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, 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,


  1. Susan just want to say that your paintings were a talking hit in class today... All the students that missed yesterday were so upset that they didn't get to see them... All my otherst were talking about them... Just want to say how talented and creative you are and I am so glad to have met you this year:)

  2. This painting is as close to finished as I've ever seen. It looks great. It is balanced, beautiful, great colors, and not too Florida but just enough. I really love it. The sea gulls, the surface treatment, the fact that it's a diptych. It is a great piece!

  3. Fantastic! Beautiful painting!

  4. I have loved watching the creation of these over many weeks; just fabulous work!

  5. I love your work. It's so whimsical.

  6. You are now master of mixed media - fantastic rendering! What will Fla. do without you.

  7. Lovely painting and fascinating blog post!

  8. The ocean - you got it!

  9. That is one shell of a nose!

  10. Awesome artwork from a totally awesome person

  11. Gosh, Susan...the allure of the lass sheltering among the shells should sell for millions as it's simply sensational in
    sensibility, symbolism and sexiness.

  12. Susan! All I can love you! This painting is absolutely beautiful and
    touches me in so many ways.

  13. Susan I love that painting .you have such an great imagination when you paint. You are truly one of a kind.