Thursday, January 24, 2013


Original oil painting  16x20"
by Susan Roux

I've been absent from my blog for so long, it almost feels foreign to me now. I'll have to try to reacquaint myself. For those of you who are loyal followers, I do apologize for not stopping by to say hi once in a while.

I may not have been blogging, but don't worry, I have been busy painting. Painting and experimenting. My subjects have been all over the place. Unlike working in a series, I'm bouncing from on thing to another without any apparent relationship to the previous. I can't explain why. Perhaps I'm searching for something internally and I don't even know what it is! Boy that has a whole level of whacky written all over it.


It's been me. My thoughts, my art, my journey. It's as though the new year held so many possibilities with an enormous amount of time to achieve it that I've become giddy with freedom and lost in terms of a specific goal. I try to put the logic of it all aside, get the analytical me to stop analyzing everything and just go paint. But honestly I can't seem to stop the analyzing part. Must we always know the "why"? Shouldn't it be possible to just "do"? Good luck trying to tell my brain that.

I was looking at some wonderful old art on the internet that just captured my heart. It was so beautiful in light and use of color. You could dream away in it. It just took my breath away...

Of course the analyzing me couldn't just enjoy that experience. It began to analyze why it was so breathtaking. Color associations came into view. There was simplicity in it. It seemed easily understood. I asked myself why I wasn't painting like that? I have the knowledge to understand everything that makes these works so amazing. Why aren't I just implementing all this into my own work? This is when I became scattered.

Perhaps it's much like a block. The awareness of a concept, without complete clarity on how to execute it. The odd thing is, I don't feel blocked at all. I feel something is awakening in me. I don't even know what it is to put it into words. But certainly something is gnawing at me from inside. As I write about my journey, trying to explain it to you, it seems clear that my answer lies in going back to view old beautiful art. What made it so powerful yet dreamy all at the same time? It's how I'd like my art to be. Grab you and put you into a dream.

Wow, I've never been so resolute with a definition of what I'm working towards. Is this what artist's statements are made of?

Here are some of my scattered paintings:

Orange on White
Original oil painting  20x16"

Orange on White, detail

Victorian Porch
Original oil painting  18x24"

Oceanside Rose Cottage
Original oil painting  18x24"

Sun Dappled Garden
Original oil painting  20x16"

Just as the sun is firing up, percolating, getting ready to explode out in my top painting, Awakening, I feel something is bubbling inside me just waiting to burst out. I can't wait to see what it will be...

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Dreams and goals

Up On Lighthouse Hill
Original oil painting  22x28"
by Susan Roux

I love this time of year.

In Maine the weather's raw, the snow is bright and glorious and my focus is to jump head first into (no not Sebago Lake with the other Polar Bears...) my art! There's something cozy about winter after the holidays. The house is warm with the smell of wood wafting each time the stoves are loaded. You could cozy up by the fire with your favorite drink or... spend relentless hours in front of your easel.

I usually choose the latter.

It's also a time to look at life and your current direction to see if you're staying on track. Goals have been made over time and if you're like the pack, the end of a year has us thinking about them more than usual. With it also comes the feeling of time. A whole new year ahead of us, much like a blank canvas, to be filled with something new. Endless possibilities. What will you fill your new calendar with?

Are you looking for gallery representation? Perhaps you'll peruse new opportunities for artist? A competition? Will you be taking a workshop or two? Maybe your contemplating teaching, sharing your skills? Will your focus be on marketing yourself? There's a certain excitement in knowing you have a choice to plan and choose whichever direction you want. Sure it will take a lot of motivation and hard work, but you have a whole year ahead of you! Piece of cake.

As for myself, yes I have approached a few new galleries for further representation. To be honest, it's still scary. The first time you put yourself out there to be judged can be terrifying but for those of us who've been out there awhile, it still holds a level of anxiety.

The anxiety goes both ways. You feel like you're holding your breath waiting for their response. You're trying to brace yourself for the rejection. Are you standing firmly enough or will it knock you right over? Those nagging questions circle in your head. I like to think I'm sturdy enough to have it bounce right off of me. Shake it off like it wasn't a big deal. But we all know that those rejections can be crippling.

Then there's the other side of the pending anxiety. What if they do accept me??? It will be very affirming and a wonderful boost. Complete joy! You can just imagine your creative energy escalating. Escalating until you get to that point when you doubt yourself and wonder if you can continue to create a level of quality that satisfies your new gallery? Ouch. The things we do to ourselves.

Art has to be one of the most difficult ventures. I know we can't help ourselves and the desire to create can consume us. But the reality of it is we are drawing from within. Exposing ourselves in our most naked form and the fear of being judged and then rejected is terrifying. I don't care how long you've been doing it. It's as terrifying each and every time. The better you get, the higher the bar you're reaching for. Will you grab and slip and come crashing to the floor? Or will you reach to a comforting hand that pulls you upward towards your dreams?

I've been looking at your blogs and I love your goals. It's so inspiring to read. My favorite is those of you professing to paint 30 painting in 30 days. It's a huge commitment. I think of it differently than the daily painters. I imagine normal size canvases with full fledge paintings. I don't think I could keep up that momentum. I'm pretty prolific but that would do me in. I applaud you for your gumption and drive.

Whatever your goals are, I wish you the tenacity to push on no matter how terrifying it might be and be successful in achieving them.

What are you dreaming for this year? What bar are you reaching for?