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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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky, acrylic on linen, 36 x 24 inches, 
                    
MY GARDEN PARTY paintings are being very well received up and down the East Coast this summer. Well, why not? Who doesn’t like a party? After Garden Party’s debut at the Westfield Broward Gallery in Plantation, FL, Madame Garden Party was invited to be in the 75th Regional Exhibition at the Arnot Museum (NY) for the entire summer. She’s still there; Alice's Aura was exhibited at the Treat Gallery, NYC.

On July 20th,
 another painting from the series will be shown for two months at Manhattan Arts International Gallery as part of The Healing Power of Art exhibition. Thanks to Renee Phillips, the gallery director, for my Award of Excellence. Castle in the Sky, shown above, is one of the three paintings I entered into this juried show


I started painting Garden Party as just that: an outdoor party on a blanket on top of the earth’s soil where the guests' concerns did not extend beyond getting the last deviled egg, keeping dirt off the devil’s food cake and their clothing, and holding the local wildlife at bay. However as the series progressed, it became apparent to me that the work was so much more. Castle in the Sky depicts an evolved world where total harmony exists between humanity and nature. In fact, the two worlds have melted into one. Stylistically, society and its products (the girl, the castle and the chair) and the environment (the birds, sky, beach and water) have merged into one natural, utopian democracy. In this alternative airborne world, you can view the earth as we know it in snippets on the right side of the canvas. It’s between the girl’s torso and elbow and to the right of her thigh.

In all the Garden Party paintings, while technically painting a picnic, conceptually I found that I was exploring societal and environmental concerns by combining fantasy and reality. I used microscopic details to provide playful suggestions of a better, healthier world. This beautiful symbiosis is my "castle in the sky." Unlike the usual connotations that phrase carries, I believe it is perfectly achievable if we listen when the earth speaks to us.

I am not the first artist to dream of a Castle in the Sky. The master Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki designed his own floating world in an anime also entitled Castle in the Sky. Miyazaki said that he does not want to push any message on moviegoers; he just wants them to be happy after seeing his movies. I feel the same about my viewers. Still, I need to conclude this newsletter with a quote from the master:

"The earth speaks to all of us, and if we listen, we can understand."


Shhhh…listen,


You can view and purchase my work on my website susanmclaughlinart.com/

10 comments:

  1. Wow, Susan! That is marvelous! We must come see this lady with a castle across her chest! Love, Glenda

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  2. This is just great!

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  3. Love, love, love, love.

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  4. Nice job on both painting and newsletter.

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  5. What a beautiful message and beautiful picture!…you certainly are on to something!….if the current PokemonGo phenomenom is any indication, the combination of virtual with reality is upon us…..still to be determined if good or bad….for your sake, let's pray its good!

    Sending best wishes to you and yours,

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  6. Congrtulations! I am so happy for you.

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  7. Incredibly beautiful.

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