Paintings as Poems (Not Novels)

“Peonies” (watercolor, 15 1/2 x 14 in.) by Susan Blackwood

“I have chosen as my subject matter the simple, beautiful moments that are common both in nature and in the life of every person,” says Susan Blackwood. “These are the moments that often pass without notice, and are the very ones that lend continuity to our lives and contribute to its richness and depth. These moments are the language I use when I paint. 

“As in any meaningful conversation, the structure of the message must be clear. Thus, my colors, brushstrokes, textures, and compositions are carefully chosen to convey the message I want to impart . … As words are carefully chosen for a poem, I, too, limit my brushstrokes and details to relay just enough information to spark viewers’ imaginations. I purposely leave areas of my paintings in mystery for the viewer to become engaged in the story. I strive for each painting to be a poem rather than a novel.”

Before she ever picks up a brush, Susan Blackwood plans every brushstroke to ensure that the colors, values, and edges all work together to tell the story she wants to impart.


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