In my studio, I give voice to what I cannot explain in words. I indulge my love of pattern and material, I create new stories based on old ones, and I imagine what I cannot know: How would it be to experience one’s house or garden when nobody is in it? How would it feel to be a robin perched on a teacup or on the branch of a flowering tree? I spin elements of the world around me and within me into artistic form.
My larger paintings evolve over months and, along the way, seem to de- velop minds of their own. I compose the elements initially, but at a cer- tain point in our conversation, the process becomes more democratic and these same elements command an organization more naturally suit- ed to them. By contrast, my small still lifes are more deliberate. I establish the composition at the outset and it rarely veers. Like fugitive guests, the birds are unplanned. They enter later and perch where there’s room. My drawings are somewhere in between.
I see my work as a threshold between the past and the present. At one level, as I finish a piece, it literally becomes a record of my past action. On another, the subjects I have long chosen to depict—birds, flowers, and patterns—are of personal and emotional significance, or records of a different sort. The dishes and linens were my grandmother’s; the flowers are often from my Brooklyn garden; and the patterned scrims recall the wallpapers and fabrics that have surrounded me. My work, like an old house, contains many levels of memories.
My love of what I paint and draw and my reasons for painting or drawing it are personal. They come from the depths of my experience and under- lie everything I make. Within the patterns of daily life and the process of making art, I find constancy. Yet, it is the gentle upheavals in both that are at the heart of my work
Susan Homer lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received a BFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Drawing and, in 2011, received a Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Grant. In 2013 her work will be included in a show entitled “Fiction, Non-Fiction” at Store- front Bushwick.
Artist website: susanhomer.com