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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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Swan Lake

Walking the Swans, acrylic on linen, 50 x 40 inches

NOW THAT SPRING has sprung, we all start acting a little kittenish. That is all very well and good for kittens and maybe even people, but when swans act kittenish, it is a remarkable theatrical event. I will block it out for you.

Playbill: Mr. and Mrs. Swan rule the lake  at Foxglove and I am merely one of their subjects. I am blessed to have the best seat on the lake, Foxglove Cottage, front row center, from which to observe the spring drama.

Orchestra: A startlingly loud cacophony of thunderous crashes and cracks. The orchestration ascends into a clashing, frenzied crescendo. That is the ice on the lake breaking up, pulling away from the shore and crashing into big ice chunks. It eventually melts and drifts.

Cue Swans: Swans can be seen in the distance swimming in the small channels of water between ice chunks.

Orchestra: Suddenly all is quiet but for a gentle, soothing, lapping sound. The ice has vanished. There are whitecaps on the lake and a slow, swelling underscore of birdsong.

Enter Swans Left Front Stage from the air: Swans are chasing each other, flying low, at eye level, in tandem, just short of ramming into each other.

Enter Swans Right Front Stage from the air: Swans are still chasing after one another, flying low, at eye level, in tandem just short of ramming into other. (Repeat the above two stage directions every day for two weeks, three times a day)

Swans Center Stage: Scenery: Deserted, wild peninsula. The swans are very tired after all that flying and "catting" around. They lounge on the peninsula for hours a day, grooming themselves meticulously and hissing at each other. They are not angry; they are mute and hissing is the only sound they can make. They think it is okay though, because "hiss" sounds like "kiss." Mrs. Swan has gotten herself so white and fluffy that when she sits, her feathers plume out and flutter as if she were wearing a ballerina's tutu. For now, she feels she is "in" Swan Lake, not "on" Swan Lake. She is beautiful and is getting ready for her big date. The one where she and Mr. Swan mate.

She has already constructed her throne-like nest where she will sit atop her future cygnets for 35 days, keeping them warm while they are encased in eggs. The nest is very large, gold in color and made up of twigs and other salvaged natural materials. Mrs. Swan is a very good architect and builder. Her nest looks like a wicker chair without the back and is just as strong.

Choreography: Mr. Swan provocatively struts around the peninsula while Mrs. Swan and I watch transfixed, becoming more enchanted every minute. Suddenly his movement becomes jerky and more frantic and he breaks into what looks to me like James Brown doing the funky chicken. Perhaps, Mr. Swan does the funky swan. Whatever the dance, it is irresistible and Mrs. Swan joins in. Finally she backs into him and they peacefully stay in that position for some hours.

After the date, Ms. Swan retires to her nest thinking, "He is the only swan for me. I'm glad we mated for life" and Mr. Swan has a cigarette. No, only kidding, he goes for a swim.

Second Act, 35 days later:

Orchestra: A barely audible cracking and shuffling noise. The cygnets are hatched. Mrs. Swan, carrying five of them on her back, immediately waddles into the lake, slides them off her back and they all swim away in a line. They call on us here at Foxglove for daily visits, but never again return to their birthing nest. In fact, they never return to the peninsula at all except for one or two fall "swan song" picnics for the sygnets, who must now leave Swan Lake and find mates and lakes of their own.

Final Stage Direction: Now, only the hushed sound of flapping wings can be heard as the sygnets disappear into the sunset...forever.


Saturday, March 19, 2016


xxxxxxxxxxxxRiptide, mixed media on linen, 50 x 40 inchesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

A RIPTIDE AND I have a great deal in common. Strange as that may seem, I can explain the   similarity:

A riptide  is a strong current of water that flows away from the shore. As a painter, I, like the riptide, produce a strong current of energy that flows away from  the shore–the shore of “everyday.”

If you are a swimmer, the riptide will pull you away from the safety of the shore. If you are a viewer, my paintings will pull you away from the safety of "everyday" and into the unknown.

I serendipitously happened upon the above image for Riptide while standing on the balcony of my  Fort Lauderdale studio. The balcony is poised over the Atlantic Ocean and is closed off from the studio by glass doors. While looking through the doors I realized I was in a strange new place.  I could clearly see the ocean and sky (reflected on the glass) along with the studio and bedroom spaces beyond the doors, including more double doors, and the furniture beyond that. This confusing yet beautiful image of land, sea and air superimposed on one another enchanted me. I was caught in the current, a riptide if you will, and pulled away from the safety of "everyday."

I hope you will all join me  at my solo exhibition, "Out of Thin Air," on Saturday night, March, 26, at The Guild 5 Forty Five  in Fort Lauderdale.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Enter, wood, metal, hardware, paint 8 x 8 inches

SOME PHOTOS from my  solo exhibition, Bucolia,  in Miami at Meeting House where the gallery is as beautiful as the art.  The show was curated by Moira Holohan, who in addition to being  a talented curator is a talented artist in her own right.  Since we couldn't find the right word to describe my paintings for the show, we coined the word Bucolia from  the words "bucolic" and "melancholia."

In addition to medium and large scale paintings, my sculpture, Enter, was displayed as well as a series of digital paintings entitled Going to Pieces

Going, digital  painting , 24 x 30 inches

The artist and studio assistant

Golden Lady  (left) and Out of the Woods

Fairfield Porter Gone Bad (right)

Alice's Aura (left) and Entropy

Exit , pen and ink, 8 x 11 inches 

Enter sculpture (center) and   Bi-Directional (far right)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Stranger in a Strange Land

Dead birds in crocheted dresses.
Sacrificed butterflies entombed forever.
Maggot-infested severed cow heads.
Sharks suspended in formaldehyde.
Soiled dainties in glassine bags.
Nothing at all?

Where am I?
A torture chamber?
Barnum & Bailey's Three Ring Circus?
A House of Horrors?
A nightmare?
A horror film?
I am on the cutting edge...........

at New York University in a mid-ninety's art program in a graduate school not for the faint of heart. That's what passed for art in those pluralistic times. Only the most resilient of figurative painters got out alive. I did and I hope the other two did also.