you, Chuck!

I produced many collages, either from top to bottom or left to right (as in the one above) by dividing my Photoshop canvas into three parts. I took three random paintings and merged them together, continuing the lines from one image to the next with some strange and delightful results. At the time, I knew how to use the move tool, so I could move corresponding body parts of three different paintings into compositional alignment. But I had yet to learn image resizing, so the sections of the various paintings are not all the same image size. Though I was playing solitaire, it is still very much in the spirit of Cadavre Exquis.

One of the most beautiful and surprising accidents of the composite painting above is the strong lavender-suited forearm energetically jutting out of the background without a body of its own (left side center–leading to the hand with bluebird perched on it in the second mid-section.) I was stunned when I noticed it. At first I thought it must be magic because I did not actually ever draw a lavender forearm on any of the paintings which I combined. It seemingly emerged on its own from an abyss in the lavender background. In fact, it is the lavender background, re-articulated visually as a forearm by framing between the seat and the back of the chair. Chance had it that the defined space is the same shape and at the same angle as it would have been if I had actually drawn it there. Because it serendipitously leads to and connects with a hand in the next section, it strongly suggests "forearm" to the viewer. It is amazing to me because I had nothing to do with it. It is also haunting because it is echoes a remembered image of the government recruiting posters picturing Uncle Sam's pointing finger with the message, "Uncle Sam wants you"– in my case, to have more artistic accidents, I guess.

Well, accidents will happen! In addition to the magically-appearing forearm, the composite rendering of half my nephew's face on top of my best friend's face (right side of composite face) looks suspiciously like Keven Spacey. And to think I would have never known this, had I not entertained myself playing Cadave Exquis solitaire.

Paint on,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Shrimp cocktail. Hold the shrimp!