Being "no one" in the presence of "someone" is quite the opposite when in the company of Susan Cary Price and her intriguing art. Although she believes that her legacy is nonexistent and without expectation, her art holds much importance to the viewer.
“I am basically, no one who has done anything important but "be a good girl” who attempted to play by the rules. The only marks I will leave in this life was at my alma mater when they were dumb enough to pour fresh concrete the weekend of Alumni reunion and on a few family and friend’s hearts. They would probably say, "Oh yeah, Susie was fun." I don't expect to leave a legacy.”
Susan has been a creative all her life but cannot remember discovering color at any specific time. Color is the inner beauty of who she indeed is, and her art is a permanent showcase of her creativity as a fingerprint of style and shapes. Her mother was also creative, and one time had painted invites for her fifth-grade birthday party of her fellow ballet peers. She made all of Susan’s clothing by only using Vogue patterns and at one point painted her nicknames, one being “Dribble Puss,” on her infant window shades.
“I love color and pattern and see beauty in all kinds of thing. I have one photo I took of a weathered, grayed, plywood piece that was languishing for months at the top of a k-rail on Wilshire Boulevard where there was construction, and I'm stuck in traffic for ages and months. It makes a great fabric pattern.”
It wasn’t until junior high that she took an interest in a few art classes that carried on into high school. At that time, she was living in San Diego, California and before she knew it, she enrolled in a painting class at the UC San Diego La Jolla Art Studios. She then took courses, for a few summers after that in Balboa Park with mentor and artist, Joseph Nyiri and her artistic journey began.
Work was at the center of attention for Susan, and she worked full time for the County, the State in Non-profits and Welfare for thirty-three years yet somehow made opportunity for education in the arts with her busy schedule. She continued enrolling in Colleges and workshops in hopes to get better and eventually sell a painting to someone.
“If I had had a declared minor at Pitzer College in Claremont California, it would have been in art: figure drawing, painting sculpture, Carl Hertel. Out of college, I was at work full time from 1970 to 2003 always with at least one night a week to attend an art class that taught figure drawing and sculpture... Otis College, Santa Monica College, UCLA Extension and the private studio of Clare Hunzakus. I sad one solo show in an architect's office in 1980.”
Susan loves the works from Fauves, Vlaminck, Schiele and De Kooning along with Picasso and Bonnard. She is inspired by the patterns and colors of Klimt but is not in love with his art for she thinks it is too pretty. Her favorite artists have minuscule influences in her artistic being but give her guidelines on her techniques in her becoming.
“I don't try to copy them (mostly) because I am not that good but now and then I look at their work and ...something changes. The art "world" constantly changes, and I don't expect my experience of it to be anything like theirs, or like anyone else's. I got better as a sort of abstract painter about two years ago. Still working on getting better and painting bigger because it is interesting and might provide income at some point in time.”
After photographing her works, Susan takes the jpegs and makes small enhancements with photoshop manipulation, turning them into colorful clothing and fabric home goods. She sells through her website and other vendors that use the newer printing technologies. Besides using this little technique to make designs flow freely on the patterns and shapes that she prints, Joseph Blaustein is given credit for everything she “might” know. He along with the folks at his painting workshop gave her tips on how to utilize color and space. They encouraged her to, “turn it upside down, when you add color over a painted area, leave a little of the original color showing, dip your brush in a new color every time you go back to the palette- don't let the color in an area be "flat."
Susan’s passions include her family, food, dancing, laughing and baking but she focuses genuinely on noticing beauty and appreciating it. With her love for color and everything beautiful, she is driven to create it and see it in all her surroundings.
“Beauty, however you define it, is important. Sometimes it can show us what we are not looking at and help change happen. My artwork, in what I am thinking about as I start a painting, the words or names that sometimes are underneath all the color and the titles reflect my concerns in the world. I never expect anyone to know about any of that, or react. I am too small to change the world. I just care and keep making art. I like Color, and sometimes I am satisfied when I decide a painting is done having balance with no weird shapes. Later, I look at it (particularly on the wall in a show). I then think that geez, it sucks, it's so amateur, so stilted, damn damn damn. I can't paint "reality" or "realistically" so, I think "reality" is overrated.”
Susan C. Price makes beautiful vibrant art with profound realities in contemporary settings. There is a consistency in her works including the colors and backgrounds in each piece. She decides the tone and sets the pace for the plot from start to finish. Her art offers a magical place to get lost in with new areas continuously opening doors for the imagination to run free. She is thought-provoking, and you can see that within her art. What does this mean, how was she feeling and how could someone who thinks there is no legacy to leave behind paint with such splendor, her legacy has already begun.
Written By Skye Amber Sweet
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