Susan Blackmon


So, You Say You’re a Painter?

Finding myself in a setting where this question comes up, I’ve felt an occasional reluctance to make such a proclamation. Early on, drawing was my first creative instinct. All of the creative endeavors which have followed for me, leading from that initial desire to replicate form in some way, including painting, have overlapped one another, influenced the other in providing new ways of seeing.
My circuitous creative path has been a mixed bag: obtaining a BFA in painting and printmaking, entailing a lot of drawing (the 70s); doing graphics/ad layout and product design for several years; professional picture framing; creating floorcloths on commission and painting/enhancing furniture; creating specific-to-taste interiors; many years of working with textiles, sewing apparel and soft furnishings, then returning to painting with renewed vision.

Seems that I have always been immersed in some form of art-making, being influenced by my creative Mom (a remarkable seamstress who taught me to sew, a superb cook and who displayed her love for homemaking), by my Dad, who knew how to garden with aplomb, and equally by the rich creative environment which filtered throughout the western NC region, specifically in Asheville, where I was born and lived until the age of 15.

In creating art and/or fine craft, one needs the focus/determined concentration, along with a proper set-up within some place, studio, work area, which is certainly crucial. But more so the artist must show up motivated by her pure pleasure and excitement of the possibility of creating, whether drawing, painting, or assembling, etc. In choosing “to see” creatively, to experiment, the artist derives her motivation to see it through; a new work made this way (is there another way?) once finished, offers a uniquely personal vision and expression. Art can elucidate where language falls short; we get to peer into the inner ephemeral realm of sensation which the artist has mined in their creative quest.

My inner directive to create marries closely to the observation made by the superb late artist David Driskell (who died on April 6, 2020 from COVID);
“The artist dedicates his life to enhancing the quality of life…the artist is about giving a new vision, giving us that which we would not have with out his or her presence.”

~Susan Blackmon 2021