VAM 34 Artist Profile | Susan Clark

Susan Clark, Waiting, oil on two panels, 41 x 102 cm

1. Tell us about the artwork you have in VAM 34. Give us an idea of the conceptual framework you used in creating this piece. What inspired it? Why did you choose to use that particular medium? Why that particular perspective, set of colours, subject matter, etc 

This image is from several photos taken along the lakeshore in Oakville. By painting this scene with a darkened stormy night sky it sets the mood of the painting. A single bench in isolation, the untouched snow and the broken fence lead to the mystery. On a cold day, pausing to look, not to sit watch the view. No activity, just memories. A public space with hundreds of stories, changed in seasons.

I often use a couple of images together emphasized by multiple canvas and a limited pallet in oil. I block in lights and dark building layers of colour, part masking tape and hand painted lines. In this case I have used a solid flat wood panel surface for flat smooth blends. The image split in two makes the bench a stronger graphic and the extended fence becomes a barrier between the water and the foreground.

2. How would you describe your creative process? What medium do you use most often and why?

I often work on more than one painting at at time and have no time limits. It is finished when I have exhausted the idea or it has exhausted me. I prefer oil for the blends and subtle colours on grey tones. By working on more than one idea at a time I have the freedom to be as loosely painted as I want with along with hard edges that suggest a surreal quality.

An artwork is a thought process meant to stimulate and touch the viewer in some way. It’s important to teach the mind to stop, look and get lost. The creative process should be a part of learning, growing and development as much as the physical challenges. Art should be in all public spaces. It is a part of what defines us.

3. How would you describe the Mississauga art community? What excites you most about it? Why should art lovers from Toronto come visit? What can you do to ignite the Mississauga art community? How do you think the AGM can ignite the community?

Mississauga has a public square meant to draw people to just enjoy. The gallery should be accessible with exhibits tied in to the many events offered through out the year to encourage not only art lovers to be stimulated and a space to be enjoyed. Digital images showing creative on the two large screens inviting viewers to a warm spot in winter, cool in summer alive with images and sound.

I think the future directions of the gallery are leading in the right direction with library involvement, hands on events and education. There are people who do art, people who talk about art, people that teach art, people that sell art and rarely do you find all these components in one. To educate we need to bring them all together.

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