Landscape Paintings Through the Seasons
“The goal in my studio paintings is to have as much richness and variety as I can, while keeping the overall design of the painting somewhat simple. This sounds like a huge discrepancy, but in the end I want the viewer to be able to make sense out of what I am exploring without getting bored, or on the other hand overwhelmed by having no place for the eye to rest or the viewer’s head to spin around clockwise!”, says Susiehyer
“I want there to be integrity and honesty to the subject matter, but always with plenty of room for the necessary interpretation to make a good composition and interesting painting. The majority of my studio paintings are done with “plein air” studies, sketches and photo references. Then again, sometimes I’m just making stuff up!”, she says. “Things may be altered somewhat from the original scene as necessary to achieve some sort of harmony or balance of color, shape, or other elements. I may be working with a particular color theory, or cultivating a mood or emotion. In each painting, I will try to come up with a particular “assignment for myself, sometimes focusing on only one aspect of painting such as creating atmosphere, having an abstract quality instead of a more representational one, seeing where I can have really hard or soft edges, finding is I can pull off something that is a compositional “no-no”, or otherwise breaking some tried and true “rule” of painting to see what I can get away with.
In any case, for Susiehyer it is always important to have a good abstract design underneath any representational painting, and it is this that excites her almost more than the rest of the process…. designing a painting with the large abstract shapes using either a light and shadow approach, or a more “tonal” one, in which the big value shapes complement and interact with each other. This underlying structure is of key importance no matter what the subject matter is.