Susan Blair Truex
My work is a constant search for the best way to interpret the ideas that I have about my relationships, the world that I live in and my personal point of view. I don’t limit myself to one medium, style, or concept. Inspiration and ideas change. Knowledge changes. I change. Each piece I create is simultaneously an extension from the past, where I’ve come from, what I’ve learned, as well as a preview of the future and where I’m going.
I work primarily in oil, but have done a significant amount of work in watercolor, pastel, charcoal, graphite, acrylic and most recently, painted fabric. I find a connection between the various mediums and enjoy moving back and forth. I also work with sculpture in clay, which brings in the third dimension. The creative process, regardless of the medium, requires the ability to manipulate freely and consciously the elements of perceptual experience.
A central theme you may see throughout my work involves women, children, animals and their space in our society. I have a special affinity with the roles of women in our lives, in both practice and symbolism. Five years ago, my husband and I moved to a three acre, wooded lot in the country and this proximity to wildlife and farm stock have given me a closeness to what may be a vanishing rural landscape. My impressions from living closer to the earth are a great part of my visual dialogue.
I approached the majority of paintings with a specific manipulation of the oil paint, which allows me to start with very thin applications, much like a watercolor wash. The paint is thinned with mineral spirits and applied to a vertical canvas and manipulated and allowed to run like threads across the white mount. This process, which can also be performed horizontally, with “drips and pours”, creates a network of visual textures which I use as a springboard to the next step.
The subject is applied over the dried background and further manipulated with thin applications of paint and mediums, called glazes. These layers are semi-transparent, like colored sheets of glass and the repeated addition of color layers creates a luminosity and depth. More opaque color is sometimes applied to areas to obscure the under painting and bring it forward or the form is integrated with the background. I choose this style because of the variety of visual textures it creates, which I feel work well with the broken approaches to form. It enables the subject to separate itself and also remain a part of the whole.
Gallery 202: Franklin, TN
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