Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreamer
Original oil painting 28x22"
by Susan Roux

This series of ladies at the beach has me entranced. My spare time is completely devoted to creating more of them. Even times that aren't spare get caught up in it. Certainly I would define this as crossing over from passion to obsession. I can't describe what fascinates me the most as I'm painting these. Is it color? Is it the sensuality? It's almost as though life breaths into them. I've never been so directed by what's emerging on canvas as I am now.

Both the figure and the background tantalize me equally.

The beginning starts off simply. A quick gesture sketch put on by a large brush, allows the form to move and morph into shape. Colors start to appear as random as my whim. Slowly it takes shape. This is when the fun or stress really kicks in.

The decisions I make stop being random and the art takes control. What starts out vague and undefined begins to have a voice. The further I develop the canvas, the more important it is to listen to it.

Is the canvas really talking? Well not in the out-loud voice we recognize with our ears. Someone better lock me up if that happens. Just make sure there's an easel and paints with me behind those locked doors...

No the voice I'm talking about is quiet and soft. Sometimes it's hard to hear. Backing away helps. Reflecting. Really seeing what's happening on canvas. Making decisions. Unwavering. The painting takes a turn. It finds a direction. Until I grasp this feeling, I can't bring the painting to completion. It's just a figure in a space prior that.

Each one is different. They all speak differently to me. Sometimes it's difficult to know the direction. Other times it's loud and clear. Usually the title will come to me when I find the direction. It wasn't the case with Sweet Dreamer. She sat completed. I observed her trying to come up with the right title. The longer I contemplated I began to notice she was also in a contemplative state. She looked so far away, deep in thought. What was she thinking about? Who was she thinking about? Was she longing? Was she sad? Was she reliving a moment from earlier in the day? I didn't have the answer.

Luka Bloom was singing in the background. Oh, how he serenades me continuously while I create. Sweet dreams Baby were the words that softly repeated from his lips as he sang True Blue. It fit my girl. It didn't matter if I understood her mood. She was dreaming. Day dreaming about whatever. I wanted to think it was a happy dream. Her clothes and stance supported that thought. And so it was that she became titled Sweet Dreamer.

I wish I could show you how the light moves in the background. Seeing them live is the only way...


  1. Standing Ovation--Bravo Susan--What a triumphant story! And you can see all that process in every one of the figures in the series. I am so happy to hear of that voice, that other influence, that shows up and collaborates in the paintings development. It's like the canvas itself is speaking to you, and if you can listen, it guides your actions. It's like the thing is painting itself--and you're just a spectator. Is it any wonder why Rothco painted the same simple subject for years? Same intimacy with the 'girl in the canvas'. I knew you were onto something the first girl you posted. I've been enjoying each and every one since. Bravo Susan.

  2. elle est magnifique, cette série de belles bronzées..à vouloir être en été.. déjà!

  3. You mean the canvas doesn't talk out loud? Mine reminds me of Norman Bates mother. Anyway, I like this one the best.

  4. Fun series Susan. Good light on all of them and I like what did with the background here.

  5. LOL, Kevin!

    Susan, this is lovely! I love the skin tones and all the wonderful colors in the painting.

  6. .......just an outstanding painting!

  7. After reading this post, I would just LOVE to see a WIP for this series. All of them are just beautiful!

  8. This is about as beautiful as you can possibly get! I want to paint like this!

  9. I love how you capture the light. Beautiful.

  10. I so wish I could get lost in a piece like you describe, Susan. (And by the way, this latest piece is just as gorgeous as the ones that have gone before her...) Instead, I get caught up in intensity of insecurities. Not a good thing.

  11. How well you write, Susan! Painting and writing is one, which makes this such a wonderful and precious blog to visit!

  12. Hello Susan.I love yours paintings all of them are beautiful. Loving the beach painting,!Kiss

  13. Beautiful artwork ,I especially love your painting entitled (swirling glow)The reflections of her dress on the water and on the damp sand is just amazing.

  14. Je découvre ta dernière peinture... Il ne faut pas s'absenter longtemps!!! car autrement tu auras peint un véritable harem!!!
    Cette dernière est la fille de la lumière...
    Je te fais de gros bisous.


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