My paintings explore color, light and the line between abstraction and representation. I am interested in color as a visual symphony, a complicated system of interrelations based on fixed rules that yields up infinite variation. I like light for the way it takes just about any object or view and suddenly introduces an element of drama and action. My exploration of abstraction and representation has a lot to do with the history of painting, when and how painters and art made the jump from what we see in the world around us to what the mind sees, or sometimes simply the interplay between brush/tool, paint and canvas.


And of course, my work is also about plants and flowers, which I love for their shapes and color and sensitivity and also power. While they can easily be cliché, I also think that plants — and flowers in particular — are incredibly sensual, lyrical and very expressive. Their forms and ingenuity never cease to amaze me – they are elegant and moving. I look for compositions that immerse the viewer in the plant world by using low or close-up perspectives. Driving my botanical obsession is the sense that plants are a powerful expression of natural development and growth. They stay true to their shape, their form, in a quiet but unswerving way.


And finally, my work is also about paint. I am fascinated about how paint can look so utterly beautiful, brush strokes of mixed or pure colors, energetic or more controlled, suggesting light and familiar things in our world, or sometimes wobbling on the border of abstraction or stepping way over that line. I like the way paint looks as an object, besides what it tries to render. I like it as a material and am continually amazed at how it can be just so interesting to look at.



Susan Spies

Asheville, NC