Featured Artist Susan McLaughlin

These fanciful paintings by Susan McLaughlin combine figurative work with nature. See more of her delightful art by visiting her website.

 

“Alice’s Aura” Acrylic on Linen, 30” x 40” by artist Susan McLaughlin. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Alice’s Aura” Acrylic on Linen, 30” x 40”

 

After prowling the sleepy hollows in the Connecticut woods as a child, drawing and painting all things natural, I advanced to prowling the hallowed halls of New York City academia, drawing and painting all things human.

 

“Kiss the Moon” Acrylic on Linen, 24” x 30”

“Kiss the Moon” Acrylic on Linen, 24” x 30”

 

Although I earned a BFA from Parsons School of Design and an MA from New York University, I received something even more valuable from my school in the woods—a deep reverence for all things natural. The synthesis of these two different paths has led me to my current mantra-harmony between nature and humanity.

 

“Leaving Home” Acrylic on Linen, 24” x 36”

“Leaving Home” Acrylic on Linen, 24” x 36”

 

I am thrilled to be an artist because I can create my own worlds.

 

“Late for the Regatta” Acrylic on Linen, 24” x 36”

“Late for the Regatta” Acrylic on Linen, 24” x 36”

 

In these worlds, I am an explorer, uncovering, recording and rearranging the beauty of the natural world as well as the beauty of human beings. I select and distill the essence of my subject, harmony between nature and humanity, and fuse the two. This symbiosis makes the finished work even more powerful than either of its constituents alone.

 

“Madame Garden Party” Acrylic on Linen, 30” x 40”

“Madame Garden Party” Acrylic on Linen, 30” x 40”

 

In my personal worlds, you will notice a lot of extraordinary things happening. For instance, I might substitute a bird for a hat, or a butterfly for a bowtie.

 

“The Man Under My Bed” Acrylic on Linen, 24” x 30”

“The Man Under My Bed” Acrylic on Linen, 24” x 30”

 

These substitutions function as symbols and provide subtle clues and playful suggestions about my work. The shapes of birds and hats, or butterflies and bowties, are so similar that viewers never even question the replacements.

 

“Catcher” Acrylic on Linen, 30” x 36” by artist Susan McLaughlin. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Catcher” Acrylic on Linen, 30” x 36”

 

I pick the substitutes because they fit graphically and visually. But it is more than that. We as humans fit with nature. We fit together so well, in fact, that I am able to paint a natural object–a butterfly–in place of the bowtie, and viewers can see this as truth.

 

“Wings” Acrylic on Linen, 30” x 36”

“Wings” Acrylic on Linen, 30” x 36”

 

To create my existential paintings, I use classic techniques, brushing acrylic paint wet on wet onto gessoed linen. Although my juxtapositions of flora and fauna are a cross between romantic and realistic, I meticulously render each and every component, whether plant or animal, in a manner that retains its natural beauty.

 

“Halfway to Heaven” Acrylic on Linen, 36” x 48”

“Halfway to Heaven” Acrylic on Linen, 36” x 48”

 

For the last few years my paintings and I have been prowling around museums and galleries up and down the East Coast, including the Monmouth Museum, The Bonnet House Museum, NSU Art Museum and the Arnot Art Museum. My gallery exhibits have included Aqua Art Miami, ArtExpo New York, Art Basel Miami, Municipal Gallery, Newtown, Connecticut, Martha Gault Gallery, Pennsylvania, Armstrong Gallery, Georgia and Dacia Gallery, New York City.

 

 

Artist Susan McLaughlin in her studio. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

Artist Susan McLaughlin in her studio

 

Still prowling, I am extremely happy to find myself here, smack in the middle of the zeitgeist on Artsy Shark!

 

Artist Susan McLaughlin invites you to follow her on Facebook and her Blog.

 

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YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. A. Youngs says

    Beautiful, your paintings make me want to jump into them and join in the fun and beauty.

  2. Susan Thomas says

    How lovely!! Susan, your art and your words are wonderful! I so enjoy your whimsical view of the world.

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