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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Friday, October 24, 2014


Two Foxes, acrilic paint on linen, 36 x 24 inchesxxxxxxxx

 Painting Consuelo, acrylic on linen; 40 x 36 incxx

LAST NIGHT  I had the honor and pleasure of being included in the show Protinus with an extremely accomplished group of painters right in the middle of the zeitgeist at Dacia Gallery, NYC.  The paintings of mine that were curated for the show are shown above.

Dacia is a beautiful, intimate  gallery, well located on the Lower East Side (53 Stanton Street).  There was an excellent turnout for the opening. Lee Vasu, an artist himself, is the curator and co-founder of Dacia along with his business partner, Damian Salo. Lee and Damian are very nurturing to their artists. They had all the artists give informal talks about their work at the opening.  It was very inspiring and a lot of fun! I loved showing there.

You you can view my talk at

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Cropped left panelxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Cropped right panelxxxxxxxxxxx

WHAT HAPPENS IN FLORIDA, STAYS IN FLORIDA.  Um...actually it doesn't. I'm going to share with Depingo's readers what I did this winter in Fort Lauderdale.

I took the class Explorations in Painting with the excellent, classically trained  painter Natassia Loth.  She teaches painting at the AN Academy of Art and Design/ Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art. Even though I have advanced degrees in painting from Parsons and NYU, Natty is the best teacher I have ever had. The class is designed to push the painter past her comfort zone.

During the 10-week class, I produced the 30 x 48 inch diptych Beachcombers. These are the "pushing it" materials  I utilized in the making of this mixed media piece.


Acrylic extender. It is much more efficient than what I was using (acrylic medium/varnish) for keeping acrylic paint wet and  is especially useful in rendering skin tones.

Rough pumice gel which creates a textured surface.

Beach sand mixed in with clear varnish for a beautiful overlay of color and a softer texture

Gak which imparts a shine to the work.

Transference which gives an iridescent glow useful for the nacre (pearlescent interiors of seashells.}

Oil stick which gives you s a gentle translucent color over existing layers of acrylic paint.

Modeling paste for affixing various broken shells, pearls, crab jaws, shark bones  and other bling to the canvas.  In my painting (above) the boy beachcomber's nose is painted but the girl's is a glued-on shell.

And my favorite - glitter.

Indeed, I was pushed past my painting comfort zone–almost to the point of no return. It was so much fun! But in the end, I love the result. So did Natty and the other painters, who compared my compositional use of shells to Georgia O'Keefe's use of flowers.

Paint on,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Life and Times of Loose Ends

Loose Ends attacking Attorneyman, 2 x 3  inches,  pen and ink, digital color, 1992
Loose Ends for New York Law Journal, 5 x 4 inches, pen and ink, digital color, 1994

Loose Ends,  40 x 36 inches, acrylic paint on linen, 2013

of figments of my imagination that keep re-appearing  in my work. You can see an example of one such figment and his evolution in the above three works.  This character, Looose Ends, was created for and first appeared in Attorneyman, a weekly comic strip I illustrated and wrote for Skadden News and Notes in the early 1990's.  He was a supervillain who created loose ends everywhere he went.

Subsequently, the New York Law Journal gave me an assignment to illustrate an article regarding a  problem law firms were having at the time–Alcohol in the Workplace. The art director gave me my politically correct marching orders, which were that I was not to have any liquor bottles, alcoholic beverage glasses or slumped bodies in my drawing. I thought to myself,  "Why don't you just tie my hands behind my back?" However, I accepted the challenge and got to work.

Loose Ends was my man for the job. He passed all of NYLJ's requirements for the drawing. A lawyer trying to write a brief under the influence would certainly create many loose ends; the waving streamers visually suggest the whirling of a mind inebriated.  To drive the point home, I drew a wilting, curled pencil.

Loose Ends went on to be an advertisement for Quo Vadis, a NYC paper company. The caption was, "If only I'd used a Quo Vadis planner, I wouldn't have so many Loose Ends!"  This ad was noticed by the French blog J ai Rendezvous Avec Ma Vie, which featured  Loose Ends and more of my art in a post.  I don't know exactly what they wrote because I don't read French, but Loose Ends looks the same in French as he does in English.

Today, Loose Ends is all grown up. He is larger and more colorful as a painting, and currently making the rounds at NYC galleries. He still has the streamers but today two birds are tangled in them and flying off with them. Eccentrically dressed, he sports a dragon fly as his tie. His ancient eyes have fallen out of his head into a nest he carries around on his lap for just such emergencies. Indeed, today he shines with the densely layered patina of a highly traveled, well worn old drawing who has had a good life.

I  still care for him, in a nostalgic sort of way, but  Loose Ends is a thing of the past. I don't have any currently, and I hope you don't either.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ear Count

Nightwings, acrylic on linen, 40 x 36 inches

Sketchbook, precursor to Nightwings, 4 x 3 inches

Vincent van Gogh wound up with only one ear.

Even Picasso had bad days when he produced works that were below his usual standard.  It didn't seem to bother him though,  so he ended his career with both ears intact.  If someone offered you a "bad" Picasso, would you turn it down because it wasn't a "good" one? It's still a "Picasso." He knew that.

The fact is that I came close  to being a one-eared artist myself during many fitful painting sessions   but stopped just short, so I still have two.  Mercifully, my artist's snits manifested themselves by my cutting up the "substandard" drawings or paintings that I was working on, rather than amputating  my ear. However, throwing out one's artwork is almost as bad as dispensing with one's ear.

Don't do either-especially throw out your work, even if you are dissatisfied with it. It is important to see the progression of your work, both technically and  hermeneutically. Not only will you learn from your mistakes, but you will be able to develop a stronger point of view. Also, there is a chance that you will be famous one day, and then everybody will want your "bad" paintings.

Another reason is that you can draw on your "sketchy" beginnings and use your seminal ideas to develop richer, more complex work.  For example, the drawing and painting above were produced years apart. The drawing is a sketch from my journal, made 19 years ago. When viewing it last year, it sparked the idea for a painting in my current series of paintings, Wings. The painting (done 19 years after its precursor ) draws heavily on the sketch, including model, background and mood. I added more color, layering, a dog and a bat. 

The most interesting aspect of the young man's pose is the expressive configuration and placement of his hands, which is why I wanted to sketch him in the first place.  I thought it was visually beautiful. Conceptually, though, his hands look dangerous because I think he might  have been giving a gang hand signal.

 I hope it wasn't the signal for, "Let's cut off the artist's ear."

Monday, January 27, 2014


Babe and Mac McLaughlin

I WAS WALKING ALONG the beach at Ocean Place with Harrison collecting seashells the other day when out of the blue, he asked, "Your mother's dead, right?"   I replied, "It's sad, but true.  Yes, she's gone to heaven and I miss her very much." He continued along these lines," And your father's dead too, right?," to which I replied that he was in heaven with my mother and I had wonderful memories of both of them.  We walked a little farther, collecting shells in silence.

He then asked, "They were my great grandmother and grandfather, right?"  I told him that was correct.
"Well," he said, "They are not really dead, you know."  When I asked him how he figured that,  he replied, "Because we're alive and we have their DNA."

What a beautiful notion!

We got some beautiful shells  that day too.

Paint on,

Sunday, January 5, 2014



ICARUS HAD THE RIGHT IDEA about aspiring to fly, but took the wrong approach. This mythical figure thought humans could take flight by constructing artificial wings from feathers and wax. He didn’t realize that the real way to fly is through art, and specifically painting.

I am just starting to fly myself and am absolutely thrilled that my painting Wings (40 x 36) has been accepted into Self: An International Juried Exhibit of Women’s Self-Portraiture displayed in Slippery Rock University’s Martha Gault Art Gallery for February 2014. It is one of 3 images that will be on the show's poster and postcard.

I will be aiming for even higher altitudes and other destinations in 2014 and hope that my latest group of paintings, Wings, will carry me there.

Paint on,