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   The San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild

Susan Brown




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Santa Cruz
Artists Statement
Georgia O’Keeffe: “To create in any of the arts takes courage.”

To me painting is not a “hobby,” it is not easy, it is not “fun,” (although sometimes it can be).

Approaching a blank canvas is like beginning an unknown journey, with pitfalls, challenges and unexpected surprises; some of them “happy surprises,” some not.

I call the process “paintstaking.”

Due to the architectural geometry, arial perspective and inclusion of portraits and figures, my “Roadways” and “Today’s World” series’ are especially complex and challenging.

As many artists know, you can fudge landscapes and still lifes, but if you are painting human beings, especially at all realistically, one can spot inaccuracies immediately. That’s why I have studied, (9/hrs/week during 2020), and continue to study figures and portraiture so they can be incorporated into my paintings.

One thing I do enjoy is getting into the “zone,” where I am so totally absorbed in my work that I hear and see nothing else, as if a shroud were over me that shuts out the rest of the world.
I even talk to my paintings, sometimes swear at them if things are not going well, and thank them when they are!

However, I find that day to day distractions often make it difficult to have this concentrated situation. That’s why I applied and was accepted into an Artist Residency in France for a month.

While there, I painted a large (32”x28”) painting in about two weeks, including a landscape background with a portrait in the foreground; (“Leonie in Colors”).
This was a record for me, and surprised me that I could finish such a large, detailed painting in such a short time! It gave me the confidence to know that I have the technique and knowledge to do this. (The painting was accepted into an international exhibition.)
Now I apply this concentration as I paint in my studio.

Many of my paintings are local, including “Van Ness Ave, Santa Cruz,” which is the street I live on, and was one of my first “Location” paintings. “Downtown Santa Cruz” is my candy colored version of my town’s downtown, where five streets converge. (The geometry of the crosswalks was especially challenging to get right!)

The Davenport paintings are of a town about 10 miles from Santa Cruz. It’s a place I often go to, both to eat at the iconic restaurants (the RoadHouse and the Whale City Bakery) and to hike down from the Bluffs to a path by the ocean. I like the small town feel.

My “Hidden Valley” landscape paintings are of a lovely valley that is only seen very briefly while driving on CA Highway 1 between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.

I intend my paintings to pose questions for the viewer; figuring out where the roads may lead, and to evoke a sense of recognition or deja vu, whether or not they have actually been to these places, as well as to create a sense of community in how we all dealt with and are dealing with difficult situations, such as Covid and immigration, in “Today’s World.”
417 Van Ness Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95060
IG: @susanbrownfineart

Susan L. Brown is a contemporary artist based in Santa Cruz, California, whose 2020 solo exhibit of her “Locations” series’ paintings, California Dreamin’, was featured in an international virtual 3-D gallery through Seilarte/eventi; juror, Dottore Mara Campaner.

An artist since childhood, Susan won awards as a student in Ohio, including as Statewide Student Artist at age 12. Moving to California in 1978, she continued studying drawing and painting at College of San Mateo, San Jose State and UC Santa Cruz. In addition, she attended painting workshops taught by leading instructors, including figure studies, acrylic and oil painting technique. During 2020 and 2021, she studied portraiture painting, up to 9 hrs.per week, in order to better add human emotion to her paintings.
Susan has taught painting techniques privately and through various city parks and recreation departments throughout California and teaches painting workshops at Ghost Ranch, NM.
She is featured on an international arts site which describes her art and process in detail: https://zoneonearts.com.au/susan-brown/
Her work appears in private collections; both non and commissioned. Her work supports the non-profit Homeless Garden Project Store in Santa Cruz, CA, which sells her cards and prints. Susan donates 50% of all sales.

Susan Brown: Some Exhibitions and Awards
Exhibitions (* Juried events)

* A.I.R. Vallauris Exhibition, Vallauris, France, Oct. 2022
*Fusion Art, virtual “Spotlight Artist” solo exhibit; Feb. 2022
*Fusion Art gallery, Santa Fe, NM; (scheduled for Spring 2023)
* “ShowCase” virtual exhibit, ArtsyShark.com; Spring 2022
*Corto-Borrone Gallery, Paris, Invitational exhibition, Sei L’Arte; March/April, 2022
Radius Gallery, "This is Now” exhibit, Santa Cruz, CA; March, 2022
*Blitzer Gallery; 2022 (upcoming solo exhibit at Blitzer Gallery April, 2023)
*91st Year All CA Landscape Exhibition, 2022
*Pacific Art League100th Year Celebration Exhibition, Palo Alto, CA; Fall 2022
*Santa Cruz Open Studios; October, 2021
*Santa Cruz Art League (santacruzartleague.org); multiple juried exhibits
*Pacific Art League's 99th Year Celebration Exhibition, “Davenport Evening," chosen as the poster; 2021
“*Powerful Woman,” virtual International Exhibit; Sei L’Arte; 2020
First Friday Exhibits, Santa Cruz, CA 2018-2020
*LightSpace Gallery, “International Woman Artists,” 2019:
*LightSpace Gallery, “Faces and Figures;” 2018
*Biennale Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Florence, Italy, December 2011
Current Awards
*Featured Artist; ArtsyShark, December, 2022
*“Artistonish” Magazine; featured artist; August 2022
*A.I.R. Vallauris artist residency in France; September 2022

Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, “Landscape Painting in O’Keeffe Country;” Sept, 2019

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P.O. Box 122107
San Diego, CA 92112-2107

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